Northern Michigan's Mercy Hospital Grayling celebrated its 100-year anniversary this spring with a ceremony presided over in part by Bishop Bernard Hebda of the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich.
The facility owes its beginnings to a group of Grayling-area lumbermen who donated the funds necessary to build the original 20-bed, $25,000 Mercy Hospital. When the facility was completed in spring 1911, the group turned it over to the Sisters of Mercy, who already had proven themselves adept at managing other health care facilities in Northern Michigan.
The hospital's early years found the sisters cutting ice blocks from a swamp to make patient ice packs, bartering health services in exchange for dairy cattle and traveling in a horse-drawn ambulance.
The sisters ran Mercy at the original site until 1959, when they built a replacement hospital at another location. In 1976, the hospital was part of a group of facilities that the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit brought together as the Mercy Health Services system. In 2000, that system merged with Holy Cross Health System to form Trinity Health.
Mercy Grayling today is a 90-bed hospital with a 40-bed skilled nursing facility and three outpatient primary and specialty health centers, one of them on the Grayling campus and two of them in nearby communities.
Speaking at the centennial event, Mercy Grayling Chief Executive Stephanie Riemer-Matuzak paid tribute to the hospitals' sponsors, saying, "The mission of the Sisters of Mercy has been alive in our community for 100 years and remains vibrant today. Although (their) ranks are smaller in number today, they continue to influence our healing ministry."
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