Hot Springs' $11 Million Enhancement

September 2, 2011

St. Joseph’s Mercy announces plan to add to cancer services

St. Joseph's Mercy President Tim Johnsen

and Mercy Chief Operating Officer Mike

McCurry speak during Thursday's

community roundtable at Hot Springs

Convention Center.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System announced an $11 million expansion to the Mercy Cancer Center on Thursday. The announcement occurred during Mercy’s community roundtable session at Hot Springs Convention Center as the follow-up to similar roundtable discussions held in 2010.

Over the next two years, Mercy will expand the Mercy Cancer Center as part of its community master plan. It will allow additional space for an Infusion Area, a patient resource area and physician offices. A new cancer navigator program will also be housed in the new space, assisting patients’ needs throughout the course of their treatment.

The Infusion Area will be designed to provide a comfortable atmosphere while patients receive chemotherapy and education about their treatment regimens.

“Tonight’s just the start. Almost immediately, we’ll start to get into the design process with the physicians,” said St. Joseph’s Mercy President Tim Johnsen. “We want to get some community members involved, too. Patients with cancer can tell us what that experience should be like as they enter a building, what it feels like, what it looks like.”

Other parts of the Cancer Center expansion include the Mercy Mobile Mammography Unit, Stereotactic Radiosurgery and the NanoKnife. The mammography bus, announced earlier this year, will be on the road in 2012 and used throughout the region. Stereotactic Radiosurgery will arrive in October, while NanoKnife, which is used by interventional radiologists, is now available.

There will also be an expansion to the Mercy Breast Center, allowing new space for additional ultrasound and mammography units. It will also give more space to physicians and radiologists.

Other programs announced on Thursday include:

  • An addition of 24 primary care physicians and 32 specialty physicians by 2016;
  • Health Teacher, an school-based educational program designed to help children make positive health choices;
  • Telestroke, providing an available neurologist 24 hours a day though the Emergency Department;
  • MyMercy, the patient portal to Mercy’s electronic health record, which is now available through St. Joseph’s Mercy’s specialty physicians;
  • EICU, Mercy’s electronic intensive care unit staffed by physician intensivists, which is the largest in the nation;
  • Mercy Ambassador program, which allows members of the community to receive information and give input about St. Joseph’s Mercy;
  • Mercy Advocate program, which will allow St. Joseph’s Mercy to gain valuable feedback about patient experiences.
  • Project Access, a pilot program designed to help patients with a chronic disease that visit the Emergency Department multiple times each year.

Mercy held community roundtables in 28 communities throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas and asked each to put together a community master plan.

“There were some emerging themes across all four states – access to health care, caring for elderly or aging parents, technology that improves patients’ experiences and the health and safety of our children,” Johnsen said. “Through our community master planning, we took an eight-to-10-year look into the future.”

St. Joseph’s Mercy was able to implement a big part of its community master plan in 2010 with the addition of HealthPark Hospital and the HealthFirst Physicians Group. HealthPark was then transformed into the Mercy Surgery Center in 2011.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888 as the region’s most preferred provider of health care services including cardiac, cancer and women’s.

Story Covered By

Media Contacts