Mercy Health

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Mercyhealth (Mercy Health System)
Non-profit organization
Industry Health care
Founded Janesville, Wisconsin, United States (1883)
Founder Dr. Henry Palmer
Area served
Southern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois
Key people
Javon R. Bea, CEO
Henry Palmer, Founder
Revenue $1.3 billion
Number of employees

Mercyhealth is a non-profit health care provider and hospital system based in Janesville, Wisconsin. It is a vertically integrated health care system with 70 facilities serving a total of 26 communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. As part of its diversified, vertically integrated system, Mercy Health operates over four core service areas: hospital-based service, clinic service, post-acute care, and retail.[1]


The Palmer Memorial Hospital in 1905

The original Janesville City Hospital was founded in 1883 by Dr. Henry Palmer, an Civil War surgeon general who had trained Daniel Hale Williams. The hospital was later renamed Palmer Memorial Hospital and was operated by his son Dr. William Palmer. Soon after it was bought by the Sisters of Mercy of Chicago who renamed it Palmer Memorial Mercy Hospital. The Mercy Sisters worked as trained nurses during the Civil War, and after the war they took on the work of public health care. Need for expansion led to the Sisters of Mercy opening a 50 bed Mercy Hospital facility in Janesville in 1913, which eventually grew through renovation into a 150 bed facility by 1920. [2]

In the second half of the 20th century the Sisters of Mercy began to divest itself of its health care holdings, including the Janesville hospital, and Mercy became an independent organization. At that same time, Mercy Health grew out of their old hospital and built a 275 bed facility in downtown Janesville, the site of the current Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center. In 1989, Mercy's volunteer board of directors selected Javon R. Bea as its president and CEO. When Bea became CEO, Mercy Health System could only claim $33 million in annual revenue, had only 589 total employees in a single hospital location, and only saw an estimated 89,000 patients yearly. As of 2015, Mercy Health sees an average of 1.2 million patients every year, employs over 4,000 people across seventy locations, and can claim $1.3 billion in annual revenue.[3]


In 1998, Modern Healthcare magazine ranked Mercy at the top of its "Fastest Fifty", ranking providers by net patient revenue growth (1991-1996). In 2006, Mercy Health System was ranked first in the nation by the AARP for providing employment options for people over age 50,[4] and it received an award from the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) green hospitals program.[5] In 2007, Mercy Health System was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.[6] It was ranked 11th of the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks for 2008 by Modern Healthcare magazine. Working Mother magazine listed Mercy among its 100 Best Companies for 2012 for its child care, flexible scheduling options, leave policies, and advancement programs.[7] Among numerous other awards received in 2013, Mercy Health System was again ranked by the AARP on their "Best Employers for Workers over 50" ranking number five. In 2014, Mercy received Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.[8]

Rockford Merger[edit]

On October 23, 2014, the boards of Rockford Health System and Mercy Health System unanimously signed off on a merger of the two systems. Javon Bea, president and CEO of Janesville, Wisconsin-based Mercy Health, will lead the new parent system and sit on its board.

The merged system will include five hospitals, more than 550 physicians and 80 outpatient clinics in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rockford Health System has a 396-bed hospital and a 61-bed rehab center. Mercy has hospitals in Janesville and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and a 15-bed facility in Harvard, Illinois. Mr. Bea said this partnership adds specialty pediatric and neonatal care that Mercy does not offer.[9]


Acute-care hospitals[edit]

Medical & specialty centers[edit]

In addition to their main hospitals and clinics, Mercy Health System operates over 65 different medical and specialty centers throughout their service area. Some of these locations include men's and women's health centers, a thrift store, several vision centers, a Hospice care facility, and a 30 bed homeless shelter.




  1. ^ "About Mercyhealth". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Medical History of Janesville, Wisconsin: 1833 - 1933". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  3. ^ "About Mercy Health System". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Hot Jobs 2006". Archived from the original on 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Health Care's Environmental Leaders Receive Nation's Top Honor". Archived from the original on October 5, 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Awards & Recognitions". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  7. ^ "2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies". Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Awards & Recognitions". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  9. ^ "Rockford hospital merges with Wisconsin's Mercy Health". Retrieved 2016-07-29. 

External links[edit]