Profile Story: Mercy Medical Center


By Rick Brown, Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter

Mercy Medical Center is proud to be the newest tournament charity partner for this year’s Principal Charity Classic, the annual PGA TOUR Champions event in Des Moines.

Bob Ritz, president of Mercy Medical Center, said the health care organization was excited to determine how to best serve its community with charitable dollars raised.

“Any time you’re involved with an event that’s designed to raise support for a local purpose – in our case related to health care – the first thing we do is we’re going to make sure we use the funds to improve access and availability of services,” Ritz said. “And so one of the greatest challenges is to make sure people can get health care when they need it. Perhaps even before they need it. So what we do is we look at where the greatest needs are and we tend to focus our resources and certainly our community efforts towards addressing those needs.”

Mercy Medical Center is the longest continually-operating hospital in Des Moines as well as one of the state’s largest employees, with some 7,000 employees and a medical staff in excess of 1,000 physicians and allied health associates. Mercy operates four not-for-profit Catholic hospital campuses. There are a total of 875 beds and more than 20 additional facilities that house over 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics.

Even though Mercy Medical Center is a new face in the golf game, Ritz deeply understands the value the Principal Charity Classic brings to the community.

The Principal Charity Classic, Ritz said, is “an incredible show of commitment, support, and the enthusiasm to improve the quality of living here. Principal, as a company, is providing community leadership to confirm the importance of us all pulling together to make Des Moines a great place to live. These events have a tremendous ancillary effect on the community as a whole. And they inspire all of us to step up to a higher level.”

While Mercy’s mission is the wellness of its citizens, the good generated by the Principal Charity Classic helps create a different kind of wellness – a positive quality of life.

“It not only makes me proud, it’s consistent with how we provide the service that we provide,” Ritz said. “And it’s contagious overall, as a culture of the community.”

And making the community has a lasting effect long after the final putt has been holed out.

“In the times we live in today, where life is filled with complexity, these events ground us,” Ritz said. “And they remind us of all of the good that is done each and every day by people, whose names some will never know, because they want to.

That’s what leadership is. Leadership is inspiring others. It’s not getting your name in lights. And I think the leadership of Principal has had a resounding impact on the quality of life in this community, and it will continue.”