MISSOULA, Mont. -

Community Medical Center officials have announced that they are soliciting feedback from the community on a potential merger through email and mail.

NBC Montana previously reported that in a letter addressed to the community, the hospital’s board gave several reasons for pursuing a partnership with a different entity, like improved quality of care.

Hospital officials say all potential candidates have signed nondisclosure agreements.

Several medical professionals tell NBC Montana it is common knowledge that a potential merger has been discussed with Providence Medical Group, which owns Missoula’s other hospital St. Patrick Hospital.

The following is an email distributed by CMC marketing staff Friday.

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Good afternoon,

Regarding a potential partnership that the Community Medical Center Board of Directors is considering, we are providing this information so that the public knows where to send comments. We will forward all comments on to the Board of Directors.

We invite the public to share any comments they may have regarding the possible merger by emailing them to contactus@communitymed.org or mail them to Community Medical Center, Patient Advocate, 2827 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula 59804.

All comments received will be shared with the Community Medical Center Board of Directors.

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VP of Marketing Mary Windecker says there is no “drop dead” date for the negotiations, and the Board will continue to look into options until they are satisfied that they have all of their questions answered. Windecker also says there is no expiration date for the nondisclosure agreements, as they will be in place until all parties agree otherwise.  

Dr. Philip Barney, a former director of laboratories at CMC, now living in Arizona, tells NBC Montana he feels the comments submitted should be released publicly to foster public discussion. However, he also feels that not enough information has been released by hospital officials.

“They say, ‘Well, give us input.’ Input to what? They haven’t told anybody what they're proposing, what the options are. And the reasons, say, for them favoring one option over another. None of that information has been made public,” said Barney.

NBC Montana is reaching out to Community Medical Center Board members about Barney’s concerns and will bring you their reactions once we have them.