About Our Mission, Vision & Values
Catherine McAuley had a dream and she was confident that God’s merciful work would endure through each of us. Our doctors, nurses and staff and the service they provide our patients are the most important elements in living out our mission. Each day, we are reminded of the values inspired by the Sisters of Mercy and their vision – they are our gifts – and each day we continue to put these gifts to work and bring them to life in all that we do.
"This is the true spirit of Mercy flowing in each of us."-Catherine McAuley. Founder, Sisters of Mercy
Like the Sisters of Mercy before us, we witness God’s healing love for all people by providing excellent clinical and residential services within a community of compassionate care.
The Sisters of Mercy have long believed in the power of individuals, encouraging others to join them in making a positive difference in the world.
One such individual dedicated her life to serving the Sisters of Mercy and spreading their mission. Miss Georgia Rush served as unofficial campus matriarch to generations of medical residents in an era when physicians-in-training lived onsite. Working at Mercy for nearly 70 years, Miss Georgia modeled a life in service to others, and unknowingly inspired those around her to follow by example. Miss Georgia was a woman of profound faith and compassion who was beloved by the Sisters of Mercy and her coworkers.
Like Miss Georgia, thousands of employees and staff continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients each day. Empowered by the Sisters, they give their best, fostering a future filled with optimism and hope.
We believe that every moment in a person’s journey is holy. Prayer is our response to God’s faithful presence in suffering and in joy, in sickness and in health, in life and in death.
Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, firmly believed in the power of prayer. For those following in her footsteps, prayer is an expression of shared faith and confidence in God. For many, prayer is a source of power and energy in service to others.
A favorite story recounts that the Sisters of Mercy resorted to group prayer in 1904 when flames from the Great Baltimore Fire threatened to destroy the hospital. Legend has it that soon after their prayers began a sudden and fortunate change in the prevailing wind diverted flames away from Mercy while the Sisters continued to care for injured firefighters.
At Mercy Medical Center, the Sisters cherish their Judeo-Christian heritage and welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds. The Chapel of Light in Mercy’s Mary Catherine Bunting Center was carefully planned to be a place of inspiration where people of all religions are welcome to pray, meditate or worship according to their own beliefs and customs.
We celebrate the inherent value of each person as created in the image of God. We respond to the needs of the whole person in health, sickness and dying.
Since 1874, the Sisters of Mercy have held steadfast to the belief that the provision of high quality health care recognizes the inherent dignity of each individual.
Mercy’s mission is rooted in respecting humanity and delivering care that is marked by courtesy, respect and compassion for all.
Sister Mary Thecla Lancaster exemplified what it meant to recognize the dignity of Mercy’s patients. She was often described as the epitome of what a nun and nurse should be. Sister Thecla had an extraordinary way of connecting with the sick and dying, often laying a hand on patients while offering to pray with them. One of her most endearing qualities was her uncanny ability to “simply appear out of nowhere” when she was needed most.
At Mercy, dignity is recognition that all human life is sacred.
From many religious traditions and walks of life, we welcome one another as children of the same God, whose mercy we know through the warmth, fidelity and generosity of others.
In the spirit of hospitality, the Sisters of Mercy heartily welcome all who come to Mercy Medical Center regardless of creed, color, economic or social condition. We remain committed to the unchanging heart of Mercy care: warmth, compassion and deep bonds of love and understanding.
At Mercy, hospitality is rooted in a deep, abiding respect for our patients who entrust us with their care. A prime example is Sister Mary Thomas, RSM, who served as president for over 35 years. Sister Thomas walked the hospital halls each evening visiting patients and their families. She would introduce herself only as Sister Thomas and ask if all needs were being met. Afterward, many were surprised to learn that the nice “visiting nun” was actually the longest-tenured president of Mercy Medical Center.
All are welcome.
We base our relationships with all people on fairness, equality and integrity. We stand especially committed to persons who are poor or vulnerable.
Throughout the years, the Sisters of Mercy have fought on behalf of those less fortunate for equal access to quality health care. In the spirit of Justice they have worked within political and social arenas for fair and compassionate health policies.
Inspired by the work of the Sisters of Mercy, our physicians, nurses and staff join this effort to expand health coverage and services for the underserved in Baltimore City.
The Sisters of Mercy and the hospital’s Medical and Nursing staffs also have been instrumental in sending healthcare mission teams to many third world countries to provide vital services to impoverished people, so that others too might know the true meaning of mercy.
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of care and to serving all with courtesy, respect and compassion. Maintaining our involvement in the education of physicians and other healthcare professionals is a priority.
Mercy has evolved as one of the region’s premiere healthcare providers, a position we commit ourselves to firmly maintain and build upon. By attracting respected physician leadership, Mercy carefully built centers of excellence in women’s services, orthopedics, cancer care, digestive health and an assortment of surgical specialties. All the while, the hospital continued to build on its traditional core strength in primary care and community medicine.
This expansion in depth for the hospital’s clinical programs was the vision of Mercy president, Tom Mullen, and carried out by Mercy’s dedicated administrative and support teams. Tom’s record of success fueled the dream to build new clinical outpatient facilities, community-based physician office centers and ultimately a new hospital to carry on the mission of the Sisters of Mercy in Downtown Baltimore. It is truly excellence by design.
Each day the staff at Mercy strives for continued progress in clinical excellence, resulting in healthcare of the highest level of quality and compassion. Unparalleled expertise is the hallmark of Mercy.
The quality of Excellence. The quality of Mercy.
We believe that our world and our lives are sacred gifts which God entrusts to us. We respond to that trust by constantly striving to balance the good of all with the good of each, and through creative and responsible use of all our resources.
Hand in hand with the Sisters of Mercy, some of Baltimore’s most dedicated and brilliant business minds have served on the Board of Trustees, lending their wisdom and guidance so that Mercy grows, all the while maintaining its focus on providing outstanding care to people of all social means.
Thanks to the Board’s visionary leadership, The Mary Catherine Bunting Center became the latest chapter in Mercy’s storied history. It was in 2007 when Mary Catherine Bunting presented to the Board what President Tom Mullen would later call a “transformational gift,” helping to make the state-of-the-art facility a reality.
Mary Catherine, a longtime member of the Mercy family, graduated from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1958 and spent a majority of her nursing career at Mercy’s community health center in South Baltimore until her retirement in 1996.
Among those who led the planning and fund raising efforts for The Mary Catherine Bunting Center were Strategic Planning chair, Richard O. Berndt, as well as capital campaign co-chairs, Michael J. Batza, Jr. and Earl L. Linehan.
Mercy Board Members give their time selflessly to ensure that the hospital continuously renews its commitment to the people of Baltimore and remains a good neighbor in the heart of downtown. When other hospitals left the City, Mercy remained, and continues to thrive on the very site where the first six Sisters of Mercy began their mission in 1874.
Prior to the arrival of the Sisters in 1874, the hospital which became Mercy enjoyed affiliations with Washington University and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Both medical schools were among the earliest of their kind dedicated to training physicians in the practice of medicine.
Teaching affiliations have remained primary to Mercy’s mission since its earliest days. Mercy has trained generations of medical residents in a longstanding relationship with the University of Maryland School of Medicine which began in 1916.
Jay S. Goodman, M.D., former chairman of Mercy’s department of Internal Medicine for three decades, is a shining example of this generational commitment. The Goodman family ties to Mercy began in the early 20th century with Jay’s father Julius, a revered physician who practiced in East Baltimore. Julius introduced his son and countless patients and their families to the quality of Mercy.
In addition, Mercy operated its own School of Nursing from 1898 to 1974, when it was merged into the Community College of Baltimore. Mercy continues as a site for college-based nursing programs. Mercy also operated a School of Medical Technology led by Sister Paula Marie, RSM, as well as a School of Radiology and a training program for Dietitians.
Our commitment to the ongoing education of tomorrow’s physicians and other healthcare professionals lives on.
Arriving in Baltimore in 1874, the Sisters of Mercy took the reins of a hospital that would eventually be renamed Mercy with a passion for community service. The Sisters have built and rebuilt on this very site, all the while remaining committed to the underserved. Along the way, they cared for firefighters during the Great Baltimore Fire, fed the homeless during the Great Depression and inspired surrounding businesses to launch the renaissance of downtown and the Inner Harbor.
From their founding in Dublin, Ireland in the early 1800s, the Sisters of Mercy have been tireless advocates for the plight of women and children of limited means. They were one of the first religious communities of women to minister to people in their homes and became known as “the walking nuns” when they took to the streets to spread God’s mercy and hope.
Sister Helen Amos, RSM, Mercy’s first Sister to serve as executive chair of the Board of Trustees, continued this legacy establishing unique community and business partnerships to improve the health of Baltimore’s people. She presided over Mercy during a time of great growth in clinical program excellence, firmly establishing the hospital as a regional leader. Sister Helen is widely respected in the corporate community, having served as Chair of the Downtown Partnership and also Chair of “The Journey Home” Baltimore City’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. Her indomitable spirit is living proof that she and her fellow Sisters of Mercy have always worked toward a brighter future…a future filled with hope and optimism that the challenges of poverty will be met with new and creative solutions.
Spirit of Mercy
Visitors often tell us there is a palpable feeling the moment you walk in the door. A feeling of caring, hope and welcome. A Spirit of Mercy.
Since 1874, the healthcare ministry of the Sisters of Mercy has touched millions of Baltimore families…a true love of community by these women who trace their roots to Ireland.
In witness to this spirit, two Sisters traveled unannounced to the White House in the late 1880’s to ask President Grover Cleveland if he would allow John Philip Sousa and his Marine Band to perform a benefit concert to build a new hospital. Even without an appointment, the President’s secretary arranged for the Sisters to meet the Secretary of the Navy instead. As a result, Sousa came to Baltimore and the Sisters raised the money they needed.
Over a hundred years later, when new physician office facilities and expanded operating room suites were dedicated in 1991, Sousa’s modern day Marine Corps Band returned to Mercy again and led the parade for the opening ceremonies. Proof that the Spirit of Mercy endures.
Inspired by the belief that great achievements come from small miracles, the entire staff of Mercy Medical Center works with unbridled passion on behalf of our patients, their families and our community. It is truly a labor of love, done in the Spirit of Mercy.