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.
Since our creation in 1986, Mercy has grown into the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., serving millions annually. Mercy includes 35 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and two orthopedic hospitals, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Mercy operates acute care, specialty care and critical access hospitals in communities across four states:
Across four states, a team of more than 2,100 Mercy primary and specialty care physicians, 600 advanced practitioners and supporting staff deliver health care services through more than 300 offices. Learn more about Mercy Clinic.
Mercy serves a variety of special needs, particularly for low-income patients, in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.