Two Mercy Leaders Named Chair for State Hospital Associations

November 9, 2017

ST LOUIS – Mercy leaders in both Missouri and Oklahoma were installed last week as board chair for their respective state’s hospital association.

Jeff Johnston, president of Mercy’s eastern Missouri region, was sworn in as Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) Board of Trustees Chair during the 95th Annual Convention banquet. His one-year term begins January 1.


Jeff Johnston with Herb Kuhn, MHA president and CEO.

David Whitaker, chief administrative officer of Mercy in Oklahoma, was installed as Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) Board of Directors Chair at the 98th Annual Convention. Whitaker’s two-year term begins January 1.


David Whitaker accepting the installation as OHA board chairman.

In addition to responsibilities at the state level, Johnston and Whitaker will lead the Missouri and Oklahoma delegations to Washington, D.C., twice during the year, and will act as national spokespersons for hospitals in their home states.

“Mercy is working to make care better for our patients,” said Donn Sorensen, Mercy executive vice president. “When our leaders take on state-wide roles within the hospital associations it gives us a seat at the table when policies are being set. The same skills that make them excellent leaders within Mercy will serve them well as they work to improve care for patients across the states they represent.”


Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

Media Contacts

Tina Rockhold

Fort Scott, Columbus
Phone: 620-223-8094


Bethany Pope

St. Louis, St. Charles
Page: (314) 251-6000