Free service available weekdays at two entrances on Fort Smith hospital campus

FORT SMITH, Ark. (April 2, 2018) – Mercy’s goal of providing great service and care now begins before patients walk through the door.

Visitors and patients seeking care in the Mercy Hospital Forth Smith now have the option of complimentary valet service from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays at entrances to the Medical Building and Labor & Delivery/Oncology Building.

To celebrate the new service, a ribbon cutting and blessing will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at the Medical Building entrance.

Valet attendants will be available to support patients and visitors in various ways, including parking vehicles, getting a walker out of the back seat, obtaining a wheelchair and providing directions.

“The addition of this service is in direct response to safety and accessibility concerns received from patients and visitors due to the rapid growth we have experienced over the past few years,” said Juli Stec, the hospital’s chief operating officer. “This service also will help with patient flow by allowing people to get to their appointments and treatments on time without having to look for parking.”

While Mercy always has offered help to patients once inside, their only option previously was to park and make their way to the clinic entrance. Now, care begins curbside with valets, with tipping optional.

To provide this new service, Mercy has partnered with Med Valet Corp. an Oklahoma City-based company that also serves Mercy locations in Rogers, Oklahoma City and Joplin, Missouri.

“We pride ourselves on providing a service for people who truly need it,” said Joshua Rydberg, general manager of Med Valet. “We’re the first and last person they’ll see when they visit the clinic, so we look for people to hire who have empathy and sympathy.”

While the added service comes at a cost, Mercy believes the investment is an appropriate use of the ministry’s resources to help ensure safety, improve accessibility and enhance the overall patient experience.

“As always, we will remain relentless in assuring our patients’ and visitors’ experiences reflect the Mercy Charism of hospitality and Mercy values of service and excellence,” Stec said.

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 and 2016 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy’s IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.