CoxHealth Finds New Partnership to Expand Pediatric Care to Southwest MO

CoxHealth has announced a new partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital to expand pediatric care in southwest Missouri. Photo credit: Shutterstock (venusvi)

Posted May 22, 2024

Springfield-based CoxHealth and St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) will be entering into a new partnership with the intent to expand pediatric care in the southwest Missouri region.

CoxHealth has signed a letter of intent and will begin the due diligence to reach a final agreement by early fall, according to a release Tuesday.

The joint venture will expand the accessibility of CoxHealth’s pediatric care in southwest Missouri. Through the new partnership, the health care system hopes to create a pediatric outpatient center allowing families shorter travel distances and increasing recruitment and retention for their pediatric providers.

According to a release from CoxHealth, the health care system will also begin a collaboration initiative with Washington University clinicians to enhance the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for babies born early.

“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 pediatric care,” Max Buetow, CoxHealth president and CEO said in the release. “Today marks an important step in what will be a thoughtful and intentional process to determine how we can improve and expand access to pediatric care for hundreds of thousands of families in this region.”

The partnership comes after a previous agreement between CoxHealth and Mercy Hospital Springfield abruptly ended. The two hospitals announced the intent to partner in Nov. 2023, however, no final agreement was signed.

Mercy announced it would be partnering with Children’s Mercy Kansas City in March.