One week after St. John's Regional Medical Center took the brunt of an EF-5 tornado, hospital officials and area residents gathered for a special blessing of a new hospital.
The new St. John's Mercy Hospital, located across the parking lot from the regional medical center, will be in operation until a more permanent facility can be constructed. That still-to-be constructed facility will then become the temporary home until new hospital campus is built.
Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton announced plans for a 60-bed mobile hospital that will be able to withstand 100-mile-per-hour winds, which is expected to be in place by Sunday in Joplin, with services including emergency, surgery, imaging, labs and in-patient care.
During the May 22 tornado, the 370-bed St. John's sustained significant damage and confirmed six deaths. The facility may not be salvageable, hospital CEO Gary Pulsipher said.
"We're excited about this next step," Pulsipher said to those gathered for the blessing. "This is a temporary solution for us. But just wait until you see what's coming."
The temporary site will allow St. John's Mercy Hospital to care for patients in much the same way it has in the past, according to Dr. Bob Dodson, who is working to help set up the temporary hospital. It has an emergency department, surgical suites, MRI and CT scan capabilities, a pharmacy and 60 inpatient beds.
"Six days after the event, we're up and running," Dodson said. "This hospital will allow us to do everything we could do within St. John's, only on a smaller scale."
He noted that the hospital can expand its temporary facilities if needed.
Joplin Tri-State Business Journal Editor Chris Roberts contributed to this report.[[In-content Ad]]
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