Physicians return to Independence

June 28, 2011


Dr. Chuck Empson        Dr. Jim Hignight


In July, the Mercy Physician Group will welcome two familiar hometown physicians back to the practice: Chuck Empson, M.D., and Jim Hignight, M.D.

A family practice physician for 40 years and Independence resident since 1973, Dr. Empson will see patients each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at the Mercy Clinic, 800 W. Laurel, Independence, and also will provide call coverage for hospital inpatient care. His first day in the office will be July 5.

Dr. Hignight, a dual specialist in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, is returning to the group in mid-July and will practice full-time at the clinic.

“I’m so thrilled that we are making positive steps to expand physician services for our community,” said Eric Ammons, Mercy Hospital president/CEO, “and I couldn’t be happier to offer the established, trusted care provided by these two fine physicians.”

Dr. Empson initially joined the Mercy Physician Group in 1996. He retired from full-time office practice in 2005, while continuing to provide emergency services at the hospital until 2009. Dr. Empson was the founder of the Cherryvale Clinic, and continues to serve as that clinic’s medical director. Most recently, he provided part-time family practice services at the Cherryvale location, while also employed as a traveling doctor with a physician practice company providing services to rural hospitals.

Dr. Hignight first began practice with Mercy in January 2001. He later transitioned to exclusive Emergency Room practice at the hospital, before accepting a position with a Caney clinic in 2009. He earned his medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City in 1993 and completed his internal medicine/pediatrics residency practice at that facility in 1997. He received a bachelor of science in nursing degree at the KU School of Nursing in Kansas City in 1981, and completed his undergraduate study at Baker University in Baldwin.

Drs. Empson and Hignight join primary care providers Casana Brunton, M.D., Jason Brunton, M.D., Mardie Bell, NP-C, Anne Gordon, NP-C and Carlos Venegas, NP-C. Dr. Joseph Spurlock, family practice physician, has announced plans to relocate from Independence in late July.

More information on the Mercy Physician Group practices may be obtained by calling 620-332-3280 or toll-free 1-800-434-9479.

Media Contacts

Bethany Pope
St. Louis, St. Charles
Page: (314) 251-6000