The Sisters of Mercy received a standing ovation Thursday on the Kansas Senate floor following the passage of a resolution honoring their health care ministry to the state for the past 125 years.
Senate Resolution No. 1834 was sponsored by Sens. Dwayne Umbarger, Bob Marshall, Pat Apple and Jeff King, whose districts are each served by a Mercy hospital. The resolution acknowledged the Sisters’ service in Fort Scott for the past 125 years, in Independence for 85 years, and now in Columbus, where the hospital has been in operation for 90 years and became part of the Mercy family in 2009.
“Mercy Hospital has been a bedrock in Independence for more than 80 years, and I applaud the Sisters for their work to provide much-needed health care services to our area over this long history,” said Sen. King.
Sen. King also noted Mercy’s participation in “Project 17,” a coordinated initiative to engage a 17-county area of southeast Kansas in health and wellness improvement based on recent years’ data indicating declining health and at-risk lifestyles among residents.
Sen. Marshall acknowledged Mercy Hospital Fort Scott as a “good neighbor” and a major asset to that community and surrounding area and also congratulated the hospital on the recent opening of its Cancer Care Unit of Hope, noting it will provide a critical service to many patients in need.
Sisters of Mercy Annrene Brau and Margaret Andrews, both from Independence, were on hand at the Senate session for the reading of the resolution, along with several other Independence and Fort Scott co-workers, including: Eric Ammons and Reta Baker, Mercy Hospital Independence and Fort Scott presidents, respectively; and William James Schafer, director of Pastoral Services for both hospitals. Also attending from Fort Scott were Karen Endicott-Coyan, Mercy Kansas Communities director of Reimbursement and Kansas State Advocacy Coordinator; Dale Cation, director of Facilities Maintenance; Dena Splitter, Education and Organizational Development supervisor; and Mary Wynn, infection prevention and employee health nurse; and from Independence, Joanne Cox, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist; Patti Doncouse, Emergency Department director; and Mary Schmidt, director of Ancillary Services.
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.