FORT SMITH – One of the state’s leading business publications indicates this week that a sale of part or all of the Sparks Health System could be imminent.

Arkansas Business reports in their Whispers section this week that Little Rock-based Baptist Health could be a potential suitor for the hospital in Fort Smith, and potentially the hospital campus in Van Buren as well. The publication said that a Baptist spokesman did not confirm or deny the rumor, but said there was nothing to announce at the current time.

The 400 bed hospital would be a significant addition to Baptist Health, which has undergone rapid expansion in the last decade. While Baptist Hospital in Little Rock has served patients for several decades, the medical group has built brand new hospital campuses in North Little Rock and Conway. It also operates hospital facilities in Arkadelphia, Heber Springs, Malvern, and Stuttgart.

Sparks Regional Medical Center dates back in the Fort Smith community to 1887, and incorporated in 1889 with Judge Isaac C. Parker as the hospital’s original chairman. Along with the former Summit Medical Center in Van Buren, It has been owned by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems since 2014.


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