Hospital celebrates name change

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
New symbol unveiled at celebration Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed George Roden, vice president of human resources at Mercy Hospital Cassville and Aurora, unveiled the healthcare system's new symbol during a One Mercy Celebration on Tuesday. The event celebrated St. John's official name change to Mercy. Pictured above, from left, are: Dave Steinmann, Mercy Hospital Cassville chief operating officer; Roden; and Tom Gripka, chaplain for Mercy Hospital Cassville and Aurora.

Nearly 100 hospital staff members and local community members attended One Mercy Celebration at Mercy Hospital Cassville on Tuesday.

After Dave Steinmann, Mercy Hospital Cassville chief operating officer, welcomed attendees to the event, Tom Gripka, chaplain for Mercy Hospitals in Cassville and Aurora, offered the opening invocation.

"We are on an exciting threshold," said Steinmann. "We are called to rededicate ourselves to Mercy. The advertisements you have been seeing say it best, 'What has always been our only mission will now be our only name, Mercy.'"

Those in attendance had the opportunity to view a video that included messages from Jon Swope and Sister Richard Mary Burke.

"I ask you to celebrate with all of us on this occasion," said Swope, who serves as the president and chief executive officer for the Mercy Healthcare System. "I ask each of you, in your own way, to think about what Mercy means to you and your patients."

In her video address, Sister Burke reflected on the St. John's name by saying that the St. John's mission would always be a part of what is offered through the Mercy Healthcare System.

"I want to give thanks to all of you for the work and compassion you offer to all your patients," said Burke. "I ask for blessings for each one of you and your loved ones. As we move forward, we should do so with the mission to offer the mercy of God."

The video also gave a short history of the healthcare system's symbol, Catherine's Cross, which has been updated on many occasions.

"We come together as diverse co-workers from many places and walks of life," said the video narrator. "We are not perfect, but together we form a mosaic of care.

"It is our mission to bring to life the healing power of Jesus and light the lives of other," said the narrator. "Mercy is who we are. It is what we do."

After the video concluded, George Roden, vice president of human resources, unveiled the new Mercy symbol.

Mike McCracken, who is a member of the local hospital board, spoke about St. John's partnership with the local community.

"You don't know how you will feel about the decisions you make today 15 or 20 years down the road," said McCracken, "but it is with a lot of pride that I say we made a darn good decision (in partnering with St. John's).

"I thank you all for staying with us through the years," said McCracken, "and I thank Mercy too. (The healthcare system) didn't have to come out here in a rural setting."

Those in attendance were invited to enjoy a lunch catered by the hospital's dietary department.

"I want to thank you all for the wonderful turnout and show of support," said Steinmann.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Over the next year, Mercy facilities across all seven states will transition to one Mercy name. The transition began with the introduction of MyMercy, a free online service that allows patients to access medical records, schedule appointments, view lab results and contact their physician.

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