Following the example of founder Catherine McAuley, Mercy strives to reach out to the most vulnerable, otherwise forgotten people in its communities.
While the concept of Mercy hospitals’ charity care is familiar to many, diverse outreach programs across Mercy address homelessness, food insecurity and providing primary care to the uninsured, among many other needs.
Catholic Health World writer Margaret Gillerman featured two Mercy Northwest Arkansas outreach ministries in the magazine’s most recent issue. The McAuley Clinic Without Walls pairs uninsured adults with Mercy primary care physicians who provide care at no cost as part of their regular practice.
"It is good for patients — it preserves their dignity to be seen in a regular doctor's office. It's good for physicians because their patients can get all the services they need,” said Dr. Lisa Low, Mercy’s medical director of community health.
Sister of Mercy Lisa Atkins’ outreach ministry to those living in poverty at a local motel has succeeded in moving some residents into homes of their own.
"We let them know we see their goodness and help them reclaim their own God-given good and God-given potential, let them know they're OK even in the middle of such distress and poverty," Sister Lisa said.