Mercy Medical Center in Canton is now a full member of the Cleveland Clinic health system.
Dr. Timothy Crone has been named president of the hospital, which will now be formally known as Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital, according to a news release.
The Clinic and Sisters of Charity Health System announced the finalization of the deal, which began when the two signed a letter of intent in fall 2019. Though the pandemic slowed the due diligence process, the organizations announced they'd reached an agreement that they expected to be finalized on Monday, Feb. 1.
Mercy Medical Center — a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas counties and parts of southeastern Ohio — will maintain its Catholic identity through sponsorship by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, under which Mercy had operated for 115 years.
Mercy Medical Center services, operations and scheduled appointments will proceed without interruption, and patients will continue to see the same providers at their current locations, according to the release, which notes that current insurance plans will be accepted at the hospital.
"Our mission is caring for life, researching for health and educating those who serve," Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, Cleveland Clinic CEO and president, said in a provided statement. "We are united by a noble purpose to care for others. Together, we will deliver exceptional care to patients in Stark County and beyond as we continue the Catholic tradition of healing the body, mind and spirit."
The deal with the Clinic follows other moves the system made in recent years, including acquiring Akron General Health System in 2015 and Union Hospital in Dover in 2018. Benefits of full membership within the Clinic system, according to the release, include: expanding high-quality services; improving technology; providing support and investment to address additional needs in the community; building opportunities for physician collaboration; and increasing the ease of access to highly specialized services.
"Our hospital is well known for its life-saving patient care innovations, compassion and dedication, and that is why Mercy remains at the top for health care in the Stark County community," Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, said in a provided statement. "We appreciate that this legacy will continue and grow with Cleveland Clinic as it delivers quality care and respects the Catholic identity of this hospital carrying the vision well into the future."
Crone has served as chief medical officer at Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital, a 500-bed acute care hospital on Cleveland's East Side, since 2019. A staff hospitalist at the Clinic since 2010, Crone has held other positions on the Clinic's main campus, including medical director of Enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics in Medical Operations, and vice chairman for the Department of Hospital Medicine. He plans to serve in a clinical role caring for patients at Mercy Hospital, according to the release.
"Joining Mercy Hospital caregivers at such a significant moment in their journey is a tremendous honor and privilege," Crone said in a provided statement. "I am truly impressed and inspired by our likeminded commitment to patients and Mercy's eagerness to continuously improve quality and safety. Together, we will carry Mercy Hospital's Catholic mission forward through the current pandemic, and prepare to meet tomorrow's health care needs for the community we serve."
Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital is the second Catholic-affiliated hospital to join the health system, following Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights. The agreement has met requirements of the Vatican and the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, according to the release.
"I have always been moved by the compassion and commitment to high quality patient care within every Mercy caregiver," Thomas J. Strauss, president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System, said in a provided statement. "Throughout the pandemic, the faith-based mission of this hospital has been even more evident in everyone's actions."