Mercy Hospital Expands to Meet Growing Health Care Needs of Southwest Iowa Community
Release Date: 08/15/2008

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$25 million investment will increase capacity of intensive care unit, advance operating rooms and improve hospital infrastructure of “Iowa’s Leading Edge” COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Alegent Health is addressing the future health needs of more than 200,000 people living in Pottawattamie County and surrounding communities through a $25 million expansion and improvement project at Mercy Hospital. A groundbreaking celebration is planned for Tues., Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. The ceremony signifies Mercy Hospital’s strong commitment to quality and innovation, which works in concert with Alegent Health’s Mission to deliver exceptional care for patients with both common and complex health needs. “The Sisters of Mercy envisioned Mercy Hospital to be a faith-based healing ministry for the body, mind and spirit of those in our care. More than 120-years later, this significant investment will ensure that legacy of providing excellent care for patients in southwest Iowa carries on,” said Marie Knedler, vice president and chief operating officer for Alegent Health Mercy Hospital. Highlights of the Mercy Hospital project include:
  • Addition of four Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and renovation of existing space for a total of 16 beds in the ICU.
  • Reconfiguration and expansion of the surgical area to enhance operating room suites to include the latest in technology.
  • Entryway improvements and additions to ensure convenient and welcoming access to the hospital.
  • Renovation of McDermott facility to provide improvements for patient care services.
  • The hospital’s plans stem from a comprehensive, year-long initiative involving physicians, staff, patients and the community. The groups identified local needs and forged a cohesive, regional system of health care to achieve world-class quality and value. “As part of this process, we came to recognize that Mercy Hospital needed additional intensive care services, operating room capacity and surgical preparation in order to continue to be the health care provider of choice in the next several years,” said Knedler. “Alegent Health is committed to meeting the growing health care needs of our patients today, tomorrow and into the next generation and this capital investment reflects that,” said Alegent Health CEO Wayne Sensor. “As we look to the future, bricks and mortar are only part of the equation. We believe it’s also important to investment in our caregivers and processes so that we can continue to deliver innovative, high quality care for the patients that we serve. That involves the generosity of our community to ensure we have the resources necessary to build the next generation of health care.” Knedler adds evidence of Mercy Hospital’s focus on patient-centered care is evident with earning the prestigious Magnet distinction in 2005 – being among the top three percent out of 6,000 hospitals nationwide to receive this prestigious distinction. The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the ultimate benchmark for consumers to measure the quality of nursing care they can expect to receive. Demonstrating its leadership in providing quality, cardiovascular care in the region, Mercy Hospital became the first hospital from Lincoln, Neb. to Des Moines, Iowa to receive accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Providing further proof of the quality of care patients can expect to receive, Mercy Hospital achieved top performer status in the CMS Premier healthcare alliance pay-for-performance project, ranking in the top 10 percent in the country for heart failure, pneumonia and hip and knee replacement. Based on the third-year results from the Hospital Quality Demonstration (HQID) project, Mercy Hospital will receive an award of $92,639 from CMS for scores nearing perfection. Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan says for more than 120 years Mercy Hospital has supported the health care needs in the community and will continue to be a great asset to the people of southwest Iowa well into the future. "Opportunities continue to grow here in Council Bluffs as does the quality of health care. Residents here, along with those who are moving into this community, have come to expect that. Therefore, the additions to Mercy Hospital, along with the quality awards it has received in the past couple of years, further establish Mercy as a top notch hospital in this region," said Hanafan. The construction and renovation at Mercy Hospital is part of Alegent Health’s “Generation Patient” initiative, a $325 million reinvestment into the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. Supported in part by philanthropy at all five Alegent Health metro hospital locations will be enhanced and expanded to better serve health care consumers in the region. Construction and renovation plans began last year at the organization’s three other metro hospitals including Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Lakeside Hospital and Midlands Hospital in Papillion. Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center began its renovation earlier this summer. Alegent Health has selected Holland Basham Architects, headquartered in Omaha, in partnership with HKS of Dallas, Tex. as architectural partners for this project. Meyers-Carlisle-Leapley (MCL), headquartered in Omaha and McCarthy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri will serve as the general contractors for construction. Construction for the Mercy Hospital expansion project is expected to be completed in 2011. Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,300 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 9,000 employees. Alegent Health is ranked first in the country in quality and patient satisfaction according to the Network for Regional healthcare Improvement (NRHI). That exceptional commitment to providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person keeps Alegent Health faithful to its Mission, which was inspired by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is online at