CoxHealth and St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH), a paediatric hospital in the west of the Mississippi River in Missouri, US, have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to establish a new joint venture. 

This collaboration marks the initial step towards increasing access to advanced paediatric services and creating a healthcare hub for children and families in southwest Missouri, Springfield and other regions. 

As part of this partnership, the two organisations will draw on the expertise of paediatric specialists from Washington University School of Medicine, with SLCH exclusively staffed by these specialists.  

SLCH is also a part of the BJC Health System, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.  

The envisioned relationship seeks to make paediatric care in southwest Missouri more accessible, advanced, as well as sustainable. 

For the local communities, this collaboration means the establishment of a standalone paediatric outpatient centre that will allow families to receive care closer to their home and minimising the requirement to travel long distances.  

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Additionally, the collaboration will enhance CoxHealth’s existing paediatric and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) inpatient care through closer partnership with clinicians from Washington University and SLCH. 

Furthermore, the initiative aims to bolster efforts to recruit and retain top paediatric providers in southwest Missouri.  

Following the LOI signing, CoxHealth and SLCH will now commence the due diligence process. 

An agreement is expected to be finalised by early fall this year. 

CoxHealth president and CEO Max Buetow said: “In St. Louis Children’s and Washington University, we are fortunate to have collaborators that are mutually committed to working with us to make Springfield a medical hub for paediatric care. 

“Today marks an important step in what will be a thoughtful and intentional process to determine how we can improve and expand access to paediatric care for hundreds of thousands of families in this region.” 

SLCH president Trish Lollo added: “St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, and CoxHealth have a shared mission to provide exceptional health care for our patients and communities.”