Post-Dispatch, November 17, 2011
The 2,000 people who worked for St. John's Mercy in Joplin, MO, when the tornado hit on May 22 lost homes, cars and belongings, but they didn't lose their jobs. Mercy healthcare system pledged to keep everyone on the payroll ? even though the hospital where most of them worked was destroyed. And when the rebuilt hospital opens in about three years, the employees are promised jobs there, too. "It's just who we are as a ministry," said Cynthia Mercer, Mercy's senior vice president of human resources. "We have a commitment to our co-workers, we have a commitment to the city of Joplin and we made those assurances without hesitation." Fewer than 100 employees did not accept new job offers after the tornado. About 1,570 employees stayed in the Joplin area at Mercy's temporary 100-bed hospital, clinics and other offices.