Liberty Hospital has joined The University of Kansas Health System, marking the latter’s first hospital in Missouri, US.

Despite initial opposition from some lawmakers because of the idea of a Kansas institution owning a Missouri hospital, the merger was sealed with promises of significant investment.

Definitive agreements related to the deal were signed in May this year, ensuring the retention of all Liberty Hospital employees, including physicians, for at least one year post-merger.

The University of Kansas Health System also committed to investing $324m over 12 years to enhance healthcare services at Liberty Hospital, with half of the amount to be spent within the first seven years.

Liberty Hospital serves Clay, Ray, Clinton, Caldwell and Platte counties, which are set to benefit from this infusion. 

This investment will focus on expanding and modernising the Liberty Hospital campus and updating its IT systems.

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It will also be used to upgrade the emergency department, launch an oncology programme, and improve diagnostic, therapy, and ambulatory surgery services. Additionally, efforts will be made to recruit physicians and clinicians.

The Liberty Hospital Foundation will continue to operate independently as a nonprofit organisation.

Furthermore, an 11-member advisory committee will be established to maintain a connection with the Liberty community, with six members representing Liberty’s interests.

The branding strategy will evolve to incorporate ‘Liberty Hospital’ within the University of Kansas Health System’s brand identity.

The University of Kansas Health System Kansas City Division president Tammy Peterman highlighted that 35% of their patients are from Missouri, underscoring the significance of this merger.

Liberty Hospital CEO Raghu Adiga expressed confidence in the decision, stating: “We believe this relationship not only strengthens Liberty Hospital but the Liberty community and the entire Northland.”

Adiga revealed that over 30 potential partners were considered before picking University of Kansas Health System as the best fit for its future.