MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 13, 2012

Hospitals become Eastar

MRMC, former MCH now Eastar Health System

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A merger of two Muskogee hospitals was celebrated Tuesday with the unveiling of the health system’s new name.

Eastar Health System combines Muskogee Regional Medical Center and the former Muskogee Community Hospital.

As more than 150 attendees waited to hear the new name, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Fowler talked about stars and their symbolism.

Fowler said stars have long been seen as sources of comfort for travelers and ships at sea — guiding lights. He said green was chosen as part of the logo’s color to reflect the area the new health system serves — eastern Oklahoma, also known as “Green Country.”

He said the state seal includes a star, outlined in reddish-brown which reflects the color of the state rock — the rose rock. And Fowler said the state motto is “Labor conquers all things.”

“We are rolling up our sleeves and doing what is necessary to take care of our community,” Fowler said. “Our patients have always been, and always will be, our number one priority.”

The new health system’s west campus, what was MRMC, continues to house emergency services, in-patient surgery, a comprehensive cancer center, rehabilitation, physical therapy and more.

The new health system’s east campus, what was MCH, houses women’s imaging services, the sleep center, outpatient surgery center and occupational health services.

Officials said there will be more changes to come.

“Moving forward, we’re going to position ourselves to bring new health services to Muskogee,” said Board Chair Kathy Hewitt.

Capella Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Dan Slipkovich said the company has formed one, strong health system in Muskogee with the merger, but called for “involved, strong local leaders” to work with Capella on bringing the best health care to the area.

“We are proud of our record in Muskogee and proud of what our management team has accomplished so far,” Slipkovich said to the more than 150 community members who attended the unveiling.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.