SSM Health, Noble Health announce Letter of Intent for hospital in Mexico

Organizations committed to ensuring high-quality healthcare for the region


SSM Health and Noble Health announced on July 14 the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore a possible transfer of ownership of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital–Audrain and associated community medical group practices to Noble Health.

The LOI indicates that SSM Health and Noble Health have entered a period of exclusive negotiation regarding the 100-year-old hospital that SSM Health purchased in 2013.

If the diligence process and discussions move forward as anticipated, transfer of ownership could occur by the end of the year.

“This continues a process that began two years ago, when we began evaluating potential opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of quality healthcare in the Mid-Missouri region,” said SSM Health Regional President Mike Baumgartner.

“We have worked closely with local leaders and community members to help shape our progress to this point,” he said. “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that we do what is best for our employees, providers and the communities we serve.”

Kansas City-based Noble Health is focused on expanding care in rural communities and recently began management of Fulton Medical Center in Fulton. They recently shared plans for increasing and improving services in that community.

“Noble Health is looking forward to setting out on our mission of being champions of hometown healthcare here in Audrain County,” said Don Peterson, executive chairman of the board at Noble Health. “We understand how important it is to deliver great care close to home. We’re excited about the potential to be a part of the community and look forward to working with SSM Health to complete this transition to offer the best service to meet this community’s health needs.”

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight said he’s very encouraged by the possibility of Noble Health continuing the high quality of healthcare services in Audrain County, honoring the legacy of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Mary and other pioneers.

“Caring for the sick is a core element of our Catholic mission,” said Bishop McKnight. “I am grateful for all who work in healthcare, especially those who serve because of the values of our Christian faith, and look forward to continued collaboration in ensuring appropriate, high-quality care to the people of Mid-Missouri.”

Noble Health Corporation is led by Tom Carter, a public-policy advocate who worked with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt in Missouri and Washington, D.C., for more than 25 years and Don Peterson, founder of IVX Health, who will focus exclusively on strategy and portfolio growth.

Noble Health’s objective is to move community healthcare forward by bringing the right resources, technologies and providers into the heart of the community.

“With an innovative approach that both localizes and personalizes the care that is provided, Noble Health is able to positively impact the health of the community by addressing the specific health needs of residents,” the organization stated.

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital–Audrain opened in 1918 as Audrain Medical Center and became of a part of the SSM Health system in 2013.

Today, the 70-bed community hospital offers a range of services including emergency care, cardiology services, medical imaging, orthopedics, a senior care unit, surgical services and a nationally-recognized cancer screening program.

The hospital regularly receives national recognition for its commitment to patient safety and quality.