Rebirth of Damaged Joplin Hospital Under Way

The first wrecking ball struck the exterior of St. John’s Regional Medical Center on Jan. 29 as the job of clearing five tornado-damaged buildings from its site began.

Heavily damaged St. John's Regional Medical Center was one of the most-photographed structures after an EF5 tornado caused major destruction in Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011. The demolition of that building and four other nearby buildings –- three medical office buildings and a rehab facility -- began Jan. 29 with a combination demolition and groundbreaking ceremony at the site three miles away where the new Mercy Hospital Joplin will be built.

An online article written by Mercy's Laura Keep says salvage crews recovered three time capsules on the property while preparing it for demolition a month ago. One was buried in 1968 when St. John's Regional Medical Center was built, another was buried when its east tower was completed during the 1980s, and the third was left to mark the St. John's centennial in 1996, Keep wrote.

The replacement hospital will be completed in 2015, according to her report.

Dennis Manley, director of quality and risk management at St. John's Regional Medical Center, is scheduled to be a featured presenter at The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources' eighth annual emergency preparedness conference, "M + P + R2 = Resilience (Mitigation + Preparedness + Response and Recovery)," which will take place April 11-12 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott hotel in Arlington, Va. Manley will discuss the damage caused by the tornado, how it was managed, and the lessons hospital officials learned in the process.

Among the event's plenary sessions will be presentations from George Mills, director of engineering at The Joint Commission, about on-site follow-up and post-event strategies, and from Tommie Murray, chief quality officer at Vermont State Hospital, who will explain how an evacuation was accomplished without emergency crew assistance during flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.

To register for the conference, call JCR Customer Service at 877-223-6866 or register online at http://www.jcrinc.com/Conferences-and-Seminars/2012-Annual-Emergency-Preparedness-Conference/4560/.

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