Day of the Child; Mercy to honor those who care for kids and raise awareness of services

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Physical therapist Meredith Sewell (left) works with children to improve their mobility as part of Mercy's outpatient pediatric therapy services. (Submitted Photo)

From opening a new children's hospital to pediatric telemedicine advancements and first-time neonatal intensive care research, Mercy's Day of the Child is more than a celebration. It's Mercy affirming its ongoing commitment to excellence in children's health.

"Caring for children is much different from caring for adults, which is why we have specialized services. We provide exceptional care for common illnesses to rare childhood diseases, and Mercy does it in the most comforting, compassionate way," said Dr. Joseph Kahn, president of Mercy Children's Hospital services. "May 1 is Mercy's Day of the Child. On this day -- all across Mercy -- we celebrate our children, honor those who care for them and renew our commitment to their health. We also thank our communities for their support and the privilege of caring for their children."

Mercy Hospital Fort Scott will celebrate with special giveaways for kids served on Tuesday at any of its service locations, including all Mercy clinics, Mercy Convenient Care locations, ER, outpatient lab, inpatient unit, radiology, Mercy Health for Life and others. Mercy co-workers will also be recognized for their work with children with a packet of seeds to symbolize planting the seed of good health.

"As a pediatrician, my education and training prepared me to care for children and their special set of needs," Fort Scott pediatrician Dr. John Fox said in a news release. "At any moment, I might be called to the OB wing to assist with a struggling newborn, yet later consult with an adolescent experimenting with drugs and alcohol."

"I love what I do in this profession because through the care of a child, I have an opportunity to impact the entire family," Fox added. "It is rewarding to nurture each stage of a child's development. Fortunately, I also specialize in internal medicine, so as my patients' become adults I can continue being their health care provider throughout their life."

Mercy has been taking care of kids since 1827. Founder Catherine McAuley began her healing ministry by serving the sick and poor children and women in Dublin, Ireland. McAuley couldn't have imagined how highly specialized Mercy would become in caring for children.

In Fort Scott, Mercy's pediatric services range from primary care provided in the clinic setting to outpatient physical therapy services. Family medicine specialists at Mercy Clinic Fort Scott, Mercy Clinic Linn County and Mercy Clinic Arma also serve the health care needs of children.

A new outreach initiative this year is sponsorship of the HealthTeacher online education curriculum, which is provided at no cost by Mercy to all area school districts. The health education curriculum is available to teachers of all subjects for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Mercy's reach currently includes 40 area schools in seven districts who are participating in HealthTeacher. These include Fort Scott, Nevada R-V, Uniontown, Pleasanton, Jayhawk-Linn, St. Mary Elementary School in Nevada, Bronaugh R-VII, and Northeast Vernon County R-I.