Mercy Memorial Hospital remains vital part of community


As you know, the health care industry has experienced some very significant changes over the past year. While some of these changes certainly have prompted debate nationally, it is still our responsibility to adjust as best we can for the benefit of the various constituencies we serve.

As healthcare continues to change over the coming decade, collaboration and partnership will be crucial to providing quality care and cultivating healthier communities. We are exploring ways to engage with our community as an essential part of such transformation. An important piece of that is candid communication about the direction of Mercy Memorial Hospital.

With that goal in mind, I’d like to share with you the following list of activities and investments in Mercy Memorial Hospital that serve as evidence of our commitment to make the hospital one of the finest in our area.

Community Mercy Health Partners and Mercy Memorial Hospital will host The Healthcare Summit on Oct. 14 for community leaders in Champaign and Clark counties. The event provides a venue for diverse community stakeholders to convene and discuss what is happening locally and why it is happening. This discussion will hopefully lead to the establishment of an achievable vision for the health of our community.

In Champaign County, Mercy Memorial Hospital leads the charge to make quality healthcare accessible and understandable. That is a role the local hospital must continue to pursue as it has since its inception in 1951.

As the healthcare environment has become more complex, Mercy Memorial has remained a vital part of the community by investing in relationships, expertise and technology.

In terms of relationships, Mercy Memorial has the best of both worlds – locally and in a strong network. The hospital remains rooted with strong local partners like the Mercy Memorial Hospital Association, which has provided tremendous support ever since the hospital opened. Determined to keep a strong local hospital, the association has invested in technology and facility improvements. Two of the most recent examples are the renovation of the emergency department and support for the new Chronic Care Clinic.

MMH also has strong ties with other organizations such as the Champaign Health District and the Champaign Family YMCA to help serve the needs of the community – mind, body and spirit. The three partners jointly present the Passport to Wellness program, a series of free health programs held throughout the year. We have also developed a strong presence at Urbana University by establishing an Excel Sports Medicine clinic on campus and providing a team physician.

MMH and the Champaign Health District join forces to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment. I hope you had an opportunity to participate in the most recent survey. Survey results will be studied and initiatives will be prioritized to meet the most pressing needs.

One such example that resulted from a prior survey is the Chronic Care Clinic at Mercy Memorial Hospital. Approximately 80 percent of chronically ill patients (those with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity) can experience significant symptom reduction and improved overall health by visiting a doctor regularly and by remaining compliant with medications and a treatment plan.

Unfortunately, many chronically ill patients in Champaign County do not visit their primary care physician regularly and struggle to pay for their medication. These patients (many of whom are uninsured or under-insured) become non-compliant, and their chronic conditions worsen until they become sick enough to need the emergency department or admitted to the hospital. The new clinic will help facilitate wellness and health management, which will result in lower readmissions rates,

The hospital is supported by being part of Mercy Health, one of the top 10 health systems in the nation and largest in Ohio. Mercy Memorial benefits from best practices in medicine, assistance in recruiting medical professionals and the ability to offer a broader selection of services.

We are committed to expanding services to meeting the growing needs of Champaign County. We have brought in three primary care providers in recent months. We are actively working to enhance orthopedic, pediatric and primary care services, among others. To maintain a high level of service, we recognize the need to continually recruit skilled and compassionate nurses and nursing assistants to join our mission-oriented team at Mercy Memorial Hospital and Mercy McAuley Center. Interested candidates are invited to search for opportunities on our organization’s website at

We are developing a clinically integrated network and are working with doctors who want to collaborate and who use the Epic electronic medical record system to ensure timely and consistent information. This will enable us to provide more seamless, efficient care and to contract with insurance companies in a much-improved manner.

At Mercy Memorial, we continue to provide:

· Inpatient medical care, including intensive care, all in private patient rooms.

· A wide array of surgical services, including same day surgery, general surgical procedures, orthopedics, ophthalmology and podiatry

· 24-hour emergency department.

· Cardiac and respiratory care

· Full range of imaging and laboratory services

· Colonoscopy services

Certainly the health services now available in Champaign County have extended well beyond the walls of the flagship hospital. Other services and locations within the community include:

· Mercy McAuley Center, providing quality skilled, intermediate, rehabilitative and memory care in a comfortable, attractive environment,

· Mercy Memorial Wound Care Center

· Excel Sports Medicine and Rehab for physical, occupational and speech therapy.

· Community Mercy Occupational Health and Medicine

· Community Mercy REACH chemical dependency services

· Mercy Well Child Pediatrics: We’re so proud of how Mercy Well Child has grown just like the patients that they serve. Once located within the hospital, Well Child outgrew that facility and continues to thrive with more providers in a new, larger location on Patrick Avenue.

· A physician network of primary care providers and specialists for cardiology, orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology and others. We’re continuing to recruit medical professionals for Champaign County.

· Access to other services in our clinically integrated network, such as cancer care at Springfield Regional Cancer Center.

Area residents have relied on Mercy Memorial Hospital for the majority of their healthcare needs – outpatient, inpatient, emergency and preventive care – for more than six decades. Just as we work together to serve one ministry and share one Mission, we are guided by one promise to make life better – mind, body and spirit.

Column submitted by Community Mercy Health Partners.

By Paul Hiltz

President & CEO, Community Mercy Health Partners

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