As St. Rita’s Medical Center enters our 100th anniversary year, these are the sentiments that resonate most.
It was 100 years ago that the Sisters of Mercy came to Lima with only their faith, their drive and their compassion. At the request of the bishop and in partnership with community leaders, the sisters were called to respond to the pandemic flu of 1918. The need was so great that St. Rita’s opened its doors well ahead of schedule and filled its 110 beds by the end of the first day. I can’t imagine what the sisters must have been feeling — under pressure and under resourced. But they accepted the challenge, as the Sisters of Mercy around the world always have, and delivered on their promise to respond to the most critical needs of a community.
I reflect on that now, as we are in a time of great healthcare transition and reform. There are often more questions than answers, and most certainly more financial needs than there are resources. But our challenges pale in comparison to what our predecessors faced, and we are all humbled to be following in their footsteps.
Since then, St. Rita’s has grown and is honored that so many have put their trust in our care. As healthcare has evolved, so have our services. Now the largest healthcare provider in the 10-county region, St. Rita’s offers a medical center, two emergency departments, three urgent care centers, 11 family medicine offices, the Henry and Beverly Hawk Heart Institute, the Neuroscience Institute, the St. Rita’s Cancer Center and much, much more. Last year alone, we cared for nearly 200,000 friends and neighbors during their time of need. What an honor it is to serve so many in our community.
And finally, a centennial year is certainly a time to pause and reflect on our past and all that we have accomplished. However, my challenge to the team at St. Rita’s continues to be one of looking ahead. We have been called by our founding sisters to remain committed to the needs of our time and as those needs change, so must we. We are committed to the Promise of Mercy Health: To make lives better — mind, body and spirit. To genuinely enjoy being of service. And to make healthcare easier.
I look forward to a year of reflection and camaraderie, and I hope you will find time to celebrate with us during our 100-year anniversary.