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      Audrain Medical Center joining SSM Health Care

      SSM plans to form a Mid-Missouri Region, since SSM's St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City is so close.
      Audrain Medical Center in Mexico, Mo., will be owned and operated by SSM Health Care. This agreement, which was announced Thursday and becomes effective April 1, includes the medical center and its MedChoice rural clinics.

      SSM plans to form a Mid-Missouri Region, since SSM's St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City is so close. Brent VanConia, president of St. Mary's Health Center, will become interim president of SSM's Mid-Missouri Region.

      Audrain Medical Center, an 88-bed acute care facility, has more than 500 employees and 40 active physicians and nurse practitioners. It has been part of the Audrain/Mexico community since 1918.

      "Bringing Audrain Medical Center and MedChoice into the SSM Health Care system will allow us to enhance our health care ministry to better serve the people of mid-Missouri," SSM Health Care President and CEO William P. Thompson said. "Audrain Medical Center has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality care, and we are pleased to join them in serving the community."

      "Being part of SSM Health Care means a bright, sustainable future for Audrain Medical Center," David Neuendorf, president and chief executive officer of Audrain Medical Center, said. "This agreement benefits our employees, physicians and the residents of the communities we serve."Neuendorf will continue as president of the facility, which will be renamed.SSM owns and operates 17 hospitals in four states ?? Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma ?? and employs 801 physicians.