Transforming the Health of Our Communities
Our Mercy health system was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1986. But our heritage goes back more than 185 years. It began with an Irish woman named Catherine McAuley, who wanted to help the poor women and children of Dublin. Though Catherine had a modest upbringing, she received an unexpected inheritance that allowed her to fulfill her dreams. In 1827, she opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, intending to teach skills to poor women and educate children. Many volunteers came to help. A few years later, Catherine founded the Sisters of Mercy, the first religious order not bound to the rules of the cloister, whose Sisters were free to walk among the poor and visit them in their homes. By the time Catherine died in 1841, there were convents in Ireland and England, and in 1843, the Sisters of Mercy came to the United States. In 1871, they traveled to St. Louis and from there throughout the Midwest, beginning what would, today be known as Mercy.
Mercy serves a variety of special needs, particularly for low-income patients, in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Mercy ministries include:
- Mercy Family Center is a behavioral health clinic for adolescents and their families, serving New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Mississippi Health Advocacy Program in Jackson, Mississippi, focuses on improving health policies, practices and funding, especially for the poor and needy.
- Mercy Ministries of Laredo provides primary health care services, a domestic violence shelter and an education center in Laredo, Texas.
- Mercy Cooper-Anthony Child Advocacy Center provides essential medical and counseling services to Arkansas’ youngest victims of abuse ranging from birth to 18 years of age.