Mercy Hospital marks 40th anniversary of Yucatan Heart Program

DES MOINES – Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Iowa U.S.A. It is also the county seat of Polk County.

Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is a not-for-profit Catholic health care provider. Mercy Des Moines’ hospitals, with a total of 875 beds, include: Mercy Medical Center – central campus, Mercy Medical Center – West Lakes, Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics, Mercy Medical Center – Centerville, Skiff Medical Center in Newton.

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines.

With approximately 7,000 staff members and a medical staff of about 1,200 physicians and allied health professionals, Mercy is one of the state’s largest employers and one of the Midwest’s largest referral centers.

Mercy Hosptial Des Moines, Iowa (Photo: Mercy Hosptial)

An outreach effort at Mercy Hospital helps children with heart defects in Mexico have a second chance at life.

“I went to the Yucatan with the group the 1st year that I was here, and I’ve gone 18 or 19 times in that 26 years,” said Cristina Huerta, mother to one of the children.

Her son Christian had a very severe heart defect that made him blue. They also treated a 16-year-old who has a history of multiple holes in her heart, and a 3-year-old who had severe obstruction of the aorta.

“Just thank you over and over to doctor Becker and to all those doctors that have been watching over these Yucatan children,” said Ledy Tucuch, mother to one of the children.

This marks the fortieth anniversary of the Yucatan Heart Program. So far, they’ve provided care for about 1,000 children.