JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. - While progress continues toward an expected end-of-year closing date for Jefferson Regional Medical Center to join Mercy, the two organizations have announced both a new name for Jefferson Regional – Mercy Hospital Jefferson – and the appointment of Donn Sorensen as interim president of the hospital.
Sorensen is president of Mercy’s east Missouri region. He will work in a co-leadership position with current Jefferson Regional Medical Center interim CEO Jeff Buck while Mercy conducts a search for a permanent president for the hospital. No timeline has been established for making that appointment.
Sorensen has been Mercy’s regional president since March 2012 and previously served as chief operating officer for Mercy Clinic. He has more than 25 years of health care experience and has served with Mercy for a dozen of those years.
“I am excited to continue to work alongside Jeff Buck and the great leadership team in place at Jefferson Regional as we continue our plans for the future,” Sorensen said. “Everyone at Mercy is deeply committed to a successful integration of Jefferson Regional into Mercy.”
Buck had been the full-time chief operating officer and vice president of human resources prior to his retirement in 2008. He returned to Jefferson Regional as interim vice president of operations in 2011 before assuming the role of interim CEO in November 2011. He continues to anticipate retirement.
“We appreciate the strong leadership Jeff Buck has provided to Jefferson Regional through the years,” said Bill McKenna, chairman of the Jefferson Regional Board of Directors. “He and Jim Muehlhauser, and all of the administrative team, have been outstanding stewards for our hospital and community. I also want to acknowledge our board members who have dedicated themselves to what is best for our hospital and community as we continue toward a transition to Mercy.”
The hospital’s new name follows Mercy’s identity standards, introduced in 2011 when Mercy adopted new names and a common logo across its seven-state area. All 31 hospitals within Mercy are named “Mercy Hospital” followed by a geographic designation, usually a community name. Examples include Mercy Hospital St. Louis and Mercy Hospital Washington.
“The use of Jefferson as part of the hospital’s new name honors the long-standing Jefferson identity and reflects the geographic area served,” Buck said.
Although Jefferson Regional is expected to become part of Mercy by Jan. 1, the new name will not be official until early spring to allow time for new signage and to change forms, issue new name badges for employees and update other materials.
According to Sorensen, Mercy adopted the common naming standard to better connect all services and facilities, and to simplify Mercy’s naming system.
“Across all of the communities we serve, we want people to know us as Mercy and to understand that our hospitals, physician clinics and other services are all part of a united team,” Sorensen said. “We are excited that Jefferson Regional will be extending the Mercy name and mission in the Jefferson County area.”
Established as Jefferson Memorial Hospital in 1957, Jefferson Regional Medical Center is a 251-bed private, not-for-profit hospital in Crystal City managed by a local board of directors. For more information, visit www.jhsmo.com.
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, 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. In the east Missouri region, Mercy’s services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, and Mercy Clinic, a 575-member multispecialty physician organization. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.