Mercy, named one of the nation?s Top 15 Health Systems in 2016 by Truven, an IBM company, is the seventh largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 45 acute care and specialty (heart, children?s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. (PRNewsFoto/Mercy)

Mercy is providing $500,000 in grants to nearly 30 organizations in seven states that serve children, elderly, homeless and uninsured people. Six organizations in Oklahoma will receive a combined total of $114,625 in grants.
Since 1987, Mercy has awarded funds, now totaling more than $15 million, that provide medical care, counseling, housing, meals and more. This year’s grants will benefit more than 48,000 people.
Of the 29 grants, 19 are Mercy Caritas (Latin for “charity”) grants that support community-based programs consistent with Mercy’s mission and vision, as well as align with an identified community health need. The remaining 10 grants were awarded to Sisters of Mercy working in direct service to people in poverty.
“Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, had a zeal to serve those in need and Mercy’s health ministry continues those efforts today,” said Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, Mercy’s health ministry liaison and board member. “By giving back to our communities, we honor our mission of Mercy.”
Mercy Caritas was established to provide funds to health and human services programs that meet unique community needs.
Here is the list of recipient organizations in Oklahoma:
* Compassion Outreach Center (Ada) – The Health Improvement Initiative expands and enhances medical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical services of the center, which serves uninsured Pontotoc County residents. This expansion of services and purchase of needed medical equipment will promote improved health and wellness of patients.
* Good Shepherd Community Clinic, Inc. (Ardmore) – Through the Prescription Assistance Pharmacy Program, the clinic can acquire $3 million in nonnarcotic medications for patients every year. Prescription assistance services are provided to low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients free of charge.
* The Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma (Ardmore) – With a mission to prevent homelessness and increase self–sufficiency for all people, the center provides education and resource assistance in a culturally sensitive, encouraging and Christ-centered environment.
* The Landing Bridge (Ardmore) – The Landing Bridge is a support group for youth who are at high risk for juvenile delinquency, social struggles and academic failure.
* Health Alliance for the Uninsured (Oklahoma City) – The Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prevention Program increases access to screening, early detection and prevention for low-income, uninsured adults who are asymptomatic but may be at risk of cancer. The purpose is to educate patients, provide easy, take home, fecal immunochemical tests and coordinate access to additional diagnostic testing, surgery and treatment.
* Johnston County Kids (Tishomingo) – The program provides weekly nutrition education, healthy food options and hygiene training for elementary-age children. It offers healthy supplemental food in weekend backpacks, school supplies, food for existing school pantries and support for after-school programs for students.