Former Des Moines Mercy Hospital leader dies

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Former Mercy Medical Center President and CEO Patricia Clare Sullivan has died.   Sullivan ran Mercy from 1977 thru 1993, until she retired.

Sullivan died in Florida, after a brief illness.  She was 89.  

Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines released a statement on Patricia Claire Sullivan's death:

Under Patricia Clare’s guidance, Mercy grew into a state-of-the-art medical center and one of Iowa’s largest employers. Mercy became a regional referral center and developed a reputation as a leader in many clinical specialties — including heart care. 

During her tenure, the development of the Mercy Clinics’ system began, a new Bishop Drumm Retirement Center campus was constructed in Johnston, and the House of Mercy opened on Clark Street to provide women in need with housing, education and access to health care in a nurturing and safe environment.

Those who served with Patricia Clare found her to be a tireless leader who was well respected in the Des Moines business community. She worked alongside business leaders to not only develop Mercy, but to improve access to health care and improve the quality of life in Des Moines and surrounding communities. 

Patricia Clare was elected to the Catholic Health Association board of directors. She also served on many local boards — including Casey’s General Store and the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, now known as the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Among her many recognitions, Patricia Clare was honored with the National Conference of Christians and Jews Leadership Award. She was a member of the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and was the first woman inducted into the Central Iowa Business Hall of Achievement.

Following her retirement to Florida, Patricia Claire remained dedicated and generous to Mercy College of Health Sciences. The Sullivan Center on the Mercy College campus opened in 2005 and serves to educate future nurses, health professionals and leaders. To honor Patricia Clare’s legacy of service to health care and the important role she played in nursing education, Mercy Auxiliary established the Patricia Clare Sullivan Endowed Nursing Scholarship in 2009 to help nursing students with financial need.

Plans for a local remembrance of Patricia Clare Sullivan are being developed and are pending.

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