The unimaginable happened on a Sunday afternoon May 22, 2011, when an EF-5 tornado struck Mercy Hospital Joplin (known then as St. John’s Regional Medical Center). The hospital sustained extensive damage and was evacuated. Patients were triaged and transported to hospitals across the region including Mercy hospitals in Springfield and Northwest Arkansas.
Recovery Begins with Commitment
Among Mercy’s first priorities was to locate more than 2,000 Mercy co-workers and physicians in the Joplin area and account for their safety and needs. Just days later, Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton pledged to the community that Mercy would rebuild.
“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. Co-workers will remain on Mercy’s payroll indefinitely, and we are finding ways to keep them engaged in meaningful work. This will include reestablishing our services in Joplin, as well as providing job opportunities at other Mercy facilities and through a ‘shared’ co-worker program with other community hospitals.” - Lynn Britton