Now that six months have passed since Mercy Hospital Washington and the Patients First medical group have merged, how’s it going? The report given the past week is that it is going remarkably well.

The report was given to the newly formed Citizens Ambassador Committee, which is composed of former members of the hospital’s advisory and foundations boards and others. The group held its first quarterly meeting Thursday and members were updated on the integration of the two health care providers. Much credit must be given to Terri McLain, hospital president, and Dr. Dave Chalk, M.D., head of Mercy Clinic, which is composed of all members of the medical staff, for their leadership and cooperation.

Once competitors in the delivery of health care in this area, the community was split over this situation, with each vying for support from patients and the community as a whole. People in this area through forums expressed a strong desire that they join forces. Both listened and the leadership forged a dialogue that led to the consolidation of the two organizations. The transition into one entity has been relatively smooth, with differences resolved.

What has resulted is a stronger hospital and medical group. Together they can do more in the hospital service area than providing health care in opposing operations.

There appears to be few lingering disagreements or hard feelings, This is a credit to all of the individuals involved. The challenges always will be there. The hospital is in a better position to meet those challenges.

The end result is better health care for the people. The future is bright for Mercy Hospital Washington and the people it serves.