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Kindred Healthcare, Mercy Fort Smith Announce Plans for Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital

Joint venture will construct and operate a 40-bed hospital

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and FORT SMITH, Ark. (June 26, 2019) – Rehabilitation services in the Fort Smith region are about to get a major upgrade.

Kindred Healthcare, LLC and Mercy today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement and created a joint venture to construct and operate a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Groundbreaking is expected in the fall, subject to regulatory and other approvals, with construction expected to take 12 to 13 months. A location is being determined for the facility projected to be 49,000 square feet and cost $23 million.

Kindred will manage day-to-day operations of Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Fort Smith. The new hospital will care for adults recovering from conditions such as stroke, neurological disease, injury to the brain or spinal cord and other debilitating illnesses or injuries.

Kindred and Mercy are also partners for rehab hospitals in Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri.

“We look forward to expanding our existing partnership with Mercy to build and operate this facility, our first freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Arkansas, to address the growing need for inpatient rehabilitation services in the state,” said Jason Zachariah, president of Kindred Rehabilitation Services, a division of Kindred Healthcare. “We are proud to create another quality-focused partnership with Mercy Fort Smith and expect this collaborative effort, like other Kindred partnerships across the country, to deliver the kind of excellent patient care that helps our inpatient rehabilitation business outperform peers in key clinical measures.”

Currently, Mercy operates an inpatient rehab facility within Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. Mercy also offers a full complement of outpatient rehab services.

“Our Inpatient Rehab has excelled in providing quality rehabilitative services to our patients and will now be able to continue this exceptional care in a new, high-tech hospital,” said Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. “With the arrival of two new neurosurgeons in Drs. Ken and Kate Foxx in August, coupled with the continued exceptional care provided by Dr. Arthur Johnson, Mercy Fort Smith will be positioned to provide a seamless continuum of care for all rehab patients.”

“The staff of Mercy Rehab and I look forward to the opening of our new rehabilitation hospital, which will be larger, modern and fully equipped,” said Dr. Michael Chen, medical director of Mercy Rehab. “We will use it to better serve our community with the compassionate care and attention to service that Mercy is known for.”


About Mercy Fort Smith

Mercy Fort Smith includes Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, Mercy Orthopedic Hospital, Mercy Clinic and hospitals in Booneville, Ozark, Paris and Waldron. The main Fort Smith hospital regularly earns an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group as part of its Hospital Safety Grades. It’s also been a Consumer Choice Award Winner by the National Research Corp. for 13 consecutive years. Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.

About Kindred Healthcare

Kindred Healthcare, LLC is a healthcare services company based in Louisville, Kentucky with annual revenues of approximately $3.3 billion(1). At March 31, 2019, Kindred through its subsidiaries had approximately 34,400 employees providing healthcare services in 1,782 locations in 46 states, including 73 long-term acute care hospitals, 22 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, 11 sub-acute units, 97 inpatient rehabilitation units (hospital-based) and contract rehabilitation service businesses which served 1,579 non-affiliated sites of service. Ranked as one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Healthcare Companies for nine years, Kindred’s mission is to help our patients reach their highest potential for health and healing with intensive medical and rehabilitative care through a compassionate patient experience. For more information, go to You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.                           

(1) Revenues for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2019.