Mercy Nurse to Lead Nation’s Nurses

October 16, 2012

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Linda Knodel

Linda Knodel, vice president and chief nursing officer of Mercy’s Springfield, Mo., region, was named president-elect of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) for 2013. Knodel is the latest in a long list of Mercy leaders to be at the helm of key health care groups.

“We have incredible talent across Mercy, and this is just one more indication that we have leaders who not only provide excellent direction within Mercy but also give freely of their time to make a difference in health care everywhere,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy. “Our leaders have a can-do spirit that greatly reflects our Sisters of Mercy heritage.”

Knodel, a registered nurse for nearly 40 years with a long list of credentials – MHA, MSN, CPHQ, NE-BC, FACHE – was selected by vote of AONE's more than 8,500 members. A Wharton nursing executive fellow, Knodel earned a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. She also recently published a book, “Nurse to Nurse: Nursing Management.”

Humbled to be part of a growing list of Mercy leaders influencing health care across the country, Knodel said, “Today, health care is extremely challenging. As leaders, we need to be fluid, adaptable and flexible. We need to anticipate what’s around the corner and be responsive. We need to be awake and aware and work hard to eliminate silos, because we as nurses have been given a gift, and that gift is to serve.”

Here are some of the other top roles Mercy serves in across the nation:

  • Dr. David Barbe, division president of Mercy Clinic Springfield, was elected this summer as board chair-elect of the American Medical Association – the nation’s largest physician member organization.
  • Di Smalley, FACHE, regional president of Mercy in Oklahoma, is 2012-13 chair-elect of the American College of Healthcare Executives – one of the most influential associations representing hospital executives around the world with 40,000 members from 66 countries.
  • Donn Sorensen, regional president of Mercy in Missouri, serves on the executive committee of the American Medical Group Association’s board of directors and was recently named treasurer. Representing more than 125,000 physicians nationwide, the group includes some of the nation’s largest, most prestigious integrated health care delivery systems.
  • Reta Baker, president of Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, Kan., was recently appointed to American Hospital Association’s Rural Hospital Issues Group which includes nine other hospital executives, a few state hospital association leaders and financial experts. The group looks at Medicare and other policy issues affecting small rural hospitals.
  • Gene Kirtser, president and CEO of Mercy-founded ROi, the No. 2 global supply chain in health care, serves on the IDN Summit Advisory Board, which provides innovation around supply chain’s role in driving efficiencies and lowering costs in health care.

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, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) is the national professional organization for nurses who design, facilitate and manage care. With more than 8,500 members, AONE is the leading voice of nursing leadership in health care. Since 1967, the organization has provided leadership, professional development, advocacy and research to advance nursing practice and patient care, promote nursing leadership excellence and shape public policy for health care. AONE is a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA). For additional information, visit the AONE website at

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