A Message from Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton

May 23, 2011

A Message from Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton

Due to the recent disaster www.stj.com is temporarily unavailable.

Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, and to the Joplin community, in the wake of last night’s devastating tornado.

In an effort to keep our Mercy family and the communities we serve updated on the situation in Joplin, I will be sharing information periodically for the next several days. Because there are so many questions and so many activities underway, we are hoping to update this information at least every other hour. But because of the fluidity of the situation, please bear with us as we work through the many needs and priorities.

Our priorities, of course, begin first with people. We have launched a critical effort to follow up on the current location of all patients who were evacuated from St. John’s in the initial hours following the tornado. Our census at the time the tornado hit was 183. Patients were triaged through Freeman Hospital, located nearby, but were quickly dispatched to other hospitals around the region, including Mercy’s hospitals throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

Also critically important is the work underway to touch base with all 1,700 Mercy co-workers in Joplin. We first want to make sure they are safe, and then will be attempting to understand their losses and their needs. We are also discussing the long-term implications for our Joplin co-workers and will be providing answers to the many questions they have as soon as we can.

As you have no doubt seen in news reports, our hospital suffered significant damage. The building has been completely evacuated and secured. Structural engineers are on their way to Joplin to evaluate the facility.

In true Mercy fashion, many co-workers, physicians and supporters have reached out to ask how you can help, from providing on-the-ground support to making donations. We thank all of you for your desire to provide assistance. We are still determining the need for clinical support. Some Mercy locations have been gathering the names of those co-workers and physicians who are willing to travel to Joplin if needed, and our closest facilities in the Springfield area are at the ready today to offer this support as needed. If additional resources are needed, we will spread the word.

Mercy’s Foundation office is establishing a crisis fund to provide help for those who have sustained losses due to the storm. We will share more information about it later today.

We have an incident command center set up in Joplin that is leading the work on the ground, and another center in Springfield, supported by individuals from across Mercy, that is helping to coordinate activities. All activities and communications will be coordinated through these centers. The American Red Cross and National Guard also have been mobilized.

We are sharing this information via the home page of www.mercy.net and Baggot Street. Going forward, please check these sources for the latest information.

All efforts and hearts are focused on Joplin. We will share more information within the next few hours.

Lynn Britton

Mercy President and CEO

Return to Joplin Emergency Information

Media Contacts

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