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In Joplin, St. John’s Mercy Hospital Unveils Plans to Rebuild

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 18, 2011

St. John's Mercy Hospital has made public its sweeping plans to build a new hospital in Joplin, MO as the centerpiece of a nearly $950 million rebuilding plan for the city's tornado-ravaged healthcare infrastructure.

"We are making this commitment because it's the right thing to do for Joplin," Lynn Britton, president/CEO of Mercy which includes 28 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient facilities in a seven-state area, said in a media release. "The May 22 tornado devastated our community here in Joplin and destroyed our hospital, but we've promised all along we would rebuild. We plan to break ground January 2012 and open the new hospital, as well as a secondary northeast campus, in 2014."

The new 327-bed hospital will be built about three miles from the destroyed St. John's Hospital. The new hospital will include medical, surgical, critical care, women's/children's (labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms), behavioral health and rehab, with planned expansion up to 424 beds as needed.

Within one week of the tornado, which claimed 150 lives, Mercy had made operational a 60-bed MASH-like field hospital. Now the tent hospital is transitioning to a "hard-sided modular facility" and plans are underway to open a component hospital in the spring of 2012 that will allow St. John's Mercy to regain its Level II Trauma Center designation.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.