Superhero sponsorship: Local businesses, organizations bring weekly treats to all departments of Mercy Hospital Ardmore

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
The executive staff of Mercy Hospital Ardmore kicks off a month of superhero sponsorships with Chick-fil-A Ardmore on Monday. From left to right: Vice President of Nursing Debbie Pender, President Daryle Voss, Vice President of Operations Tyler Hillis, Chick-fil-A Ardmore President Drew Anderson, Nursing Director Paula Pfau.

Throughout the month of February, every department at Mercy Hospital Ardmore will be receiving weekly goodies and care packages courtesy of a new project spearheaded by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and the Mercy Foundation. The two joined forces to help organize what they have dubbed the superhero sponsorship program, and now 23 various local businesses and community organizations have all agreed to sponsor one or more of the hospital’s 25 departments.

Lesley Dvorak, executive director of the Mercy Foundation, said the community’s desire to participate has been overwhelming, and the program quickly grew much larger than they initially anticipated.

“We got together a few weeks ago because we wanted to figure out a way that we could honor all of our healthcare workers,” Dvorak said. “At first we were going to focus just on the frontline healthcare workers, but it grew so much that now every department has been sponsored. It’s really taken on a life of it’s own in the best way possible.”

Mita Bates, president of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, said she too was impressed by the community’s willingness to support hospital staff.

“The community of Ardmore, really came forward, and it’s been nothing short of amazing,” Bates said. “They’ve really embraced this, and they really want to do things for the hospital and its employees.”

Bates said Dvorak and Ardmore Chamber of Commerce Communications Coordinator Madison Dial did the majority of the logistical work of matching sponsors with the right department within the hospital. For example, a smaller church group got paired with a small department. Whereas a large business got paired with a department of 60 or 70.

Dvorak said the best part of bringing everything together was allowing the community to support hospital staff in a safe and easy way.

“When you look at a situation like the COVID surge we’ve had at the hospital, sometimes you want to do something but you’re just not sure of how to go about it,” she said. “I’m so thankful that the chamber stepped up in this way because it just gave businesses that framework and told the need.”

The superhero sponsorship program kicked off on Monday with the COVID response unit receiving 75 boxes of food from Chick-fil-A Ardmore. Other departments also received their first round of goodies Monday, and different departments will be getting theirs every day of the week.