Rob Steele (left), Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Children's Mercy Kansas City, visited with John Myers (center), Mercy President, and Marie Moore (right), Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy in Springfield. (Photo provided by Mercy Southwest Missouri)

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The partnership between Mercy Southwest Missouri and a Kansas City-based children's hospital is taking its first steps to bring better pediatric care to Springfield.

Children's Mercy Kansas City (CMKC), which entered a partnership with Mercy Southwest Missouri in March, sent leaders to Mercy Hospital Springfield May 7 to evaluate the pediatric care needs of the the Springfield metro area, according to a company press release. This was the second Mercy site visit for CMKC representatives.

Leaders from both hospitals met to discuss next steps and decided more site visits were necessary to choose which services are needed the most urgently in Springfield, according to the release.

Mercy Children's Hospital is a pediatric facility located at 1235 E. Cherokee Street in Springfield. (Photo by Rance Burger)

“We are excited to begin immersing in the Springfield Community to understand the priority needs,” Rob Steele, chief strategy and innovation officer at CMKC, said in the press release.

“Providing specialized care in the region so patients and families can stay close to home is our top priority and with every site visit we’re one step closer to identifying where we can make the biggest impact first.”

In March, Mercy Southwest Missouri announced the partnership with CMKC, squashing a previous partnership with CoxHealth that was touted as unprecedented cooperation between the two competing hospital systems. The announcement of the partnership with CMKC also ended plans for a new, stand-alone pediatric hospital in Springfield. Instead, CMKC will use existing Mercy facilities for pediatric care.

One of the key takeaways of the visit was the need for more pediatric general surgery specialists, according to the company press release. In additional site visits, the companies will further evaluate which pediatric specialists are needed first.

“We took their pediatric leaders around our children’s hospital and showed them areas where our team is really strong and also the areas where we can work together to meet the needs of kids in our community,” Jennifer Murray, director of nursing, women's and children's services at Mercy Springfield Hospital, said in the press release.

Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the business and economic development reporter for the Hauxeda. Collins graduated from Glendale High School in 2011 before studying journalism and economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked for Bloomberg News. Contact him at (417) 849-2570 or More by Ryan Collins