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Impact Story

Mercy/Sisters of Mercy Health System

St. Louis, MO

Dini Spheris Office: Houston

The brand-new Mercy Joplin hospital in 2015.

The sixth-largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States.

We are proud to stand beside them.


Our commitment is to partner with you all the way, no matter the circumstance, campaign goal or obstacle you may face. The strength of Dini Spheris as a strategic counselor, one experienced enough to move people and organizations past surviving a catastrophe and into rebuilding, has been clear in Joplin, Missouri. Dini Spheris began working with Mercy in 2010, preparing for the first institution-wide campaign. The sixth-largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States, Mercy serves more than 3 million people annually with 32 hospitals and 300 outpatient locations across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Mercy’s vision is to implement a transformational model of healthcare delivery based on specific community master plans. Accomplishing this involves a $1 billion campaign, aligning philanthropy within the organization and restructuring the hospital foundations. On May 22, 2011, as Mercy was in the midst of these considerations and preparing for this major campaign, a catastrophic EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin.

The tornado etched a 22-mile-long path of devastation and destruction throughout the city, with St. John’s Mercy Hospital directly hit. There were 183 patients and 117 coworkers in the hospital that day, including one surgery in progress, one patient in post-surgery, 24 ER patients and 28 critical care patients.

Images of the ravaged nine-story hospital flooded news channels and are still haunting reminders of the horror of that day. Mercy could have abandoned the hospital and the town of Joplin. Instead, within two days, the system leadership committed not only to rebuild, but add expanded clinic services and technology elements as part of the master plan for Joplin. This new facility will incorporate state-of-the-art healthcare, while design elements enable it to stand up to the forces of nature.

While federal and insurance resources will aid in the rebuilding of the hospital, there is still a significant role for philanthropy to play. Rebuilding the facility to equip Mercy for transformational healthcare delivery requires an additional $25 million initiative. This is no small task, as no one was prepared for a campaign of this scope and size. Dini Spheris and Mercy have been undeterred – determined to bring the vision of state-of-the-art healthcare, virtual medicine, cutting-edge technology and top-notch recruiting to Joplin.

Working without a local chief development officer, Dini Spheris ensured the Joplin campaign kept moving forward, engaging volunteers and making sure fundraising stayed a top priority in the local community. Bringing in $5 million through an amazing gift from the United Arab Emirates, Dini Spheris capitalized on this momentum, helping raise an equivalent $5 million challenge response. Based on this initial success and the remaining potential, Mercy is well-positioned to achieve its goal and open the doors to the brand-new Mercy Joplin hospital in 2015.

While no one planned for a tornado to shift strategies, needs and resources, our commitment is to serve the immediate needs of Mercy. Speaking about that day and Mercy’s plan moving forward, Lynn Britton, Mercy President & CEO, states, “Our ministry has never been confined to a building. Our people and our spirit are at the core of who we are and what we do. We are already rising from the rubble stronger than ever before.” At Dini Spheris, we couldn’t agree more and are proud to stand beside them.

Services Provided

Campaign Counsel

Campaign Planning Study

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