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Community hospitals rebrand as Mercy

LORAIN — Community Health Partners is changing its name to the only word that alone signifies its mission and identity: “Mercy,” according to Edwin Oley, president and CEO of the hospital system.

Oley announced the new name at a luncheon Tuesday on the campus of the newly christened Mercy Regional Medical Center, formerly known as Community Regional Medical Center.

Shortly after the announcement, employees followed Oley and hospital executives to the main entrance of the main campus to watch the unveiling of a new temporary hospital sign. All wore new hospital badges with the new hospital name and tagline, “Care you can believe in.’’

Originally known as Lorain Community Hospital, the hospital grew to a health care system when it merged with St. Joseph Hospital about 16 years ago. It’s been known by a series of names since that merger — CHP Regional Medical Center preceded Community Regional — but Oley stressed that the latest renaming was not done lightly.

Mercy was chosen to reflect everything about the Lorain hospital — from what it does to its inclusion in Catholic Healthcare Partners, the largest health system in Ohio. And nearly every other hospital under Catholic Healthcare Partners in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Pennsylvania goes by the name Mercy in some way.

“It really speaks to who we are,” Oley said. “It reflects our faith-based heritage. It reflects our commitment to the community.”

Oley said as it turns out, the hospital’s research showed that commitment to the community was not really recognized by the community it served.

“When we asked folks their perception of our organization, the most common response was ‘I don’t know’ or ‘nothing,’ which is not terribly bad. But it’s not what you want when you are building a communityknown organization,” he said.

The new name will be on all hospitals, facilities, medical groups and foundations under the CHP umbrella.

Allen Community Hospital in Oberlin is now Mercy Allen Hospital. The Community Cancer Center on Schadden Road in Elyria is now Mercy Cancer Center. Tri-City Family Medicine, one of the newest teams of physicians to come under the health system’s wing, will be Mercy Tri-City Medicine.

New signs unifying the brand will roll out through the end of the year. The signs will hopefully be seen as a reflection of its overall mission, said Sister Carol Anne Smith, president of Mercy Board of Trustees.

“This is a new chapter for health care in Lorain County,” she said. “Mercy seems the most fitting name to embrace all of what we do in our mission.”

For those in the attendance, the name change was received as a step in the right direction toward giving the health institution a true identity.

“I’m really excited about the new branding in the community and how it symbolizes mercy as being a bigger part of our community,” Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko said. “I’m excited to have Mercy here in Lorain.”

The word mercy is also indicative of the way many partners of the health system currently operate, hospital officials said.

“At Tri-City, we take care of our patients as we would take care of our own family,” Family Physician Charles M. Butrey said.

Also Tuesday, Oley highlighted some of the changes that have taken place in the hospital system under his leadership.

He picked up where he left off in the spring when he announced a major capital improvement plan that included a $42 million renovation project, the creation of a paperless patient record system and the hiring of 53 people.

Oley said each component is the hospital’s way of surviving and staying true to its mission in an economically distressed area that makes it a struggle to provide health care to the poor and underprivileged.

“While other organizations are trying to cut themselves to success, Mercy has added millions in services and personnel to produce success,” he said. “If we are going to survive, if we are going to be here in 10 years, we need to do that across a lot of different areas.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

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