FESTUS/CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Jefferson Health System Board of Directors voted unanimously Jan. 25 to approve an agreement for Jefferson Regional Medical Center to become part of Mercy, effective Friday, Feb. 1.
“This was a very big decision for our board of directors. We are confident that we are stronger together and proud to be joining Mercy,” said Tonda Breeze, chair of the Jefferson Regional Board. “We believe the agreement allows us to continue the mission and vision brought forward by the founders of Jefferson Memorial Hospital in the 1950s to provide the best possible health care for the community.”
Jefferson Regional is now Mercy’s third hospital in eastern Missouri, joining Mercy hospitals in St. Louis and Washington, and the 32nd hospital across Mercy’s four-state area.
“Jefferson Regional and Mercy are a natural fit in many ways. We share a strong tradition of community-focused, compassionate care. And as our long-time neighbors in the southern part of our service area, Jefferson Regional complements and expands Mercy’s already strong presence,” said Donn Sorensen, regional president for Mercy in east Missouri and interim president for Jefferson Regional. “As part of the same team, we’ll be better able to provide coordinated, comprehensive health care to communities across our growing area.”
Mercy has committed to expanding health care in the Jefferson County region, including funding significant capital improvements in facilities and other program enhancements, working with the medical staff to enhance primary and specialty care, and Jefferson Regional representation on the Mercy East Communities board. Past Jefferson Health System Board President and former state Sen. Bill McKenna will join the Mercy East Communities board as that representative.
Additional terms of the agreement include an investment by Mercy that will be used to create the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation to support health care and social needs in the community. Members of the new community foundation board will be Ron Ravenscraft, past Jefferson Regional board chairman, and former hospital board members Dr. Ben Albano, Lindell Carter, Dr. Jeff Draves, Jim Muehlhauser, Timothy Patterson, Dr. Martha Reed and Stoke Wischmeier, and Donn Sorensen from Mercy.
“Grants will be made to area charities that have a 501(c)3 designation,” Ravenscraft said. “While funding priorities are yet to be determined, in general, organizations in the area of health services, health education, health research and public welfare will comprise the initial focus of the foundation.”
While Feb. 1 marks Jefferson Regional’s first day as part of Mercy, other changes will occur over time. One of the most visible changes will be the renaming of the hospital as Mercy Hospital Jefferson, which will occur sometime this spring.
Established as Jefferson Memorial Hospital in 1957, Jefferson Regional Medical Center is a 251-bed private, not-for-profit hospital in Festus/Crystal City managed by a local board of directors. For more information visit www.jhsmo.com.
Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In the east Missouri region, Mercy’s services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, and Mercy Clinic, a 570-member multispecialty physician organization. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.