As Marianne Potina, vice president of mission integration at Mercy Health – Springfield, prepares to retire after nearly 30 years with our ministry, she reflects on the necessary role mission work plays in helping the communities outside of our facilities.
Marianne sees the Mercy Health mission as the reason for the ministry’s existence – in her words, it’s “like spotting for a dancer.” Rather than being solely focused on the clinical care we provide, Marianne says our mission is a way for us to balance and keep track of what we are called to do in the communities we serve. It’s the difference between simply healing physical ailments and creating a healing environment that treats people with compassion.
“Our work must extend beyond the ‘four walls’ out into the community,” Marianne explains. “Discharging a patient with instructions for their care, along with well wishes, is not always enough.”
Compassion is what drives this responsibility to serve outside our facilities, and relationships are what inform it. Programs like Med Assist support patients by providing much-needed medications when they’re discharged from the hospital. A partnership with the local food bank allows patients who experience food scarcity to not only go home with healthy staples while they recover, but it also establishes a new, ongoing connection with that food bank.
This focus on our mission and core values across all services is what gives purpose to the work our team members do. Marianne sums up the importance of this community responsibility in six words.
“’Called to connect people to why,’” she says. “When we understand why we do what we do, we find our purpose.”
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has created new hurdles and pushed our frontline workers beyond their previous expectations, our ministry’s mission to improve the health of our communities remains strong. And although it takes a village, Marianne has this thankful message for those on the front lines of the pandemic.
“You are grace under fire!” she says. “Be assured that you are called to this good work. … You are enough, and we are blessed by all you do for our patients, residents and each other.”
Learn more about how we give back to the communities we serve at Mercy Health.