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REDI Report – June 13, 2015

Nice to have good healthcare facilities

I want to take this opportunity as part of the REDI Report to welcome David Steinmann and his family to the City of Lebanon and Laclede County. David was recently named as the new administrator for Mercy Hospital and brings many years of quality experience in the healthcare field to our community and county.

I had the chance to meet with him at a community-wide reception and to visit one-on-one in the past several days. You can easily see that he is committed to the excellence that Mercy Hospital has provided for our area for many, many years. In addition, he and his family are going to be key assets to our community as they are already accepting roles of service in local civic organizations. David, again I am proud to welcome you and your family to Lebanon and Laclede County. I know that you will find it to be a rewarding professional and personal move, as I already have since coming to the area.

When we talk about the assets that help develop the product we market from an economic development standpoint, having access to quality healthcare is very important. And with entities such as Mercy Hospital to serve our area, we are very blessed in Lebanon and Laclede County. I had the opportunity to take a full tour of the hospital’s facilities last week and was completely blown away by what we have right here in our own backyard.

So, taking information from my tour and a ‘quick facts’ sheet that I was given, I want to provide you this week with somewhat of a “Did You Know?” about our local hospital system.

The Mercy Hospital system is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the United States, serving more than three million people annually nationwide. The system includes 33 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, two rehab hospitals and one orthopedic hospital, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, and more than 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. In 1997, Breech Regional Medical Center locally joined the Mercy system and the new hospital at 100 Hospital Drive in Lebanon opened in 1999. Just seven years ago, in 2008, the Curry Cancer Center opened on the Mercy Lebanon campus, offering cancer treatment close to home. During that same year, an expanded medical/surgical unit and emergency room were opened.

The Mercy Lebanon campus includes a pharmacy, fitness center, the cancer center, emergency medical services, physicians, home health and hospice and medical supply. We have 62 acute licensed beds. In fiscal year 2013, more than 5,500 surgeries were completed (inpatient and outpatient) at our hospital here. The emergency room was visited more than 28,000 times that year and, one of the neat statistics that I learned, we had nearly 350 babies born right here in Lebanon at the Mercy campus. That’s nearly a newborn every day!

I know I have just written a lot of numbers and information, but I hope this goes to remind us all of the healthcare assets we have right here in our home community and county. Trust me when I say that other places across the country aren’t necessarily as blessed. A hospital system in the city of West Memphis, Ark. recently closed leaving more than 40,000 people within the general area without adequate healthcare services. While local leaders are working hard to restore such services, can you imagine the gap that has been left there even if the issue is an interim one? Many other communities, as large as ours and some smaller, are fighting daily to keep their healthcare facilities financially operating. That is one struggle that we in Lebanon and Laclede County are not having.

Those looking to locate here can rest assured that management and employees will have access, quickly, to good local healthcare. And with firms like Mercy here, we have a definite advantage.

Thank you all for reading and have a great weekend!

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at brian@lebanonredi.com)