U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visits with St. John's Mercy Hospital's chief nurse officer/chief operating officer Dottie Bringle, RN, during a tour in Joplin on Thursday, June 9. Mercy CEO Lynn Britton (far left) and Congressman Billy Long, (R-7) (center) were among those, including Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who were on the tour. Napolitano praised Mercy physicians and co-workers for their quick response to the destruction of the hospital facility during a May 22 tornado.
The secretary went on to pledge continuing federal support to return the hospital to full function in the coming months. A field hospital, available through federal funds, is being used until a temporary hospital can be put into place, according to hospital spokesperson Miranda Lewis.