The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce released the following statement Thursday:
FORT SMITH, Ark.-The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the creation of a new Health Management Regional Service Center that will be located in Fort Smith. This new service center will employ over 500 associates and generate over $21 million in gross annual compensation. This exciting project has been a coordinated effort between the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Governor, The Arkansas Economic Development Commission, FSM Redevelopment Partners, LLC and Health Management Associates, Inc. (NYSE:HMA). Health Management is also the parent company for Sparks Regional Medical Center and Summit Medical Center.
"Health Management is consistently looking for ways to improve our patients' experience and we are proud to continue our investment in the Fort Smith region with the development of this new Regional Service Center," said Kerry Gillespie, Executive Vice President at Health Management. "This project would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of Governor Beebe, the Chamber of Commerce and the developer, and we applaud their vision and determination. We are excited to create additional jobs in the Fort Smith area and reinforce our continued commitment to the economic growth of this community."
"Fort Smith's experienced workforce has been tested by tough economic news, but the arrival of Health Management is just the latest step in its revival," Governor Mike Beebe said. "Today we celebrate Health Management's investment of 500 jobs in Sebastian County, creating new opportunities for Arkansans ready to work."
"Health Managements' decision to locate the Arkansas Regional Service Center in Fort Smith is a testament to our quality of place and workforce. The Fort Smith Chamber continues to promote this community as a great place to do business and it is." said Tim Allen, President of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. "Fort Smith has had its fare share of setbacks over the last couple of years, but I believe our best days are yet to come. This investment is another example of Health Management's commitment to continue being an outstanding corporate citizen to our city."
"The decision announced today by Health Management brings very welcome news to Fort Smith. This nationally recognized company is bringing over 500 excellent new jobs which will have a very positive impact for our city," stated Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders. "Health Management has been very successful nation-wide and I am confident this addition to Fort Smith will prove to be a great partnership with the people of the area."
The Regional Service Center will serve approximately 27 Health Management hospitals with functions such as billing, insurance verification, scheduling and collections as well as other shared services. The Center will be located at 4600 Towson Ave. which is the site of the former Phoenix Village Mall and it will occupy approximately 90,000 square feet, according to Lance Beaty, Manager of FSM Redevelopment Partners LLC., a wholly owned affiliate of Nelson and Beaty Properties, LLC. The property is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in early July.