History of Mercy in Jefferson County

History & Heritage


In the summer of 1953, a group of local residents established the first board of directors for Jefferson Memorial Hospital and elected Amos A. Govero as the group's chairman. With the assistance of a $375,000 federal grant, Govero and the board began an effort to raise nearly $1 million for the construction of a local hospital.


Following several years of dedicated community fundraising, the board’s vision became reality on May 15, 1957, when Jefferson Memorial Hospital opened its doors with three doctors, 13 employees and 50 patient beds.


Less than a decade after opening, a second fundraising campaign met its goal to double the current hospital size, adding a second floor and expanding patient capacity to 98 beds in 1965.


A $5 million expansion added 115,000 square feet of space, 100 more patient beds and six new operating rooms. 


Jefferson Memorial Hospital held a grand opening for its new emergency room, physical therapy and outpatient surgery facilities.


To better reflect its scope and reach as a health care provider throughout southeast Missouri, the hospital changed its name to Jefferson Regional Medical Center.


On February 1, 2013, Jefferson Regional Medical Center joined Mercy and was renamed Mercy Hospital Jefferson. With this change, the hospital became a part of a ministry founded by Catherine McAuley and carried on by the Sisters of Mercy that focuses on providing care and compassion to those in need.


Today, the independent spirit that led those local business leaders in 1953 still guides the board of directors in maintaining a community focus while providing access to state-of-the-art technology and services for the residents of Jefferson County and its surrounding communities.