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From left: David Arugeta, Dr. Brad Wyrsch, Bill Henneseey and Marie Moore
Tawnie Wilson | SBJ
From left: David Arugeta, Dr. Brad Wyrsch, Bill Henneseey and Marie Moore

2023 Economic Impact Awards 75+ Years in Business Top Honors: Mercy Springfield Communities

A History of Health

Posted online

Mercy Springfield Communities started in 1891, then named St. John’s Hospital, with only three employees, the Sisters of Mercy.

Since then, it’s grown to 8,813 employees locally, bringing in $5.1 billion in revenue in the area. Mercy has continued to grow, not only in employee count and revenue, but by adding more clinics, specialties and locations.

“It’s really a part of the desire to be where the people are, to be as close to the need as we possibly can,” says Bill Hennessey, vice president of mission.

Within the last year, Mercy has opened or broken ground on three additional primary care clinics: Mercy Family Medicine – South Creek; a multispecialty clinic at 3530 W. Mount Vernon St.; and a clinic within the historic Frisco building, 3223 E. Chestnut Expressway. BJ Roberts, vice president of finance, says the locations came about at the right time for the community.

“On the Frisco building, we had been looking at this area for quite some time,” he says. “We just had some difficulty finding the right location in that part of town. The building is going to give us another 26,000 square feet. Services going in there are primary care, optometry, pediatrics, occupational medicine and therapy services.”

Roberts says it could be another 10-11 months before that location opens, and it will cost over $5 million.

When projects occur at Mercy, that adds construction crews that build or renovate on a regular basis. Hennessey says one of the projects going on now is a renovation of the hospital’s 71-year-old chapel, a $1.3 million project.

“It’s a huge restoration project of ours on the sixth floor,” he says. “It’s a beautiful chapel that people might not realize something this significant is inside a community hospital. We’re restoring these 300 hand-painted panels and mosaics are being freshened up. There are a lot of contractors there, helping us get the work done.”

Although Mercy’s renovations of older spaces and building new clinics has helped its growth, a big factor Roberts says is also recruiting and keeping the best talent, as buildings and services can’t be expanded without the right staff.

Hennessey says the payroll that goes back into the community is substantial.

“I think about the impact of that payroll in the community,” he says. “Simply put, the pay is critical in keeping this community rolling. That money goes to gas, groceries and education. It doesn’t matter to the community, but health care often is an economic driver for a community. We don’t take that lightly; it’s a huge responsibility.”

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