Readers Rally for Mercy

July 31, 2012

The Oklahoman's 19th annual

 Readers' Choice Awards ranked

 Mercy No. 1 in three categories

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City Named Best Medical Facility, Health Care Employer, Hospital for Childbirth

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City residents have spoken. For the fifth year in a row, Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City has been named Best Medical Facility in The Oklahoman’s 19th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

“The fact that these rankings are decided by readers means a lot to us,” said Jim Gebhart, president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. “The readers aren’t looking at vaguely reported statistics or statuses in the medical community – they’re voting based on their experiences with us, so we’re really proud of that.”

In addition to being named Best Medical Facility, Mercy earned the No. 1 spot for Best Health Care Employer and Best Hospital for Childbirth – an area where co-workers get lots of practice.

Each month, Mercy BirthPlace workers help new mommies and daddies bring 250 babies into the world.

“That’s a lot of babies,” said Carol Chambless, Mercy BirthPlace manager. “But each baby is different. Each family is different. We’re thrilled to be named the best place to have a baby, but the real honor is in being allowed to share this incredible experience with families every day.”

Knowing that Mercy’s top-notch neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is only steps away from the labor and delivery unit makes those experiences a little more comfortable for parents and Mercy co-workers.

“It’s nice to know the NICU is here if anything goes wrong,” said Chambless. “In other facilities, babies might have to be taken by ambulance to an NICU. In matters of life or death, those minutes make a real difference.”

In addition to access to technology, like a NICU, that helps them best serve their patients, co-workers cite benefits like employee wellness programs, investment matches, competitive salaries and a respectful, friendly culture as reasons they voted Mercy the best health care employer.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City employs roughly 3,000 co-workers from medical specialties like stroke prevention, neonatal and adult intensive care, oncology, palliative care, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, pharmacy, gastroenterology, laboratory, pulmonology and other tongue-twisters. In addition to medicine, Mercy co-workers work in employee wellness, facility maintenance, legal, security, registration, marketing and communications, construction planning and development, volunteer coordination, human resources and more.

“Our co-workers are incredible,” said Becky Payton, Mercy regional vice president of human resources. “On any given day they’re saving lives, helping people heal, explaining confusing medical terms and procedures, and keeping our facilities and operations running smoothly and they’re doing it all with a smile. I’m in constant awe of their grace under pressure and their absolute dedication to their patients and patients’ caregivers. It’s no easy job.”

Oklahoma Heart Hospital, a Mercy partner, was named Best Cardiovascular Hospital in the Readers’ Choice Awards. Along with The Oklahoman award, the hospital is among the national top one percent for patient satisfaction.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City was also a top-five finalist in the following categories:

  • Best Cardiovascular Hospital
  • Best Hospital for Women
  • Best Physical Therapy Company
  • Best Hospital for Children

“We’re always looking for ways to make health care better,” said Di Smalley, Mercy regional president. “These awards inspire us to keep doing better, to keep working hard to make each patient’s experience our top priority, to keep looking for ways to make health care easier to manage for our patients. We are truly humbled by and grateful for this recognition.”

Mercy has nearly 300 medical providers who care for patients throughout Oklahoma. Not only do they serve the hospital in Oklahoma City, but also Mercy’s leased and owned hospitals in Ardmore, El Reno, Healdton, Logan County, Tishomingo and Watonga and managed hospitals in Ada, Kingfisher, Marietta, Sayre and Sulphur.


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.

Media Contacts

Meredith Huggins
El Reno, Guthrie, Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Watonga
Phone: 405-936-5766