- Matt Sanctis Staff Writer
Community Mercy Health Partners has changed its name to Mercy Health as part of a lengthy transition designed to boost recognition and communication for Ohio’s largest health care system and Springfield’s biggest employer.
Company leaders unveiled a new sign outside the downtown Springfield Regional Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon, symbolically kicking off a campaign that will re-brand the organization in Clark and Champaign counties.
While the health care organization’s name has changed, its local hospitals will continue to be called Springfield Regional Medical Center and Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana, said Matthew Caldwell, CEO of Mercy Health-Springfield.
“There’s value in being part of the largest health system in Ohio,” Caldwell said.
Mercy Health is the region’s largest employer, with about 2,400 workers in Clark and Champaign counties, spokesman Dave Lamb said. Across Ohio, the organization employs about 34,000 workers, making it the fourth-largest employer in the state. The health system estimates it has an annual economic impact of $9 billion in Ohio
Other health care centers throughout Ohio and Kentucky in the network have already undergone similar changes, Caldwell said. Entities in Cincinnati, Toledo and Youngstown have already transitioned to Mercy Health. Health organizations in Lima and Lorain are undergoing the change around the same time as Springfield.
In Youngstown, the health organization changed from Humility of Mary Health Partners to Mercy Health. In Lima, the health service was previously known as St. Rita’s Health Partners. In Toledo and Lorain, the organization was simply known as Mercy.
“Our new name is a symbol of the new way we are working together to improve the health of the communities we serve,” Caldwell said. “With all our regions together, we have an incredible story to share.”
The transition is also expected to streamline communication throughout the organization and make it easier for Mercy Health to market its mission, Caldwell said.
Mercy Health provides about $1 million per day in community benefit to patients who need health care services but otherwise can’t afford them, he said.
Mercy Health’s local presence began in 1940 when the Sisters of Mercy bought the former Knights of Pythias orphanage with plans to open a nursing home and a new hospital. The Mercy Medical Center opened in Springfield in 1950 and Mercy Memorial Hospital opened in Urbana in 1951.
Community Mercy Health Partners was formed in 2004 when Community Hospital and the Mercy Medical Center merged to build the downtown Springfield Regional Medical Center in 2011.
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The transition to Mercy Health across Ohio has been in the works for two years and the process is expected to continue in Springfield into next year, Caldwell said. Along with new signage at the hospital, it will also mean making changes to employee uniforms, name badges, facility names, benches and any other material that will display the name Mercy Health.
The various entities will also use a single web address at mercy.com.
“Working together with other Mercy Health regions improves our ability to maximize our clinical quality and cost effectiveness, and allows us to improve the overall experience patients and their families have when they seek our services in times of need,” Caldwell said.