LIBERTY, Mo. — Liberty Hospital leaders announced Wednesday they are considering opportunities to partner with a larger health system.

The Northland hospital plans to reach out to over 30 local, regional and national health systems to discuss potential growth and goals, the hospital said in a news release.

Liberty Hospital, which is independent and governed by an elected board of trustees, said the Northland communities that it serves are growing rapidly.

“It’s time for us to expand. As an anchor of health in a burgeoning community, we are entering this partnership exploration at the perfect time,” Raghu Adiga, Liberty Hospital president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

Liberty Hospital said it’s in a strong position financially and organizationally, allowing leaders to explore options to expand services.

“If we are to grow into our full potential as a premier provider of health and wellbeing in the Northland, we owe it to our patients, employees and communities to understand whether we can best serve them by remaining independent or by partnering with a larger health system,” Adiga said.

Liberty Hospital’s CEO said he expects leaders will finish the exploration process and reach a decision by this fall.

If that decision involves a new health system partner, that could begin as early as next fall.