Mercy turns 100

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MASON CITY, Iowa – In 1916, eight percent of homes had a telephone, a stamp was two cents, and the light switch was invented. That same year, Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa was built.

Through the laughter and hellos at Mercy’s 100 celebration event are those soaking in the history of the hospital that includes Sister Mary Corita Heid.

“Sisters of Mercy, our business if you will, are to do the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and we try to meet unmet needs. That’s what we’re called to do,” Sister Corita Heid said.

She arrived in Mason City in 1977 and went to work at what was then known as Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital.  It was the beginning of a new era in the medical industry.

“I think ours was the physician hospital relationship.  A lot of things were changing in terms of reimbursement for physicians, for hospitals.  Not as much as they change now, but they were beginning,” Sister Corita Heid said.

Saint Joseph Hospital became Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in 1993.

“It’s very humbling and inspiring to know that we’ve been caring for north Iowans for 100 years,” President and CEO Dan Varnum with Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.

Friday, Mercy is marking a major milestone, celebrating a century of service.

“It’s just a wonderful celebration. There’s just been so much good that’s been done and it’s about celebrating the sisters of mercy and their inspirational leadership and celebrating the wonderful work of hundreds, thousands of people through the years delivering great healthcare,” Varnum said.

While others hope you find “faith” in those who keep this hospital alive.

“Hope that this will go on in the future.  I don’t know, God knows if it will be here in 100 years from now.  If it is it would be very different then it is today,” Sister Corita Heid said.

Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa staff, community members, and state leaders came to celebrate.

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