Blessing ceremony christens St. John’s mobile hospital

June 1, 2011

One week to the minute after a tornado decimated Mercy Hospital Joplin campus, hospital leaders and supporters stood on the same grounds - under clear, sunny skies - to bless the opening of a mobile hospital facility.

Blessing of Mobile Hospital on 5/29/11

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Sunday’s 5:45 p.m. blessing ceremony christened Mercy Hospital Joplin, a fully functional acute care facility, in true Catholic health ministry fashion. Messages of gratitude, hope and faith were relayed by Mercy leaders, including local Mercy representatives Gary Pulsipher, President; Sr. Cabrini Koelsh, director of Mission Services; and Terry Wachter, vice president of Mission; and Sisters of Mercy Health System CEO Lynn Britton. The Rev. James Vann Johnston Jr., bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, conducted the blessing ritual amidst a crowd of Mercy co-workers, community supporters and media representatives.

“While this moment in time commemorates a very dark hour for Mercy one week ago today, it also propels us forward with hope and renewed optimism for a bright future in Joplin,” Pulsipher said.

The 60-bed mobile hospital facility opened for patients earlier on Sunday and is equipped to offer round-the-clock emergency, surgery, imaging and lab services, as well as inpatient care. Designed as a temporary facility, the hospital will serve patients during an interim period while Mercy formulates plans for rebuilding and re-establishing comprehensive hospital and clinic services in Joplin.

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