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Mercy to open more primary care offices in the south St. Louis region

Mercy Hospital St. Louis
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio
Mercy plans to open 10 primary care offices in the south St. Louis metro area over the next couple years.

Mercy Health has plans to open 10 primary care offices in the south St. Louis metro area over the next two years. 

That's in addition to the nearly 20 urgent care centers the system plans to open during the same period throughout the St. Louis region in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care. The locations of the primary care offices have not been determined yet, but they will open in south St. Louis County, northern Jefferson County and in the Columbia and Waterloo areas of Illinois.

The expansion efforts are in response to feedback from residents who expressed wanting more access to health care providers, said Keith Dacus, Mercy's vice president of business development and operations. 

"The communities have told us they needed easier access to providers, and so we're trying to make it more convenient by bringing health care closer to where people live, work and shop," Dacus said. 

The first Mercy clinic location in the south St. Louis metro area opened in September 2016, at Butler Hill Road and Interstate 55. 

However, northern parts of the St. Louis region are in greater need of primary care providers, according to Faisal Khan, director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. 

"Mercy's addition is welcome, in that it gives people another option," Khan said, "but in terms of what south county's service area is like, it's not comparable to north city or north county, which are definitely medically underserved." 

Mercy has more than 2,100 physicians in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. 

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Eli is the science and environment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.