Hospital Board Dedicated to Community

November 30, 2010


The new Mercy Hospital El Reno Board
(left to right) consists of CEO Barbara
Tallant, Pat Eischen, Dr. Michael Sullivan,
Curtis Blanc, Richard Steanson, Keri Avant
and Cindy Carmichael, Mercy vice president
of rural development.

A list is already being gathered, and it’s growing lengthy.

There are civic organizations, churches, veterans, retirees, school administrators … you name the audience, Mercy Hospital El Reno’s new board members have likely already thought to include it on their speaking tour. Board members plan to visit anyone willing to listen to their message in the coming months.

The mission: A tour of goodwill to introduce Mercy Hospital El Reno, those who work there and the Mercy ministry to the community.

“Naturally,” quipped Curtis Blanc, Mercy board president, “we also want them to meet us.”

As for the board, the faces should look familiar.

Board members Keri Avant, Pat Eischen, Richard Steanson and Blanc all live in El Reno, and the fifth member – Michael Sullivan, M.D., of Yukon – has long served the community as a physician.

“We are El Reno,” Blanc said. “Mercy didn’t just come in here, and start moving people out. Mercy did the opposite. Mercy reached out to the community by placing local people on the board, and I think that’s very commendable. That’s not typical in corporate America.”

Much of what Mercy does isn’t typical.

Mercy brings a unique legacy of faith, hope and healing to El Reno, a template of Christian love established more than 180 years ago by founder Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. McAuley built the first House of Mercy in order to care for the sick, homeless and downtrodden.

In time, the Sisters of Mercy became known far and wide for their bold action, often delivering care in the face of adversity. Once, in 1892, a mining explosion in the southeastern Oklahoma town of Krebs prompted the Sisters to rush to the aid of injured miners, many of whom were children. The Sisters never flinched.

Today, Mercy continues to boldly deliver health care to people in towns like Ardmore, Ada, Edmond and El Reno. The commitment to community-based care is always the common thread.

Mercy has also been a leader in technology with the installation of an integrated electronic health record – among only 2.8% of such systems nationwide. A patient’s electronic health record follows them anywhere in Mercy’s four-state region of Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, whether they are at the Mercy El Reno clinic or in an emergency room in Springfield, Mo. Thanks to the new technology, there is also no longer a need for a patient to write down personal information or recall previous medications or the date of their last doctor’s visit.

A patient’s record is all there at a physician’s fingertips.

Mercy also recently launched MyMercy, a program allowing patients to check lab results, renew prescriptions or contact their doctor with a question via their personal laptop or smart phone. Managing health care is now as easy as banking online.

Both technologies are presently available at the Mercy El Reno clinic, and is scheduled to be available at the hospital by 2012.  

All is underscored by Mercy’s ministry.

“Mercy is special,” Blanc said. “People will find the Christian faith woven into everything Mercy does. I find that refreshing, and I think others will as well. And we don’t want to stop with El Reno. We feel this hospital is just as important to the folks who also live in Calumet, Okarche, Hinton and Union City.”

Barbara Tallant, Mercy Hospital El Reno’s CEO, was drawn to Mercy’s “compassion” when she signed as CEO in October 2009. Like Blanc, Tallant has returned to her roots.

Tallant first discovered her love for nursing as a 15-year-old nursing trainee at what was then Parkview Hospital. The experience launched a 30-year career in nursing and hospital management.

“This has been a wonderful experience for me,” Tallant said. “El Reno was like my backyard growing up, and it’s something special to be back now with Mercy. We’re a small-town hospital with all the resources of a big-city hospital thanks to Mercy. We truly are blessed here in El Reno.”

Media Contacts

Meredith Huggins
El Reno, Guthrie, Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Watonga
Phone: 405-936-5766