No one knows what the future holds for health care in the United States, especially since the government has become increasingly involved with ObamaCare. The Mercy Health System plans to develop a model for delivery of health care for the future. The system’s top leaders have selected Mercy Hospital Washington as the site for planning and building a model for the future.

This is quite an honor for the hospital here. Why Washington?

Mike McCurry, chief operating officer for the Mercy system, said this: “Washington is the perfect place for us to plan and build our future model because of our strong integrated structure — because of the community involvement and support we’ve come to expect from this community. We can’t plan for the future without community input, and we’ll be continuing to seek that support as we move forward.”

The integration of the former Patients First Health Care operations with Mercy has resulted in a strong medical presence here. The hospital and the doctors’ office facilities, plus all of the other medical clinics in this area, now combined under Mercy, offer people a high standard of health care. You won’t find this kind of combined health care force in many communities. The situation here is unique and that no doubt entered into the decision to plan and build the new model at this hospital.

When you consider the Mercy system operations — 31 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 integrated physicians — in four states, plus outreach ministries in three other states, selection of Washington as the new model lab site, is impressive. It’s an honor for the leadership and the co-workers at Mercy Washington. Congratulations are in order!

It will take time to plan and build the new model in delivering health care. Mercy is out front in this endeavor. Even though there are many challenges today in this ministry, it’s an exciting time, and this area has been designated as a key player.