Craig McCoy’s career in health care – including a decade-plus as CEO – was put to the test like never before just two months after he started work in January 2020 for Mercy Springfield Communities.
The Greenville, South Carolina, native was hired as president of the health care system, and tasked to lead Springfield’s second-largest employer of roughly 9,000 employees in the Ozarks and to manage its $5 billion in annual revenue. Little did he know the COVID-19 pandemic would arrive just as he was settling in with Mercy. The footprint he manages covers hospitals in Springfield, Aurora, Cassville, Lebanon, Mountain View and Ozark, along with over 300 clinics and outpatient facilities.
“Managing through a pandemic has never been something I had as a goal or that I had as something I thought I’d ever do,” McCoy, 49, says.
As the pandemic advances into 2021, McCoy says Mercy still has a lot of patient capacity. As of early December, the average daily census is just north of 500 patients, he says, noting over 1,600 people could be accommodated among Mercy Springfield Communities.
“We have a six-phase plan that we developed very early on when it was first discussed that the pandemic was coming,” he says, noting Mercy is in the early part of phase two. “We know how we can continue to expand across [Mercy] Springfield Communities to really increase our bed capacity.”
McCoy arrived in Springfield after most recently working as CEO at Bon Secours Mercy Health in South Carolina. That was preceded by CEO stints at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Georgia and Paradise Valley Hospital in Phoenix. He’s devoted a quarter-century in the health care industry, beginning as a paramedic in 1994.
Since his arrival in town, the health care system in November completed its Mercy Heart Hospital Springfield, an $80 million project that stretched over four years and three phases. A roughly $8 million pediatric emergency room is expected to come online in May 2021, he says. That will wrap the last of Mercy’s planned local construction projects for the near future.
“It’s now more assessing our accessibility and where we have opportunities to continue to grow from a service standpoint,” he says. “It’s a lot more around provider recruitment right now and not as much around brick-and-mortar.”
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