Baptist Health System has entered into a purchase agreement with Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tennessee, to acquire Sparks Health System, which includes Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith, Sparks Medical Center in Van Buren, and affiliated physician clinics covering western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.
With an agreement in principle now reached, the transaction will continue to undergo regulatory, legal and operational due-diligence examinations, according to hospital officials. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith is a 492-bed acute-care hospital, and Sparks Medical Center in Van Buren is a 103-bed acute-care facility. Sparks Health System has approximately 2,000 employees.
“The opportunity to incorporate the Sparks Health System into Baptist Health will broaden our vision to change the way health care is delivered in Arkansas and also in eastern Oklahoma,” Missy Lewis, Baptist’s chief development officer wrote in an email. “As we serve more people, Baptist Health will continue to provide faith-based health care that strengthens communities we serve and encourages healthy lifestyle changes, which is consistent with our belief that we are more than a business, we are a healing ministry.”