WATONGA, Okla. – The board of directors for Watonga Municipal Hospital in Watonga, Okla. have authorized a lease agreement with Mercy effective July 1.
Under the terms of the agreement, Mercy will operate the hospital as “Mercy Hospital Watonga,” while ownership will remain with the City of Watonga. Mercy has managed the facility since July 2011.
“We welcome Watonga Municipal Hospital into the Mercy community,” said Cindy Carmichael, Mercy vice president of rural development. “The Sisters of Mercy have a long history of serving communities around the world, and this is yet another commitment by this ministry to deliver health care where it’s most needed. We are proud to serve Watonga and Blaine County.”
The 25-bed hospital joins Mercy’s growing family of rural facilities across Oklahoma, including Valley View Regional Hospital in Ada, Mercy Hospital Love County in Marietta, and Mercy hospitals in Ardmore, El Reno, Healdton, Logan County and Tishomingo.
Mercy traces its roots back to 1827, when Catherine McAuley founded the very first House of Mercy to care for the sick and needy of Dublin, Ireland. This dedication to service expanded through the years and in 1884, five Sisters of Mercy arrived at the Sacred Heart Mission in present-day Oklahoma to administer education and health care. Mercy has since grown into a broad-based health ministry that serves communities and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
“This partnership will strengthen our hospital and allow us to better serve the Watonga community,” said Bill Gauer, Watonga Municipal Hospital board member. “We look forward to working with Mercy.”
Mercy is the sixth 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 1,600 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.