Mercy Memorial Health Center will “light up” the two-story cross on the new patient tower for the first time at dusk today.


The public is invited to attend the event which will begin at 8:30 p.m.


Mercy Memorial Health Center will “light up” the two-story cross on the new patient tower for the first time at dusk today.

 

The public is invited to attend the event which will begin at 8:30 p.m.

 

The lighting of the 2,000-pound, 25-foot-tall revolving cross is part of the festivities surrounding the opening of a $60 million new patient tower and “go-live” of the medical facility’s integrated electronic health record.

 

“The cross speaks to Mercy’s mission which is ‘as the Sisters of Mercy before us, we bring to life the healing ministry of Jesus through our compassionate care and exceptional service,’” said Mindy Burdick, president of Mercy Memorial. “And for all of our co-workers, we figuratively follow the cross to work every day. Now we literally follow the cross to work every day.”

 

The cross is illuminated with LEDs which consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional lighting. The high-tech cross also has a system that measures wind speeds. The cross “parks” or stops whenever wind speeds exceed 25 mph to reduce the wear on gears. Similar to how a windmill works, the cross stops whenever the face is 90 degrees from the main wind direction. Twirling 20 times an hour, the cross will rotate an estimated 175,200 times a year, according to Shana Hammond, MMHC marketing and communications.

 

“The cross was not in the original design for the patient tower. But the shared vision of everyone engaged in the project was for something that would identify the new facility as a true landmark in the community,” Hammond said. “That’s when the Mercy Health Ministry board and Mercy senior leaders, based in St. Louis, decided to make personal donations to purchase the cross so it serve as a beacon across the area.”

 

Burdick called the lighting of the cross, the opening of the new patient tower and the integrated electronic health record, “a very exciting time for our community.”

 

Through the trio of firsts Burdick said, “We will provide southern Oklahomans a higher quality of care. Mercy is one of only 2 percent of hospitals in the nation with a comprehensive EHR, which will coordinate care across Mercy.”

 

The new patient tower officially opens June 27 in addition to EHR “go live. “

 

In addition to lighting the cross MMHC is inviting the community to a patient tower open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.