One of Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten’s earliest memories of then-St. John’s hospital in Springfield was the grand opening in 1952, when she and her siblings spent the day riding the elevators in the new facility. “We were fascinated with them,” Wooten said.
At the time, the family lived just down the street from the new hospital. Larry O’Reilly remembers the area roads were still dirt and says the hospital was a great place to ride bikes because there was pavement. “We grew up here,” he said. “It’s a part of our family’s history.”
Their grandfather, C.F. O’Reilly, and father, C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly had been instrumental in raising support and funds for the new facility in their roles on the hospital’s advisory committee. The family’s support of Mercy continued with the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Cancer Center at Mercy.
“We have a longstanding connection to Mercy and we want to ensure it continues to offer outstanding care for our community,” explained Wooten. It’s why her family is making a gift to help fund the O’Reilly Labor and Delivery Welcome Center, which will be the first stop for mothers who come to the hospital to deliver their babies. The gift is given by Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten, David O’Reilly, Larry O’Reilly, Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly and the C.H. Chub O’Reilly, Sr., Trust.
“The look for the new Welcome Center will be modern and comfortable,” said Dr. David Redfern, Mercy physician vice president of Women’s Services. “This larger area will give us a better space to evaluate moms for labor or check out potential pregnancy-related problems. With more moms delivering at Mercy – about 3200 births last year - we need to expand and update the space to better serve those mothers and their babies.”
The O’Reilly/Wooten family is hoping others will join them in giving to Mercy Kids and the services it provides this community, with dozens of pediatric subspecialists offering care for conditions like childhood cancer and diabetes right here at home.
“Not very many years ago, children and their families and had to go to St. Louis or Memphis for things that we now have available at Mercy Kids,” said Larry O’Reilly. “So it’s such a blessing for this whole community to have this facility. We’re a piece of that, but we know it takes more. For this to be a facility that we all want it to be, it takes private gifts and annuities. It takes people like you and me to put our hard-earned money into it.”
If you would like to make a gift to Mercy Health Foundation Springfield, just call 417-820-6111.