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Mercy, St. John's pledge to rebuild in Joplin

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Officials with St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin and its parent entity, St. Louis-based Mercy, said during a news conference yesterday that Mercy will rebuild in Joplin.

During the May 22 tornado, the 370-bed St. John’s sustained significant damage and confirmed six deaths among the more than 120 deaths confirmed so far. The facility may not be salvageable, according to St. John’s President Gary Pulsipher.

“Structural engineers have been examining the building for days, and we expect to receive a report this week,” he said in a news release, noting that the new hospital might be built on a different site.
 
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 and is expected to be in place by Sunday in Joplin, with services including emergency, surgery, imaging, labs and in-patient care.
 
Discussions for longer-term plans are under way, and a board meeting is to be held this week to continue planning efforts, officials said.
 
“The Sisters of Mercy came to this community in 1885 and opened the hospital in 1896. They’ve been through hard times before – perhaps nothing quite on the magnitude of this – but our commitment to Joplin remains strong,” Britton said in the release.
 
St. John’s has established a command center to provide information and assistance to the 2,800 Mercy co-workers in Joplin. Many will be needed to carry on the hospital’s efforts in Joplin or at other area Mercy facilities.
 
During the news conference, Dr. Sean Smith, president of Mercy’s physician clinic organization in Joplin, said several Joplin-area Mercy sites remain in operation, including Mercy Express Care and Mercy Clinic locations in Webb City, Carthage and Neosho. Doctors and other caregivers whose offices were damaged or destroyed are rotating through the open sites, and plans are under way to find additional service sites.
 
Positions at other area Mercy hospitals and clinics will be available to others.
 
“We are committed to helping as many co-workers as possible continue with Mercy,” Britton added.
 
Mercy’s electronic health record system, which was implemented in Joplin less than a month ago, will go back online to connect the mobile hospital and all Mercy sites of service.
 
Pulsipher said that a community event will be held in the near future – with details to be announced soon –  “to reflect on the tragedy, honor our many heroes, and then turn our attention to the future.”[[In-content Ad]]

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