SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Usually when you hear about a vehicle going into a building, someone is having a bad day. That wasn't the case at Mercy Orthopedic Hospital Springfield.
Crews lifted an SUV into the building. It had to happen now, before walls get in the way and workers close up the structure. The vehicle will be part of patients’ rehabilitation at the new facility. “Returning to routine activities—like getting into a car—can create anxiety for patients after major knee and hip replacement surgeries, “ said David Globig, Mercy Springfield vice president of operations. “The car will assist our orthopedic team in ensuring every patient is comfortable before they return home.”
Students at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) partnered with Mercy to make this possible. The father of a student donated the vehicle after it stopped running. Students fixed the engine, and OTC Safety and Security drove it around campus. Once it outlived that job, students worked on it again, so it could become a piece of rehabilitation equipment for the new hospital. Globig says Mercy is thankful for all the time, energy, and resources the students put in to the project.
“It was a win-win for OTC and Mercy,” said Kerry Wrinkle, department chair of transportation at OTC. “The students in a number of automotive programs were able to use the renovation project as a way to learn more about their fields of study and Mercy has a new piece of equipment they can put to use for their patients. We were happy to help.”
Crews broke ground in spring 2011 on the new Mercy Orthopedic Hospital Springfield. It will be a 200,000 square-foot facility, with four stories, 10 operating rooms and 48 patient beds. The estimated price tag for the facility is $116 million, and it’s expected to be completed in fall 2013. The construction project has employed at least 700 people so far, with more than 2,500 tradesmen expected to work on the new hospital by completion. The project has employed 93 percent local subcontractors.