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HomeMedicineMercy to Honor Longstanding Board Member's Decades of Service, Passion for People

Mercy to Honor Longstanding Board Member’s Decades of Service, Passion for People

Mercy to Honor Longstanding Board Member’s Decades of Service, Passion for People

Cheryl Morley championed access to behavioral health care

ST. LOUIS, June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — As she steps down from years of service to Mercy’s board of directors, most recently as chair of its community committee, Mercy is taking several steps to recognize Cheryl Morley and ensure her legacy of giving lives on.

Morley has long-held, equally strong passions for health care and helping people. As a board member, she has been a staunch advocate for improving access to behavioral health care in particular.

“Cheryl has always made behavioral health, and access to it, a top priority. It’s just not that common that someone prioritizes behavioral health care,” said Patty Morrow, Mercy’s vice president of behavioral health operations. “Whether that’s because of a stigma around behavioral health, challenges with provider shortages or another reason, if someone champions this issue, it’s usually because their heart is in the right place, and they really, truly care about helping people. I’ve always really admired that about Cheryl, and she will be deeply missed.” 

As a recognition of her efforts throughout her many years of service, Mercy’s Behavioral Health Regional Access Center currently located at Mercy Hospital St. Louis will be relocated to Mercy’s Virtual Care Center and named in Morley’s honor.

“Behavior health needs are immense in the world today and certainly across the communities in which Mercy serves. There are many challenges in addressing behavior health given the broad range of needs. Whether the diagnosis is depression, anxiety or a complex dissociative disorder, Mercy is addressing mental health as a key component of total wellness. I am thankful and proud to have been a part of this incredible and caring organization,” said Morley.

The behavioral center provides centralized bed placement coordination, insurance precertification and authorization, among other functions, across all of Mercy’s footprint, serving all virtually with 24/7 access to care. The hub, piloted in 2018, has helped Mercy improve access for patients in need of psychiatric hospitalization and outpatient programs. The center also offers virtual mental health evaluation services for emergency departments across all of Mercy.

“We have been blessed with board members who have the kind of dedication Cheryl has,” said Steve Mackin, Mercy’s president and chief executive officer. “We are also incredibly grateful to have had Cheryl serving Mercy’s board of directors as long as we have. She would probably tell you it was nothing remarkable, just what needed to be done, but the impact her service has had and will continue to have on Mercy’s mission for many years to come is truly impossible to quantify.”

In addition to naming Mercy’s behavioral care hub in recognition of Morley’s service, Mercy is also providing funding in her name that will create a permanent, full-time intake caseworker position to administer Mercy’s system-wide co-worker crisis fund, which exists to assist co-workers and their families experiencing financial hardship and in times of need, enabling Mercy to provide more real-time support to all co-workers.

In her work on Mercy’s community committee, Morley always strived to find ways Mercy could better serve Mercy communities, with particular regard to those with the least financial means. She led a charge to try and find ways that needs could be met before the point of requiring charity care or financial assistance, such as proactively providing vaccinations and other preventative care to people who struggled to afford it.

Later this year, Mercy will host Morley and guests at a reception and blessing, where Mercy’s Behavioral Health Regional Access Center will be unveiled at its new location and named in Morley’s honor.

Mercy, one of the 20 largest U.S. health systems and named the top large system in the U.S. for excellent patient experience by NRC Health, serves millions annually with nationally recognized care and one of the nation’s largest and highest performing Accountable Care Organizations in quality and cost. Mercy is a highly integrated, multi-state health care system including more than 50 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has over 900 physician practice locations and outpatient facilities, more than 4,500 physicians and advanced practitioners and 50,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In fiscal year 2023 alone, Mercy provided more than half a billion dollars of free care and other community benefits, including traditional charity care and unreimbursed Medicaid.


Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mercy-to-honor-longstanding-board-members-decades-of-service-passion-for-people-302180670.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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