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KSHB 41: Children's Mercy keeps legacy of founders alive 126 years later

By Charlie Keegan

One act of compassion 126 years ago led to a regional institution going strong today. The Berry sisters founded Children’s Mercy Hospital in 1897. Today a team of doctors, historians and female leaders keep the sisters’ empathy and values alive amongst all employees.

“You’re indoctrinated in [the history of the Berry sisters] when you come to Children’s Mercy,” explained Dr. Mary Ann Queen, the hospital’s vice president of regional diagnostic centers, who’s spent her entire 30-year career at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Berry Sisters

Alice Berry Graham was a dentist. Her younger sister Katharine Berry Richardson was a surgeon. In 1897, they took in a girl who was sick and nursed her back to health on a single rented hospital bed.

“I think from that act of compassion, it really developed something in them where they found this is their mission,” explained Michelle Wimes, the hospital’s chief equity and inclusion officer.

It’s Wimes’ job to teach new employees about the history of the Berry sisters. During orientation sessions, Wimes recounts how the sisters quickly grew the hospital, going from one location to another. The main location on Hospital Hill in Kansas City, Missouri, opened in 1970.


See the full story via KSHB 41

Children's Mercy Kansas City history