The sale of St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs is off.

Carondelet Health and its parent, Ascension Health, had agreed to sell St. Mary’s, St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City and other facilities to HCA Midwest Health System in a deal announced last May. Late Friday, those parties issued a news release saying the Federal Trade Commission has been reviewing the deal but “it has become clear that a timely, supportive decision from the FTC will not be forthcoming.”

At the time of the announced sale eight months ago, HCA said it expected regulatory approval in two or three months.

“As long as they keep the hospital here in Blue Springs,” Mayor Carson Ross said Friday, “I’ll be fine with what happens.” He also said regardless of whether a new purchaser acquires St. Mary’s or even if Carondelet continues to run it, Blue Springs needs a hospital.

The sale – no price was ever announced – would have given HCA 12 hospitals in the metro area, including Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence and Lee’s Summit Medical Center. It would have given HCA more than 10,000 employees in the metro area, and HCA said at the time of the deal it would have made the company the largest private employer in the area.

St. Mary’s Manor, the nursing home next to the hospital, is under separate ownership and was not part of the sale discussions.

In its announcement, Carondelet offered few specifics but said its “staff and physicians continue to remain focused on delivering high-quality care to those they serve.”

As word of a possible sale got around in 2012, many in the community rallied to make sure a new owner appreciated what the 33-year-old hospital, with more than 600 employees and an economic impact well into tens of millions of dollars annually, meant to the city. There was a social media campaign, a big part of which was people going to Facebook to write about such things as their children being born at St. Mary’s and the importance of the hospital’s Catholic heritage. Many stressed the hospital’s history of generous care to the community – something HCA said it would have worked to maintain.

“We want it to be mission driven rather than profit driven,” Mayor Ross said at the time.

There were also fears that with the newer and larger Centerpoint just a few miles away, HCA might close St. Mary’s, but HCA said its intent was to keep it open.

“We have to keep it,” the mayor said Friday. “It may become an opportunity for other organizations.”

The Examiner’s Brandon Dumsky contributed to this report.