Mercy Hospital is an 82-bed acute-care hospital in Durango, Colorado. Mercy Hospital was founded in 1882 but has grown to become Southwest Colorado's largest and most technologically advanced medical facility. It is the only hospital in the region to receive from Medicare a five-star rating for overall hospital quality. Mercy Hospital's areas of specialty include orthopedic and spine surgery, cardiology, emergency, and trauma care, cancer care, and more.
About Our Hospital
Legacy of care & healing
Welcome to Mercy Hospital, southwest Colorado's largest and most technologically advanced medical facility. Continuing the legacy of care that began in 1882 when the Sisters of Mercy opened Durango's first hospital, Mercy Hospital is a not-for-profit, full-service, acute care hospital designated as a Level III trauma center.
As a not-for-profit, Mercy Hospital is committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities it serves and the individuals who receive care at the hospital.
The facility includes state-of-the-art medical technology, including a 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner and breast MRI in an environment designed to promote a sense of wellness and healing. Our healing environment includes a healing garden, labyrinth, chapel, artwork, nutritious meals prepped by an executive chef, and a TLC program.
- Square Footage: 212,000
- Attached Medical Office Building (not owned by Mercy): 153,00
- Total Rooms (Capacity): 82
- Board Certified Physicians: 135
- Medical Specialities & Sub-Specialties: 35
- Full-Time & Part-Time Employees: 800
- FY21 Uncompensated/Charity care: $5,928,950
The first hospital in the Four Corners region was Mercy Hospital of the San Juans, started by the Sisters of Mercy in 1882. Although it had only six beds and was attached to a boarding school, the small hospital opened to great fanfare on September 1. It was located along the Animas River in what was then an open field north of old downtown Durango. In 1884, a new building, often referred to as the "stone hospital" because of its native sandstone construction, was finished, and the hospital's name was changed to Mercy Hospital.
Major additions took place in 1892, 1931, and 1952, and over the following 50 years, the building, located at 375 East Park Avenue, went through various additions and remodels, while older sections of the facility were demolished to make room for the new. By the late 1990s, Mercy Medical Center was operating at capacity but unable to expand because downtown Durango had literally grown up around it. Plans were drawn for a brand new facility to be built in the newly annexed Grandview area of Durango.
In June of 2006, Mercy Hospital opened. The 212,000-square-foot facility is state-of-the-art, with the latest medical technologies, an attached 153,000-square-foot medical office building, an ambulatory surgical center, and plenty of room to expand in the future. The old Mercy Hospital building was demolished in 2006, and the land was donated to the city of Durango. The Durango Public Library now occupies the former hospital site.
A brief history of the Sisters of Mercy Catherine
McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in September 1778, to a prosperous Catholic family. Her father, James McGauley, died in 1783 when Catherine was just five years old, but his compassion for the poor — especially children and families who lived nearby — was a lifelong example for his eldest daughter. When her mother Elinor died in 1798, Catherine chose to live in the home of relatives, some of whom were non-Catholic and had little tolerance for her pious practices. In 1803 Catherine was invited to live in the home of William and Catherine Callaghan as a companion to Mrs. Callaghan. The Callaghans were childless, and upon Mr. Callaghan's death in 1822, Catherine inherited their fortune of £25,000 (the equivalent of about £1,048,000 or $1.6 million in today's currency), their estate, "furniture and plate." In 1824, Catherine used her inheritance to lease property on Baggot Street, a fashionable neighborhood in Dublin, for the purpose of building a large house for religious, educational, and social services for women and children. Other women, intrigued by the house and the work for which it was intended, were attracted to Catherine and began to join her preparations for the ministry she planned.
On September 24, 1827, the Feast of our Lady of Mercy, the first residents came to live in the house they called "the House of Mercy" in honor of the day, and two years later, the chapel was dedicated. Between late 1829 and 1830, after prayerful deliberation and consultation, Catherine and her associates agreed to found a new religious congregation. Though this was not her original intention, Catherine began the founding of a new religious congregation of women dedicated to service to the poor. Catherine and two of her associates entered the Convent of the Presentation Sisters in Dublin on Sept. 8, 1830, to begin formal preparation for founding the Sisters of Mercy.
Fifteen months later, the trio pronounced vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and to persevere until death in "the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy." Thus, the new community was founded on December 12, 1831. Catherine lived only 10 years as a Sister of Mercy, but in that time, she established nine additional autonomous foundations in Ireland and England and two branch houses near Dublin. When she died in 1841, there were 150 Sisters of Mercy. Shortly thereafter, small groups of sisters left Ireland at the invitation of bishops in Newfoundland, New Zealand, the United States, Argentina, and Australia.
The first Sisters of Mercy arrived in the United States in 1843 at the invitation of the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Their energy in ministering to the sick and economically poor attracted many new members. By 1854, the Sisters of Mercy had come from Ireland to settle in New York and San Francisco. They continued to spread throughout the country, establishing schools and hospitals where they went, including Durango. Mother Mary Baptist Meyers and four other Sisters of Mercy arrived in the fast-growing mining town of Durango on April 29, 1882. They were recruited from St. Louis, Missouri, by Colorado's first bishop. Being a nursing and teaching order, within four months, the sisters were running two schools, a temporary orphanage, and a small hospital attached to one of the schools.
The Sisters' community involvement and membership grew over time with the establishment of the order's first Colorado motherhouse in Durango and their expansion into other Colorado communities. During her 18 years in Colorado, Mother Baptist sent Sisters of Mercy to Ouray, Cripple Creek, Manitou Springs, and Denver. She eventually moved the motherhouse to Denver because funding opportunities were greater for the numerous charities and non-profits operated by the religious order. But Mother Baptist never abandoned Durango; she died on her final trip to the Durango convent. Although the Sisters of Mercy are no longer involved in the hospital's operation, Mercy Hospital honors and continues the Sisters' legacy of care.
The history of nursing at Mercy
Five Sisters of Mercy from St. Louis arrived in Durango in 1882. The first night they arrived, they slept in the loft of a barn behind the Catholic church, but within weeks, they had opened two schools (one on each side of the Animas River because the bridge was unsafe) and a temporary orphanage, established their Motherhouse, and were visiting the area's ill and infirm. On September 1, 1882, these five remarkable women opened two ward rooms attached to a school and christened it Mercy Hospital of the San Juans.
The Sisters began their legacy of care in the two-room hospital, which slowly grew with the needs of the community and evolved along with the science of healthcare. In the first few years, all nursing care was provided by the Sisters, but as the years passed, they relied more and more on locally trained women. In 1910, the Mercy Hospitals in Denver and Durango co-sponsored a school of nursing. In those days, nurses managed every aspect of the hospital. The one thing that has not changed with time is that nurses are still at the patient's bedside every hour of the day.
Nursing at Mercy today
Today, Mercy Hospital nurses proudly continue the Sisters' legacy of care and make a difference in nearly every department of the hospital. Here, you will find them not only in the traditional patient care units, but also in our integrative care department, risk management, quality, case management, various clinics, the education and chart auditing departments, and elsewhere, applying their critical thinking skills to continuously improve our hospital.
We believe in patient care provided predominantly by an RN nursing staff. Because of this care delivery model, and our belief that more nurses at the bedside results in better patient care, Mercy Hospital has attained excellent quality outcomes, short lengths of stay, and outstanding patient satisfaction scores.
Mercy Hospital may be located in a rural area, but it is by no means simple. Our nurses have the opportunity to partner with internationally known members of our medical staff to deliver exceptional orthopedic and spine care, trauma care, intensive/critical care, women's health services, and cardiac care (including interventions), and more, all at the area's only comprehensive regional medical center.
Our philosophy of patient care
In the spirit of shared decision-making, we each embody personal commitment, respect, integrity, accountability, and compassion in all that we do, and with all who we interact. We passionately believe a joyful heart is good medicine.
Our nurses are deeply compassionate professionals who care for their neighbors and friends. Our belief in shared decision making ensures that front-line nurses are actively involved in a variety of committees and task forces, guiding decisions that set the direction for care at the bedside.
We are proud of our nurses here at Mercy Hospital, and proud to work with them.
From a patient's perspective, being in a hospital is often a cause of anxiety. Who will care for me? Do they know what I need? Are there enough people to care for me?
At Mercy Hospital, a team of well educated professionals takes care of patients at the hospital 24 hours a day. Patient care teams are tailored to the patient's needs, depending on the severity and type of illness or injury a patient may have. We treat each patient as an individual, not a condition, and we do everything we can to accommodate their unique needs and make their stay as comfortable as possible. At every opportunity we strive to exceed our patients' expectations.
Integrative Care Services/Touch, Love, and Compassion (TLC) program includes complementary therapies for patients, such as:
- Gentle massage
- Healing touch therapies
- Guided meditations
- Relaxing music through the CARE channel
Leadership & Board
Patrick Sharp, MBA, serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mercy Hospital. In his position, Patrick lives his passion for rural healthcare and his mission to be a leader who inspires others to flourish in a balanced life through faith, integrity, accountability, and the pursuit of knowledge.
Patrick excels at relationship building and transparent communication. He enjoys creating lasting connections with both internal and external partners. As CEO of Mercy, Patrick cultivates strong, trusting relationships with Mercy’s board, associates, advanced practice providers, physicians, and volunteers to impact the health and wholeness of every life, every neighbor, and every community Mercy serves.
Prior to joining Mercy, Patrick served as President & CEO of Fairview Range Regional Medical Center in Hibbing, MN, where he was responsible for the overall leadership, strategic planning, and operation of the licensed 175-bed hospital, as well as primary and specialty care clinics and home health and hospice services. During his tenure with the Fairview Range healthcare system, Patrick also held the senior leadership positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Clinic Operations and Radiation Therapy, supporting operations and strategic initiatives in both inpatient and ambulatory settings. Prior to Fairview Range, Patrick served in regulatory compliance roles for Beckman Coulter, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific. Early in his professional life, Patrick was a medicolegal death investigator working for the Minnesota Regional Coroner’s Office in Hastings, MN.
Patrick received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Business Administration from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. He was a member of the Minnesota Hospital Association’s Policy & Advocacy Committee and previously served on the board of the Hibbing Community College Foundation. To help strengthen both his faith and leadership skills, Patrick is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Philosophy with an emphasis in Theology. He is married to Dr. Sereen Sharp, and they have four children: Kade, Kyler, Cale, and Adelle.
As CNO, Sherry lives her mission to inspire others to find joy in our healing ministry of Christ, as a nursing profession of one, through colleague collaboration, compassion, respect, integrity, and excellence. In her position, Sherry builds collaborative, trusting relationships with everyone, from caregivers serving on the frontline to Mercy’s Community Board of Trustees, while embracing Mercy’s healing ministry to impact the health and wholeness of every member of our surrounding communities.
Prior to joining Mercy, Sherry served as CNO of Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing, MN. Under her leadership, Fairview Range adopted nursing practice councils, nurse-physician dyads, outpatient orthopedic surgical services, and a high-reliability approach to patient care with Safety Always at the forefront.
Sherry received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s University in Bismarck, N.D.
David Solomon serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Mercy Hospital. David most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of Ambulatory & IT Services at Centura Health and has served Centura since 2016. He is on a mission to cultivate relationships, a feature we value deeply in this community.
David is a strong leader with great experience in healthcare finance and operations. Prior to his roles at Centura, David worked with Ernst & Young’s healthcare assurance practice as well as with FTI Consulting in their capital markets and acquisitions group. He has a passion for collaboration and a focus on the impact on patient care and will lead Mercy Hospital in best practices of financial responsibility while caring for the needs of our community.
David earned his Master of Accounting from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Furman University in Greenville, SC.
Andrew Ritz serves as the Vice President of Operations of Mercy Hospital.
On a mission to design and inspire progress through the lens of authentic relationships, Andrew has served Centura Health since 2017. Most recently, Andrew held the role of Vice President of Operations at Longmont United Hospital, where he played a key role in expanding the community’s access to whole person care, recruiting new physicians to the hospital, and growing market share in key service lines.
Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science in Business and Healthcare Management from the University of Connecticut before completing his master’s in Health Administration at Cornell University.
He spent three years as a lieutenant in the United States Navy, working at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, IL, as well as the Naval Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20). While in the Navy, Andrew directed strategic initiatives to optimize and improve workflow operations for multiple departments.
Fr. Augustine Nellary, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Mission Integration of Mercy Hospital.
On a mission to care for our healthcare heroes and build healthier communities, Fr. Augustine provides operational leadership and oversight to ensure that our Christian identity, Mission, and Values are communicated and integrated into the whole person care we provide.
In addition, Fr. Augustine leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives that support the faith-based culture of Mercy, including ethics formation, spiritual care of staff and patients, core values education, engagement of our local faith communities, global ministries, community benefit program development, and work to develop and strengthen partnerships within our community.
Fr. Augustine has extensive experience in Catholic hospital mission leadership as well as in Catholic theology and ethics. He has been a Catholic priest for 27 years.
Prior to joining Mercy, Fr. Augustine served in the Diocese of Portland, Maine where he served in parishes and also as the Vice President of Mission Integration of a faith-based hospital. He also served as a staff chaplain in Jacksonville, FL, while completing four units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Fr. Augustine earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Theology through the Graduate Theological Foundation in Oklahoma, with the majority of his course work completed at Oxford University, UK. He holds undergraduate degrees in theology and philosophy from the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Religious Studies in India.
Bryce York, MBA, serves as Regional Director of Operations of Mercy Hospital. On a mission to serve others, Bryce is responsible for leading primary and specialty care operations in the Four Corners region in partnership with his dyad physician partner, Dr. Christopher Hudson, Chief Medical Officer.
Among his many responsibilities, Bryce oversees fiscal management and resource allocation, development and implementation of specific standards of care, policies and procedures, as well as new service line development.
He brings a wealth of medical group management experience to his role. Prior to joining Mercy, Bryce served in a similar role in Michigan as Regional Director of Operations for the McLaren Medical Group.
Bryce earned his undergraduate degree in Communications and Telecommunications from Ohio University. He earned his Master of Business Administration with a focus in General Management from Regent University. Bryce also holds his Project Management Certificate from Baldwin Wallace University.
Board of Trustees
Richard Miller serves as Chair of Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A resident of Pagosa Springs for more than 25 years, Richard is on a mission to support Mercy Hospital and Centura Health to create the finest whole health system today.
Prior to serving on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees, Richard was a board member on the Mercy Hospital Foundation Board, a position he had held since 1999. He also volunteered with the Hospice of Mercy. Richard finds the Board of Trustees to be active and engaged. As a community volunteer, he finds these characteristics important and wants to be part of the dynamic.
Richard is retired after two successful careers in commercial structural steel construction and geodesic dome greenhouse design and building. Prior to this, he served 3 ½ tours of combat duty in Vietnam.
Richard would like our community to know that Mercy Hospital is more than a "medical center." The caregivers at Mercy are neighbors you will meet in town every day, sharing their time with you and others. Our caregivers live day-to-day with all the hopes, life issues, and dreams we all share in this human experience.
Dr. Jim Birgenheier’s career may best be defined in a single word: initiative. After completing an anesthesiology residency and fellowship in Seattle at the University of Washington, Dr. Birgenheier came to Durango from Seattle in 1996. He quickly went to work at then simply “Mercy Medical Center” in what is now the town library. Among several system improvements, Dr. Birgenheier ushered in the availability of epidural analgesia for women in labor and patient-controlled analgesia for postoperative inpatients. Dr. Birgenheier participated in a number of hospital committees and the formation of multiple workgroups dedicated to the furtherance of high-quality patient care. Most notably, Dr. Birgenheier was one of two anesthesiologists in the startup of a cardiac surgery program in 2003 at Mercy Hospital.
From 2003-2006, Dr. Birgenheier was a principal member of the heart team at Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque, often teaching anesthesiology residents on rotation from the University of New Mexico.
In 2006, Dr. Birgenheier took a staff position at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. Over the next six years, he took on leadership roles: first as the Director of Cardiac Anesthesiology, ultimately becoming the Perioperative Medical Director of this 398-bed hospital. There, he built an Anesthesiology Department of 45 members, gaining accolades for performance as the “Best of Banner” Hospitals.
Dr. Birgenheier returned to a now new-to-him Mercy Hospital in 2015. He has again sought to participate in multiple hospital committees and in 2019, agreed to serve as the President-Elect of the Mercy Hospital Medical Staff. At the onset of 2021, he has transitioned to the role of Mercy Hospital Medical Staff President for a two-year term.
Dr. Birgenheier approaches his interests with a great heart. This includes non-clinical interests as well. He is an avid mountain biker, hiker, and skier; a 4-Man Team Race Across America (RAAM) Finisher, multiple Iron Horse Bicycle Classic (IHBC) entrant, and 2-time Ironman. He is proud to be married to Aimee Birgenheier, NP, Four Corners OB/GYN, and father/step-father to their four teenagers – Allison, Adelaide, Paige, and Wyatt.
Lastly, Dr. Birgenheier hopes to honor his late father, Jim Sr., each day by finding the humor in life. This includes Dr. Birgenheier’s genuine belief that laughter is, after all, the best medicine.
Steve Swisher serves as Chair of Mercy Hospital’s Governance Committee. A resident of Durango for more than 40 years, Steve is on a mission to promote quality and inclusive health care to the community.
Steve has served on Mercy’s Board of Trustees since 2017, during which he also served as Board Chair. Prior to this, Steve served on the Mercy Health Foundation Board. Steve was inspired to serve on Mercy’s Board of Trustees because of the many dedicated individuals and health care professionals connected with Mercy. He is motivated by Mercy’s vision for quality health care.
Now retired, Steve was the managing partner for Durango’s Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. and Brown’s Sport Shoe.
He would like the community to know that Mercy’s professional caregivers are dedicated and will continue to meet the area’s health care needs. He is proud to be connected with this organization and offer his volunteer service to the goals and mission of Mercy.
Carma Claw, Ph.D., serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A lifelong resident of the Durango area, Carma’s mission in her mother tongue is ‘Koo' doo hózhóogo naa sháa doo leel. Hózhó náhásdlíí'’, which means, from here forward may I exist in balance, in harmony, in positivity, in humility.
Carma joined Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in July of 2020, driven to serve by her desire to share her industry knowledge and her unique perspective as an area resident and consumer of Mercy Hospital’s medical services. She also recognizes the importance of serving as an ambassador and being a conduit for voices of communities that are served by Mercy Hospital. Additionally, Carma aspires to provide a unique presence, voice, and viewpoint as a citizen of the Diné (Navajo) nation for regional Indigenous and other underrepresented communities who work with Mercy for their medical needs.
In her professional career, Carma is an Assistant Professor of Management at Fort Lewis College. In teaching senior level courses, she aims to share scholarly expertise and works in business strategy, organizational behavior, and business ethics. In additions, she has 20 years of professional experience in the defense industry.
Carma would like the community to know that Mercy Hospital has been a significant wellness provider for this region since 1882 operating with a compassionate touch and holistic care for more than a half million people each year. The state-of-the-art facility is Southwest Colorado's largest and most technologically advanced. Mercy Hospital’s management team works hard to be true to the mission of caring for you – caring for those who are ill and nurturing the health of the people in our communities.
Wanda Ellingson, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A resident of Durango for more than 30 years, Wanda is on a mission to bring community perspectives and ensure Mercy is nurturing the health of everyone in the community.
Wanda joined Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2020 driven by her desire to continue her commitment to the community by matching her skills, knowledge and values to a community agency, institution or program. Wanda realized that her previous work as a medical social worker, educator, consumer and caregiver of a relative who utilized Mercy Hospital care and services was a good fit. She also worked at Mercy as a medical social worker and valued the passion and dedication of all who worked at the hospital.
Wanda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker trained in medical social work, bilingual bicultural mental health and social work education. During her years in Durango, she has worked at Southwest Colorado Mental Health (now Axis Health System) in many clinical and administrative roles and then for 20 years with the University of Denver Master of Social Work Program in Durango educating students from the Four Corners and the surrounding tribal communities.
Wanda would like the community to know how fortunate it is to have a hospital that is consistently recognized for the outstanding care it provides. Providing health care in rural areas is no easy feat and the Four Corners is fortunate to have the hospital, physician group practices and many other services associated with Mercy Hospital in the community.
Tom Gessel, MHA, became Group President for Centura Health in October 2017 following a year of serving as Senior Vice President of Operations and Network Development for Centura Health and four years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Hospital in Durango. He has also served as the executive sponsor of human resources for Centura Health.
In his current role, Gessel provides operational leadership to the Greater Colorado and Kansas Group, which includes Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, Mercy Hospital in Durango, Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs, St. Anthony Summit Hospital in Frisco, St. Catherine Hospital and Bob Wilson Memorial Grant Hospital in western Kansas, St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, and St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City. Gessel’s commitment to deliver whole person care provides a critical foundation to grow and connect services and resources in these markets and supports our mission-driven associates and physicians in building healthy communities.
Prior to joining Centura Health, Gessel had extensive regional health system and network development experience in both urban and rural markets in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron and a master’s degree in health administration from Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Valerie Mangrum serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A resident of Durango for more than 10 years, Valerie is on a mission to be a loving and peaceful influence in her community and to all she meets.
Valerie joined Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2020 driven to serve by her desire to give more. In her professional career, for 10 years she has served as the Executive Director of the Durango Pregnancy Center and is a certified life coach.
Valerie would like the community to know that Mercy Hospital is a place that cares about its people and its patients. It is a place of people doing their very best and she is confident in the work and mission of Mercy Hospital.
Sister Margaret McBride, RSM, serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A Religious Sister of Mercy, Sister Margaret is on a mission to provide compassionate care for all individuals she encounters. Being a Sister of Mercy, she is often asked to aid patients who need care but may not have insurance or the means to pay for services. Alleviating that suffering or anxiety is very important to her.
Sister Margaret joined Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2020 and is grateful to be one of the religious sponsors of the Sisters of Mercy and is honored to serve on the board
She is a registered nurse and has had the opportunity to work in the full-continuum of care including acute care, skilled care, and home care. She currently serves as the Vice President for Mission Integration for the Arizona Service Area of Dignity Health. Sister Margaret resides in Phoenix, Ariz.
Sister Margaret would like the community to know that Mercy provides a high standard of quality care. She has been impressed with her fellow board members’ commitment and how they represent the voice of the community when providing direction to the hospital.
Katy Pepinsky serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A resident of Durango for 15 years, Katy is on a mission to live each day with intention, curiosity, and love. She is most fulfilled when she is in connection and in service to her community.
Katy joined Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2020. In alignment with the mission and values of Mercy Hospital, serving on the board allows her to work toward building a health care system that meets the needs of all members of the community.
She serves as the Executive Director at La Plata Youth Services (LPYS), a community-based, nonprofit organization that for more than 25 years has provided support and advocacy to youth facing challenges in school, home, or court in La Plata County.
Katy would like the community to know that Mercy Hospital is rooted in the professionalism and care of its people. As a new board member, she has been so impressed seeing the talent and commitment of the people working at Mercy Hospital, including their ongoing dedication to supporting the health and well-being of the people in the community.
Heidi Zink serves on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. A fifth-generation resident of Durango, Heidi is on a mission to serve the board and community and grow through the experience.
Heidi has served on Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees for 7 years. She was driven to serve by her desire to grow, learn, and represent the voices of advanced practice providers and nurses, as well as the community.
In her professional career, Heidi is a Certified Nurse Midwife. Though she has retired from attending births she continues to provide women’s wellness care at Southwest Midwives.
Heidi would like the community to know that Mercy Hospital is a remarkable medical center, especially for a community of our size. The providers and associates at Mercy Hospital are passionate and skilled.
Mercy Hospital is committed to bringing the very best care and the highest level of compassion to our community. We have many community members who volunteer at Mercy Hospital to help embody our commitment of care and compassion to our patients and family members every day. Whether you are helping in the gift shop, welcoming people at our front desk, working to support a department's staff, or quietly holding a hand in the ER waiting room, you are always good medicine.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator: 970-247-4311
Are there age requirements to volunteer at Mercy Hospital?
Yes. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. Some volunteer opportunities may be limited due to additional age requirements.
I do not have a Social Security Number. Can I still apply to volunteer?
No. A valid Social Security Number is required because no other form of identification can be substituted for our verification process.
I have court-ordered community service. Can I volunteer at Mercy Hospital?
No. We cannot accept court-ordered service volunteers.
Where do I send my completed application?
You may complete and submit your application online. All applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Authorization to Volunteer.
What will happen if I do not agree to complete the screening process?
According to laws and healthcare regulations, all prospective volunteers are required to complete our screening process, which includes a thorough background check and health screening. Those who do not complete the screenings will not be able to volunteer at Mercy Hospital. This process, though rigorous, helps to ensure the health and well-being of our volunteers, staff, and the patients and families we serve. As a result, it is a benefit to you as well as to Mercy Hospital.
What should my immunization record show?
We require proof of immunization against MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and chickenpox (varicella). If you do not have records of these immunizations, you may ask your physician to draw a blood titer to determine which vaccinations you have received. If you have not had the above immunizations, you will need to receive these before volunteering; the costs of obtaining those immunizations will be your responsibility to incur, so you may want to check with your insurance provider or physician's office.
Where can I get a physical or have blood titers drawn to prove immunity?
Your family physician should be able to assist; however, if you do not have a physician or do not live close to your physician's office, you may call the volunteer office to arrange a blood draw at Mercy Hospital. All costs of obtaining a physical or immunizations are your responsibility, so you may want to check with your insurance provider or physician's office.
Why do I need a Tuberculosis (TB) test, and what is it?
The TB test is used to determine if you have developed an immune response to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). This response can occur if someone currently has TB, has been exposed to it in the past, or has received the BCG vaccine against TB (this vaccine is not given in the U.S.). At Mercy Hospital, we do a TB Quantiferon. This is a blood test that takes the place of doing multiple TB skin tests.
Mercy Hospital is Southwest Colorado's largest and most technologically advanced medical facility. Our areas of specialty include breast diagnostics, cancer care, emergency medicine, a level III trauma unit and radiology. As a non-profit hospital that is part of the Centura Health network, Mercy Hospital is committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities it serves in the Four Corners region.
Bringing world-class orthopedic care home
From bone health programs that minimize the risk of fractures to sports medicine and joint replacement surgery, our orthopedic surgeons are making sure that no one in the Four Corners area has to leave home to get advanced treatments and excellent results. Our recent Healthgrades 5-Star award for our total hip replacement program is the latest indicator of the excellence you can count on.
We want your experience at Mercy Hospital to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We have put together a handful of information to provide you and your family and friends with answers to the most common questions we get asked. If you don't find what you are looking for here, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
All Visitor Information
Please read Centura Health's current COVID-19 visitor restrictions. Contact the hospital directly for additional individual visitor policies that may apply.
Parking is open and surrounds the building.
Valet service is not available.
The Centura Health Outpatient Pharmacy at Mercy Hospital, conveniently located off of Mercy Hospital’s main lobby, features a selection of gift, convenience, and health and wellness products, including Catholic and inspirational themes.
Our product selection includes:
- Flowers by April’s Garden
- Greeting cards
- Small gifts & home décor accessories
- Baby & get-well gifts
- Children’s toys/books
- Over the counter items
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Bedside delivery may be available - please inquire with a pharmacy staff member!
Garden Terrace Café
- 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Closed Saturday and Sunday
Café options include cook-to-order grill items from the Tecolote Grill, daily chef selection entrées and sides at Main Street Eats, custom salad and entrees made to order at the Market Place and enjoy the fresh and healthy salad selections at the Santa Rita Salad Bar.
Merciful Mug Coffee Shop
- 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
- 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Mug serves hot and cold food and beverage options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Mercy Chapel is located in the main lobby with the following services available:
- Catholic Mass
- Wednesday: 12:00 pm
- Interdenominational prayer services
- Sunday: 9:30 - 9:45 am
Seasonal/special occasion services - announced in advance
Labyrinth Meditation Garden
Located on the west side of Mercy Hospital is the Labyrinth Meditation Garden. The labyrinth supports health and well-being by addressing the needs of the body, mind, and spirit. Walking the path through the labyrinth relaxes the body, encourages the mind to release anxious thoughts, and supports the inner journey to health and wellness. Some people use the labyrinth and garden area for a place to pray, meditate, or reflect.
"Walking a labyrinth has something to offer everybody. If a creative work project is challenging you, walking can get your creative juices flowing. When you are struggling with grief or anger or a physical challenge or illness, walking the labyrinth can point the way to healing and wholeness. If you want a way to meditate or pray that engages your body as well as your soul, the labyrinth can be such a way. When you just want reflective time away from a busy life, the labyrinth can offer you time out." -Melissa Gayle West, Exploring the Labyrinth
The labyrinth is open to the public year-round during daylight hours. To find the labyrinth garden, exit via the Garden Café, pass along the waterfall until you reach the end of the sidewalk, turn right and continue around the southwest corner of the building until you reach the arch entrance. You may choose to walk the labyrinth in solitude or with a docent.
To make an appointment to walk the labyrinth with a docent or receive further information about the labyrinth, contact the Spiritual Care Department:
- Phone: 970-764-2340
Labyrinth gift items are available for purchase in the Mercy gift shop. A guide to walking a labyrinth is available at the entrance to the Labyrinth and in the Mercy Chapel. We request that all visitors to this area respect its quiet and sacred nature. Please refrain from activities such as talking, eating, drinking, or smoking in the labyrinth mediation garden.
Chaplains are available to support your religious, spiritual, and emotional needs during your hospitalization. Chaplains are respectful of your concerns and your views about what gives life value and meaning. Spiritual care can be provided if you have events in your life that interfere with your healing, such as a recent loss of a loved one or major life change.
A visit from one of our chaplains may help you cope with the stress of being in the hospital and can help relieve anxiety. The Spiritual Care department's professional chaplains are an integral part of the health care team and work in cooperation with other health care disciplines to offer holistic care to patients and families. Chaplains participate in Mercy Hospital's Touch, Love, and Compassion (TLC) program which offers other "healing experiences" such as massage or relaxing guided imagery. Chaplains attend patient care conferences to contribute to staff understanding of the spiritual needs of a patient or ethical implications of care plans.
Chaplains honor your personal, spiritual or philosophical beliefs through prayer, blessing, or affirmation of closely held values. At your request, chaplains can contact your minister, priest, rabbi, or spiritual leader to also support you.
Contact the chaplain on call.
- Phone: 970-764-2340
- Or press "0" if you are dialing within the hospital
- Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mercy Hospital currently offers outpatient pharmacy services at our Three Springs campus.
- Customer access to an expanded line of over-the-counter products at reasonable prices
- A patient counseling area
- Counseling by a pharmacist is offered with each new prescription; patient's questions are always welcomed
- Drug profiles maintained and monitored
- Bedside prescription delivery within the hospital
1010 Three Springs Blvd
Durango, CO 81301
Located right inside Mercy Hospital’s main entrance in the lobby.
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Centura Health provides complimentary wireless Internet access for guests and visitors.
What do I have to do to connect?
Simply connect to the guest network using your wireless network settings. When you first connect, you'll notice "Terms and Conditions" for Centura Health's Guest Network. When you click "Accept", you'll be automatically granted access. Guests must have experience in connecting to wireless networks as Centura Health does not provide any assistance in connecting your device to the wireless network.
Where and when can I connect?
The wireless network is available throughout the hospital. The wireless network is available 24/7.
Enjoy your time on our wireless network. As with any public wireless network, we strongly recommend guests take measures to secure their devices and internet communications. We encourage using virtual private networks in conjunction with personal firewalls and virus protections to mitigate risk to personal data. It is the user's responsibility to take precautions and provide security measures suited to their situation and intended use of the service. Our wireless network should not be used for inappropriate or unlawful purposes.
Centura Health is not responsible for any personal information that is compromised.
Centura Health is not responsible for any damage caused to your hardware or software while at any Centura Health facility.
Please Note: Because this is a free service, Centura Health does not provide technical support for your device or assistance in connectivity. Guests and visitors should understand how to configure their computer or device and know what hardware or software is necessary to connect to the wireless network.
We strive to promote a healing environment for our patients, guests, associates, volunteers and the community. The use of any tobacco product is prohibited in all areas of our campus including buildings, leased facilities, offices, grounds, vehicles, parking lots, and ramps. If you are a patient and use tobacco products, please speak with your physician or nurse for options that are available to you during your stay in the hospital. Thank you for your cooperation.
Every Centura Health hospital provides you with a patient representative to help you have a better hospital experience. Our representatives address and investigate your concerns, and then respond to you and your family with findings and recommendations for how your concerns can be resolved. Find patient representative information.
How Needle-Free Blood Draw Works
Centura Health is excited to bring this procedure and technology to our entire ecosystem of health care locations, especially for our most vulnerable patients.
Centura Health, the region’s health care leader, is now the first hospital system in Colorado and Kansas, and among the first in the nation, to offer needle-free blood draws for inpatients – fulfilling our promise of delivering compassionate and whole person care.
Centura Health is continually striving to improve the patient experience and lead Colorado and Kansas in comfort and quality. By using this revolutionary technology Centura Health’s caregivers can collect blood samples from an indwelling peripheral IV line, enabling a high quality blood draws directly from the vein without having to stick patients with another needle.
More than 400 million blood draws occur annually in hospitals around the U.S., informing more than 70% of all clinical decisions. Many of these are conducted in a hospital setting on patients that receive as many as three blood draws daily. This number can increase dramatically for the 30% of U.S. hospital patients that are considered Difficult Venous Access (DiVA) due to obesity, age, and disease, a condition that makes blood collection more challenging.
Programs and Community
It takes all of us to create a partnership of healing.
The Mercy Hospital Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to soliciting, receiving and capably managing donations that support Mercy Hospital. The monies are managed and distributed by the Foundation Board of Directors.
Helping patients and families, neighbors and friends through donations to the foundation leaves a legacy for the future. Philanthropic support helps sustain our ability to serve, promotes healthy lives, and perpetuates excellence that is afforded only by private charitable giving.
Community health and wellness is a priority to us, that’s why we’re proud to offer a wide range of community programs, classes and events designed to keep you well
Community Engagement Request
Centura Health hospitals receive many requests each year asking us to engage in community events and programs. Supporting the communities we serve in this way is a reflection of our mission: to extend the healing ministry of Christ by caring for those who are ill and by nurturing the health of the people in our communities.
Before submitting a request, please consider the following:
- Sponsorships and events should align with our mission, vision and values. All sponsorships and events should relate to community health improvement or prevention and one of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment priorities.
- Please make your request at least 60 days prior to your event or sponsorship deadline.
- Completion of this form does not guarantee a donation or sponsorship.
- We are only able to support non-profit organizations.
Completed requests will be considered by an internal committee. We will contact you within 30 days regarding the status of your request.
Gray Matters Helmet Program
Preventing traumatic brain injuries in our community
Mercy Hospital is dedicated to promoting health and wellness through injury prevention. The goal of Mercy Hospital's Gray Matters helmet program is to increase helmet usage in the community - especially among children and young adults who participate in sports that have a risk of traumatic brain injury.
The program has three primary strategies:
- To educate the community about traumatic brain injuries
- To encourage people to wear helmets that are properly fitted and appropriate for a given sport
- To distribute free sports helmets to those who can't get them for financial or other reasons
Mercy Hospital Foundation is raising funds that will support this important program. For more information about how you can make a difference by contributing to this program, please contact Mercy Hospital Foundation at 970-764-2800.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes damage to living brain tissue. TBI can be caused by a jolt, blow, or penetrating injury. Injuries can range from mild to severe.
Signs and Symptoms of TBI
The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be subtle. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. Common signs and symptoms of TBI:
- Headaches or neck pain that do not go away
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
- Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
- Getting lost or easily confused
- Feeling tired all the time, having no energy or motivation
- Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
- Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
- Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance
- Urge to vomit (nausea)
- Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions
- Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Ringing in the ears
Every year, we see traumatic brain injuries that could have been prevented or lessened if a properly fitted helmet had been worn by the injured.
Since 2004, Mercy Hospital Foundation and Mercy Hospital have supported mission work in Mbulu, Tanzania through a variety of giving initiatives. These initiatives have included providing scholarships for girls, small business loans for women, support of the Dareda Hospital through volunteers and equipment, and support of the Dareda Nursing School.
The continued support of the mission work in Mbulu is made possible by community donations to the Mercy Hospital Foundation. Even a small donation can have a huge impact on the people of Mbulu and the surrounding communities.
For more information, visit the Mercy Hospital Foundation.
Mercy Employee Child Care Center
Welcome. Thank you for your interest in Mercy Hospital's Employee Child Care Center. Our center is primarily for employees of Mercy Hospital; however, when space is available, we allow community families into the facility. We would love for you to visit and tour our center. Please contact us to schedule a tour, as they are by appointment only. See Contact Us for more information.
At Mercy Employee Child Care Center, we are passionate about Early Childhood Education. Our skilled teaching team works to create meaningful relationships with the children in their care, and plan learning opportunities in all early developmental areas: social/emotional, cognitive, language, and physical. We want every child to feel welcome, loved, and ready to learn while they are here.
To best serve the needs of Mercy Hospital employees and the community, we are open year-round.
- Monday - Friday: 5:45 am - 6:30 pm
We accept families under the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program.
The intention of Mercy Employee Child Care Center is to serve the needs of Mercy Hospital employees on a space-available basis. However, it is important for our center to remain as full as possible. Therefore, when space becomes available, it is given on a tiered-system of enrollment:
- Tier 1: Parents who work for Mercy Hospital
- Tier 2: Approved affiliates of Mercy Hospital
- Tier 3: Community members
*Please Note: It is our belief that it is in the best interest of the child and family that once a child has started in our center, the child will remain in our care until they voluntarily leave.
We do have three exceptions:
- If a family starts at our center as a Mercy Hospital employee (tier 1) and then terminates employment at Mercy Hospital.
- If a new program is established, such as the summer camp.
*In both situations above, Mercy Employee Child Care Center will evaluate the center waitlist to see if the need of Mercy Hospital employees (tier 1) and approved affiliates (tier 2) is too great, and the family may be asked to leave.
- As with all Mercy Employee Child Care Center families, if differences arise and all other options have been exhausted in finding a solution, the center may recommend parents find a different location for their child to better meet the needs of the family.
Forms & Resources
Mercy Employee Child Care requires all parents complete the General Health Appraisal Form with a qualified health care provider at each well child visit as recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics. This form must be completed within 30 days of enrollment. Download the form.
If you are interested in your child attending our center, complete the pre-registration form indicate your needs to us. You may also contact us to schedule a tour. The director will assess whether the center can meet your needs, and if not currently possible, your child will be placed on the wait list. As space is available, the wait list will be assessed, and children will be placed in our care based upon the tiered system of enrollment (listed above).
10 children; a staff ratio of one teacher to four children is maintained as often as possible.
Wobbler (Young Toddler) Room
10 children; the staff ratio is one teacher per five children.
14 children; the staff ratio is one teacher per seven children.
20 children; the staff ratio is one teacher per ten children. Our preschool program follows the "Incredible Years Dinosaur School Curriculum." This curriculum assists the teachers in increasing children's self-control skills, social skills and reduces challenging behaviors in the classroom. It encourages teaching skills to the children like: empathy or perspective taking, friendship, anger management, school-rules, interpersonal problem-solving, emotional literacy and how to be successful at school
Employee Child Care Center Payment & Donations
Payment from Mercy Hospital employees is preferred through payroll deduction on a bi-weekly basis through the hospital payroll system.
Payments may also be made:
- By check at Mercy Employee Child Care Center
- By cash, credit or debit at the cashier's office
You are responsible for paying for your childcare every week, bi-weekly, or monthly. Please discuss any questions regarding billing or payment with the director. See Contact Us for more information.
Mercy Hospital is a non-profit hospital committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities it serves in the Four Corners region. Mercy Employee Child Care Center offers a service to your health providers and support staff in order to better serve our community.
To donate to Mercy Employee Child Care Center, contact the Mercy Hospital Foundation.
Mercy Hospital Foundation qualifies for Enterprise Zone State Tax Credit of 25 percent for cash donations of $250 or more. Donations may also be eligible for federal charitable tax deductions. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information.
For more information or to schedule a tour, contact the center:
1010 Three Springs Blvd.
Durango, CO 81301
Physical Address: 1225 Three Springs Blvd.