Cardinals Care

Subscribe to Berger's Beat:


St. Louis news angles jut like sharp elbows from the storied resort of Hot Springs, Arkansas. That’s where Ladue’s Charles Cella owns Oaklawn Thoroughbred Park, as Cellas have for generations. Cella’s right-hand man Eric Jackson is the stately horse track’s long-time general manager and one of Arkansas’ most respected business leaders. He’s the same Eric Jackson who just quit the national board of directors of Chesterfield-based Sisters of Mercy Health System. Jackson ankled the board on Monday in a show of opposition to selling St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System of Hot Springs. St. Joseph’s has a century-old mission of charity work, but it was proposed for sale to a for-profit company that operates Hot Springs’ second hospital. Jackson told he has a “strong conviction” that a faith-based not-for-profit medical center is needed in the city, which is named for steaming mineral springs that Native Americans claimed had healing properties. “And if we’re going to lose Mercy, my preference would be for another faith-based, not-for profit hospital” to replace it.” Jackson was joined in his opposition by Arkansas’ Catholic Bishop, Anthony Taylor. Now, influence from Rome has slowed the proposed sale to for-profit Capela Healthcare, pending sit-downs between Bishop Taylor and Mercy Health System officials to discuss concerns. Before his resignation, Jackson held influential roles in the corporate governance of Mercy, including serving on its compensation, audit and finance committees.


  • corbett says:

    I bet most St. Louisans don’t know about the Cellas’ ownership of one of the finest race tracks in the United States. Our family makes annual trips down to Hot Springs to relax on Lake Hamilton and take in a few races. The Cellas run a classy operation. They also own the track catering service which makes the best corned beef sandwiches in the Midwest. If you go to Hot Springs, stay at the old Arlington Hotel. It is an art deco masterpiece with lots of plush amenities and a great Sunday brunch. You can just imagine the gangsters sunning themselves on the big hotel veranda.

  • Towncar07 says:

    I remember a story of Charles Cella being mugged in one of the Stadium garages, and he literally beat the mugger to a pulp, and had him begging to stop and call the police. That was done, and the “mugger” thanked the police. Charles’ squash playing days may be behind him, but he remains one heck of a businessman, mentor, social force, and his golf game is to be reckoned with as well. He runs a 1st class operation, which is a reflection on just what he expects of himself, and those he associates with.

  • LUCKY7 says:

    I betcha the bishop will have a private box with gourmet catering at the track this season!

  • sue says:

    I knew Charlie back in the day and we ran around with Terry Frank, Good to catch up on news about him since I lived out of the country for awhile.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /homepages/3/d313590348/htdocs/wp-content/themes/berger1/footer.php on line 29

Warning: include( [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /homepages/3/d313590348/htdocs/wp-content/themes/berger1/footer.php on line 29

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5.2') in /homepages/3/d313590348/htdocs/wp-content/themes/berger1/footer.php on line 29