Children's Mercy Hospital

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Children's Mercy Kansas City Hospital
Children's Mercy Hospital logo.svg
Children's Mercy Hospital Adele Hall Campus, Kansas City, Mo., 2014.jpg
Adele Hall Campus
Children's Mercy Hospital is located in Missouri
Children's Mercy Hospital
Location2401 Gillham Road, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Coordinates39°05′06″N 94°34′48″W / 39.085°N 94.580°W / 39.085; -94.580Coordinates: 39°05′06″N 94°34′48″W / 39.085°N 94.580°W / 39.085; -94.580
Care systemPrivate
FundingNon-profit hospital
Affiliated universityUniversity of Kansas
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Emergency departmentYes (Adele Hall Campus and Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas)[1]
HelipadYes (two at Adele Hall Campus and one at Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas)
ListsHospitals in Missouri

Children's Mercy Kansas City Hospital is a 386-bed[2] comprehensive pediatric medical center in Kansas City, Missouri, that integrates clinical care, research and medical education to provide care for pediatric patients from birth through adulthood. The hospital's primary service area covers a 150-county area in Missouri and Kansas. Children's Mercy has received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report in 10 pediatric specialties.[3] The hospital was the first in Missouri and Kansas to receive Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing services from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has been re-designated five times.[4]

Children's Mercy Hospital is the primary location for Children's Mercy Kansas City, a comprehensive pediatric health system with multiple locations in Missouri and Kansas. The not-for-profit hospital was founded in 1897 by two sisters, one a surgeon and the other a dentist, to provide care for poor and sick children. The hospital quickly grew and expanded services to all children in the region. According to the hospital's Community Benefit Report, in 2019, the hospital provided more than $64 million in uncompensated care, which includes charity care, unreimbursed Medicaid and other means-tested government programs, and subsidized health services.[5]


Berry sisters[edit]

Alice Berry Graham

Katharine and Alice Berry came to Kansas City from Wisconsin in 1893. They put each other through school; Katharine being the first to get her medical degree while Alice worked as a schoolteacher, and then obtained her dentist degree—both male-only professions during the 19th century. The women were excluded from professional medical groups because of their gender, and their entrepreneurial spirit discouraged. But the two persevered and due to their widowed status, were permitted to control their own finances, which they poured into their medical work with children.[6]

Children's Mercy Hospital was founded in 1897 when Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson, now a surgeon, and her sister Dr. Alice Berry Graham, a dentist, found a crippled, malnourished girl abandoned in the streets of Kansas City, Missouri and treated and cared for her at a rented bed in a hospital. Since no hospital in the city allowed a woman physician on the staff, the sisters continued treating patients by renting beds in a small hospital.[7]

The bed soon became known as the "Mercy Bed", and the need for health care for children continued to grow. The sisters formed the Free Bed Fund Association for Crippled Deformed and Ruptured Children and in 1901 adopted the Mercy name; changing it to The Children's Mercy Hospital in 1919.[8]

At first, the public ridiculed the sisters' work, especially the Berry sisters' ardent belief of women-only staffers. Many believed women should work in the home and not be physicians. But as the hospital progressed and showed miraculous outcomes, the ridicule lessened and public opinion soon helped the hospital strive.

Giving all they had, the sisters bought a home in 1903 to work as a hospital, sheltering children. The sisters and few staff members begged for supplies, volunteers, and monetary support. Dr. Kate (Katharine Richardson) would keep a sign near the street, letting the public know the needs of the hospital, such as the basic comforts of new sheets, pillow cases, bath towels and canned food.[9]

In 1915, construction on what would be the first official hospital began at Independence Avenue. The hospital flourished in its new home until 1970, when it moved to its current location on Hospital Hill.

When Hurricane Katrina first hit New Orleans in August 2005, Children's Mercy (along with other hospitals) sent helicopters to Tulane Medical Center, Ochsner, and CHNOLA in order to help evacuate pediatric patients from the hospital.[10][11][12] Along with helicopters, CMH sent two C-130s to aid in large scale evacuation of pediatric patients from New Orleans.[13]


Significant events in the hospital's history include:[14]

  • 1897: Free Bed Fund Association of Sick, Crippled, Deformed and Ruptured Children opened its doors with one rented bed on June 24.
  • 1901: Central Governing Board of the Free Bed Fund approves the Mercy name.
  • 1903: Officially called Mercy Hospital, the new hospital opens in its own building with five beds at 414 Highland Avenue.
  • 1917: The hospital moves to Independence and Woodland on November 27.
  • 1970: Hospital staff moves 39 children to the hospital's current location, on Hospital Hill 2401 Gillham Road.
  • 1995: Five-story Hall Family Outpatient Center opens
  • 1996: Seven-story Herman and Helen Sutherland Inpatient Tower open.
  • 1997: Children's Mercy South opens in Overland Park, Kansas in October.
  • 2000: The Paul and Betty Henson Patient Tower, a complement to the Sutherland Tower, opens.
  • 2003: Awarded Magnet designation for nursing excellence, the first hospital in Missouri or Kansas and just the third children's hospital to achieve this honor from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • 2003: Pediatric Research Center opens on top two floors of the new Clinic and Research Building on Hospital Hill.
  • 2004: Children's Mercy South expansion opens. Renamed Children's Mercy Hospital - Kansas in 2015
  • 2009: Bioethics Center opens.
  • 2012: Children's Mercy East opens in Independence, Missouri
  • 2012: The Elizabeth Ann Hall Patient Tower opens on Hospital Hill.
  • 2012: Children's Mercy opens the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine.
  • 2013: Children's Mercy Blue Valley opens in Overland Park, Kansas, housing urgent care and sports medicine services, including a gym for sports therapy and rehabilitation.
  • 2013: Children's Mercy Wichita, a regional referral center opens in Wichita, Kansas.
  • 2015: Children's Mercy performs its first heart transplant.
  • 2020: Children's Mercy Furlough's 575 Employees and permanently lays off 60 for the first time in the history of the hospital.
  • 2021: Children's Mercy opens the Children's Mercy Research Institute in a new, 9-story, 375,000 square-foot building.[15]


Children's Mercy is spread out over 18 sites in two states, with one hospital in Overland Park, Kansas and another in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.


The research program at the Children's Mercy Research Institute features 375,000 square-feet of dedicated clinical research space[16] and over 100 physicians and scientists actively participating in research studies.

It is one of the 10 stakeholder institutions in the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, which also includes the University of Kansas, MRI Global, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Stowers Institute.[17]

The hospital's research is focused on four areas of emphasis:

  • Genomic medicine
  • Precision therapeutics
  • Population health
  • Health care innovation

The hospital is one of 13 designated Pediatric Pharmacology Research Units.[18] Hospital clinical pharmacologists work closely with the Pediatric Trials Network, researching and developing accurate drug doses and devices for children.

The hospital's Genomic Medicine Center was termed "among the most technologically advanced in the world" in a January 2014 Bloomberg article.[19] In 2012, the hospital's Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine's development of a rapid whole genome sequencing approach was named one of Time magazine's Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs.[20]

Clinical care[edit]

Children's Mercy Hospital is located on the Children's Mercy Adele Hall campus. Hospital services include a Level 1 Children's Surgery Center; a Level 1 Trauma Center; a Level IV Intensive Care Nursery; heart, liver, kidney, blood and marrow transplant programs; and more than 40 pediatric subspecialty clinics.


Children's Mercy is an Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education institutional sponsor. Graduate medical education focuses on the development of programs based on the ACGME core competencies and the acquisition of clinical skills.

Children's Mercy is academically affiliated with University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and offers a pediatric residency program that annually accepts 24 categorical pediatric residents, three preliminary residents, and six internal medicine/pediatrics residents.[21] Residents currently hail from 42 medical schools representing 25 states throughout the United States and two foreign countries. Children's Mercy also offers 28 pediatric fellowship programs to train the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.[22]

In addition, Children's Mercy is designated a principal pediatric teaching hospital for the University of Kansas Medical Center. In 2013, Children's Mercy, the University of Kansas Hospital, The University of Kansas Medical Center, and The University of Kansas Physicians announced they were working to develop a single, integrated pediatric program allowing the institutions to enhance clinical care for children, advance pediatric academic development, expand pediatric research initiatives, and strengthen advocacy activities on behalf of children in the Midwest and surrounding region.[23]

Expanding its boundaries beyond the Midwest, Children's Mercy has established educational partnership programs for foreign residents and for its own residents study abroad. Children's Mercy has formal relationships with hospitals in China, Panama and Mexico.[24]

Rankings and performance[edit]

Children's Mercy Hospital is one of 89 facilities in the United States that made national rankings in at least one of 10 pediatric specialties analyzed for the 2022-23 Best Children's Hospitals, by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital has consecutively been nationally ranked in at least 10 of the 10 pediatric specialty areas:[3]

  • Cancer
  • Cardiology and heart surgery
  • Diabetes and endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology and GI surgery
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology and neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonology and lung surgery
  • Urology

The highest ranking is nephrology at #4.[3]

In 2013 Parents magazine ranked Children's Mercy at #14 among the country's best children's hospitals.[26]

The hospital has also been designated a "Magnet Recognized" center by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, won the "Gold Achievement" award for a fit friendly work site in 2012 by the American Heart Association, and has been designated as Kansas City's Healthiest Employer by the Kansas City Business Journal in 2013.

CMH's Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine has been termed "among the most technologically advanced in the world".[27]

Naming rights[edit]

CM Park Nima3.jpg

On November 19, 2015, Children's Mercy announced a ten-year partnership with Sporting Kansas City. The deal includes Children's Mercy getting the naming rights to the team's stadium, now named Children's Mercy Park, as well as the team's training center and the championship field and training center at Swope Soccer Village. The partnership focuses on strengthening the community by improving access to pediatric-trained sports medicine, protecting youth athletes and providing education to coaches and parents. In 2017, the hospital opened a Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center at the United States Soccer Federation National Training Center, in Kansas.[28][29]


In March 2022, Missouri senator Mike Cierpiot accused Children's Mercy of abusing child welfare services to remove children from the parents' home. [30]


  1. ^ "Emergency and Urgent Care", Retrieved on 6 November 2011. Archived November 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Children's Mercy Facts". Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  3. ^ a b c "Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  4. ^ "Nurses". Children's Mercy Hospital. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Community Benefit".
  6. ^ Women of Vision, Beatrice Johns, ImagineInk Publishing Company, Inc., 2004
  7. ^ "Alice Berry Graham (1850-1913) and Katherine Berry Richardson (1858-1933)". Women in Health Sciences. Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. 2004. Web. 25 Aug. 2011
  8. ^ For All Children Everywhere. Chandler Lake Books. 2017. pp. 25–29.
  9. ^ Johns, Beatrice. Women of Vision. p. 17.
  10. ^ Baldwin, Steve; Robinson, Andria; Barlow, Pam; Fargason, Crayton A. (2006-05-01). "Moving Hospitalized Children All Over the Southeast: Interstate Transfer of Pediatric Patients During Hurricane Katrina". Pediatrics. 117 (Supplement 4): S416–S420. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-0099O. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 16735276.
  11. ^ Landry, Brian T. (30 August 2010). "Children's Hospital Faces Hurricane Katrina: Five Years After the Storm". RACmonitor. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  12. ^ Gardner, Jay (2006). "Escape from New Orleans: A pediatrician's diary". Stanford Medicine Magazine. Stanford University School of Medicine. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  13. ^ "Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned - Chapter Four: A Week of Crisis (August 29 - September 5)". The White House. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  14. ^ "History". Children's Mercy Hospital. 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  15. ^ "Children's Mercy Research Institute".
  16. ^ Celebrating Transformational Gifts for Pediatric Research. YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11.
  17. ^ "Stakeholder Institutions". Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI). Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Pediatric Pharmacology Research Units (PPRU) Network". NICHD. Archived from the original on 2014-09-12.
  19. ^ "Baby DNA Analysis Ushers in Brave New World of Treatment". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09.
  20. ^ Park, Alice (December 4, 2012). "Speeding DNA-Based Diagnosis for Newborns". Time. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Pediatric Residency Program FAQs". Children's Mercy Hospital. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Fellowship Programs". Children's Mercy Hospital. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Children's Mercy GME Annual Report, 2013".
  24. ^ "Pediatric Residency Program International Electives". Children's Mercy Hospital. Archived from the original on 26 July 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  25. ^ Harder, Ben (June 14, 2022). "Best Children's Hospitals 2022-23 Honor Roll and Overview". U.S. News & World Report.
  26. ^ Cicero, Karen. "10 Best Children's Hospitals". Parents. No. March 2013. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  27. ^ Lauerman, John (2014-01-15). "Baby DNA Analysis Ushers in Brave New World of Treatment". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  28. ^ McDowell, Sam. "National soccer education and training center gets final approval for construction in Kansas City, Kan". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  29. ^ Augustine, Lisa; Jacobson, Jake. "Children's Mercy and Sporting Kansas City announce youth health and pediatric sports medicine initiative". Children's Mercy Hospital. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  30. ^ {{cite web|title=Missouri senator says kids “abducted by Children’s Mercy Hospital”|url=

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