Mercy (healthcare organization)

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Industry Healthcare
Founded 1871
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Area served
Midwestern United States
Number of employees

Mercy is a not-for-profit Catholic health care organization located in the Midwestern United States with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the United States. Mercy was founded in 1871 by Sisters of Mercy as part of the communal support and developed as part of their mission.[1] Currently Mercy serves communities across four states with 32 hospitals and 300 outpatient facilities. Mercy employs 40,000 employees and more than 2,000 physicians.[2]


The mission of Mercy comes from the teachings of Catherine McAuley, an Irish nun who founded The Sisters of Mercy in 1831.[3] Mercy in the United States traces its roots to New York in 1846. In 1856 the Sisters of Mercy came to St. Louis and founded the Religious Sisters of Mercy of the St. Louis Province. Fifteen years later, in 1871, they opened a 25-bed infirmary for women and children. Over the years, the Sisters of Mercy expanded their health ministry in the Regional Community’s seven-state area: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

While the hospitals and other health care facilities sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy were not formally linked, as early as the 1960s they shared management and consulting staff resources.

In 1986, to position the individual hospitals for coming changes in health care, the Sisters of Mercy created the Sisters of Mercy Health System.

In 2011, Sisters of Mercy Health System renamed many of its hospitals and clinics under a singular brand - Mercy. Hospitals and clinics that used to be familiar as "St. John's Regional Heath center" are now named "Mercy Hospital Springfield" (Mercy - Entity - Location).


Mercy operates in four states (Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma), with ministry outreach programs in Texas and Louisiana. Mercy's largest hospital complexes are in Springfield, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri.

St. John's Regional Medical Center

St. John's Regional Medical Center after the May 22 Joplin tornado

On May 22, 2011, one of Mercy's larger hospitals, St. John's Regional Medical Center (now rebuilt and called Mercy Hospital Joplin) was seriously damaged by a tornado from the May 2011 tornado outbreak. At least four people were killed inside the hospital and its grounds, and surviving patients were evacuated from the health facility, which sustained major structural damage. One of the hospital's towers took a direct hit by the storm and was rotated four inches on its foundation.[4]


Mercy offers many services[5] in the communities it serves. Including services such as cancer treatment, pediatrics,[6] heart and palliative care. Mercy is also one of the largest facilitators of Telemedicine in the United States.[7] The Safewatch program was created in 2006 and currently serves over 420 beds remotely.

Mercy hosts one of the largest implementations of Epic, an electronic health record (EHR). In 2014 Mercy began to provide Epic support services to other healthcare organizations [8] such as CaroMont Regional Medical Center and Oklahoma State University.[9]


Lynn Britton serves as the CEO of Mercy.[10] Britton has served as the president and chief executive officer of Mercy since January, 2009.


External links