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Authors

  1. Brady, Marla G. MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Abstract

The 2011 Joplin tornado was a catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger, late-May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) during its path through the city. Mercy St John's Hospital (which had recently joined Mercy Ministries) suffered a direct hit and was rendered nonuseable. A total of 183 patients and nearly 200 coworkers/staff members were evacuated from the building within the next 90 minutes. Triage centers were set up outside as hospitals of other areas opened their doors for St John's patients and community members who had been injured. The tornado in Joplin destroyed Mercy St John's Hospital. Given this future, why did Mercy Ministries choose to rebuild an acute care facility rather than merely an outpatient system? The organization considered current community needs and the needs of the future. They also remembered their mission and the legacy of their heritage.