Mercy's two-story lighted cross was turned on June 18. The 2,000-pound, 25-foot-tall cross revolves and is illuminated with LEDs, to consume less entergy.
Mercy Memorial’s brand-new 2,000-pound, 25-foot-tall revolving cross will be lit for the very first time this Friday at dusk. The lighting of the cross is part of the festivities surrounding the opening of a $60 million new patient tower and go-live of an integrated electronic health record.
“The cross speaks to Mercy’s mission which is ‘as the Sisters of Mercy before us, we bring to life the healing ministry of Jesus through our compassionate care and exceptional service,’ ” said Mindy Burdick, president of Mercy Memorial. “And for all of our co-workers, we figuratively follow the cross to work every day. Now we literally follow the cross to work every day.”
The cross is illuminated with LEDs (light-emitting diodes) which consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional lighting. The high-tech cross also has a system that measures wind speeds. The cross “parks” or stops whenever wind speeds exceed 25 mph to reduce the wear on gears. Similar to how a windmill works, the cross stops whenever the face is 90 degrees from the main wind direction. Twirling 20 times an hour, the cross will rotate about 175,200 times a year.
The cross was not in the original design for the patient tower. But the shared vision of everyone engaged in the project was for something that would identify the new facility as a true landmark in the community. That’s when the Mercy Health Ministry board and Mercy senior leaders, based in St. Louis, decided to make personal donations to purchase the cross so it serve as a beacon across the area.
“This is a very exciting time for our community,” said Burdick. “With a new patient tower and an integrated electronic health record (EHR), we will provide southern Oklahomans a higher quality of care. Mercy is one of only 2 percent of hospitals in the nation with a comprehensive EHR, which will coordinate care across Mercy.”
The new patient tower officially opens June 27 in addition to EHR go live. The public is invited to attend Mercy Memorial’s lighting of the cross Friday at 8:30 p.m. In addition, the community is welcome to attend an open house of the new patient tower Sunday, June 20, from 1 to 5 p.m.