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Less than a week after an EF5 tornado blew through St. John’s Regional Medical Center on May 22, St. John’s Mercy Hospital is open for business.
“The building is not St. John’s. St. John’s is the people who worked in that building. And they’re going to be the people in this building,” said Dr. Bob Dodson, who is working to help set up the temporary hospital across the parking lot from the regional medical center.
The new St. John’s Mercy Hospital will be in operation until a more permanent facility can be constructed. That still-to-be constructed facility will then become the temporary home until new hospital campus is built.
This initial step will allow St. John’s Mercy Hospital to care for patients in much the same way it has in the past, according to Dr. Dodson. It has an emergency department, surgical suites, MRI and CT scan capabilities, pharmacy, and 60 inpatient beds.
“Six days after the event, we’re up and running,” Dr. Dodson said. “This hospital will allow us to do everything we could do within St. John’s, only on a smaller scale. Right now we’re offering 60 inpatient beds and we can expand if we need to, if our community needs dictate that.”
St. John’s Mercy Hospital is built to withstand 100 mph winds. And on the inside, it has many of the comforts of most hospitals.
“We’ll be able to do everything we need to do for patients we see here. We’ll make sure they are able to get their medicines and the treatments they need. Their wounds will be cared for and their daily needs will be met, vital signs monitored, telemetry, lab work, all of that will be done,” said St. John’s Mercy nurse Marilyn Welling.
The major health plans serving the Joplin area will pay benefits in-network whether you have been cared for by St. John’s or Freeman in the past. St. John’s Mercy Hospital also will be connected to Mercy’s electronic health record system, which went live at St. John’s on May 1.
“Our electronic health record contains all of the records of our patients before the storm. We don’t have to worry about losing a paper chart or having it damaged by water or rain,” Dodson said.
The majority of Mercy Clinic primary care offices have been open since Tuesday and all displaced primary care physicians have been seeing patients since Wednesday. Many of Mercy’s specialists are serving from Memorial Hall while more permanent locations are found.
St. John’s Mercy patients should call (417) 781-2727 for information about appointments and services.