Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP), a non-profit hospital network in South Arkansas, recently welcomed three new members to the organization. Over the past few months, new members, Medical Center of South Arkansas (El Dorado), Ouachita Regional Medical Center (Camden), and Helena Regional Medical Center (Helena) joined current member hospitals Ashley County Medical Center (Crossett), Baptist Health (Stuttgart), Bradley County Medical Center (Warren), Chicot Memorial Medical Center (Lake Village), Dallas County Medical Center (Fordyce), Delta Memorial Hospital (Dumas), Drew Health Systems (Monticello), DeWitt Hospital & Nursing Home (DeWitt), Jefferson Regional (Pine Bluff), Magnolia Regional Medical Center (Magnolia), and McGehee Hospital (McGehee) as part of one of the largest and most successful independently-opened hospital networks in the nation.

Over the past decade, ARHP has grown from five to 14-member hospitals, obtained over $13M in grant funding, and successfully implemented and sustained 52 grant-funded programs across a 22-county rural service area. ARHP has become a reference point and model for rural health innovation and collaboration across the state and nation. ARHP continues to increase the types of services and programs that community members need and most recently has responded to the call for proactive and innovative answers to the growing mental health and substance use epidemic plaguing our rural communities. ARHP convenes professional roundtables for its members and their leaders and continues to reduce costs and provide savings for its members through contract negotiation, collaboration, and projects.

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership’s board of directors is comprised of the Chief Executive Officer of each member hospital. According to ARHP President, Phillip Gilmore of Ashley County Medical Center, “It is together, as a collective group of hospitals, that we have the ability to improve and increase healthcare services, train and recruit healthcare providers, and have a stronger voice for rural healthcare in the state of Arkansas and across the country.” The ARHP member hospitals combined include 108 hospital-owned or affiliated clinics across the region. Mellie Bridewell, Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, sums up the importance for this collaboration. “It is imperative that we work together to maintain and improve the quality of care for residents in our rural communities. Rural health networks are proven to be a long-term solution for rural communities to sustain their health care organizations and support the wellness of their communities.”

For more information visit the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership website at