Newsroom Our community weighs in on children’s care Posted on Dec. 15, 2023 Nearly 70 community members joined CoxHealth, Mercy, and community leaders Wednesday night for a public Children’s Services Listening Event at Jarrett Middle School.The first-of-its-kind event created conversation around our recent announcement that CoxHealth and Mercy are collaborating to build on existing pediatric expertise to provide seamless, coordinated care close to home.As we work to elevate care, we are committed to hearing the voices of the families we serve.“It is our responsibility to continue to represent our community’s health care needs,” Max Buetow, CoxHealth’s President and CEO, told the crowd. “We’re here to listen; we’re here to learn with our community. This is not something we want to do to the community – we are doing this with the community.”The panel heard input from parents, advocates, and health care workers, both past and present. All were encouraged by what this collaboration will bring to our region.“I get emotional when I think about this project and what it means for the families we serve,” says Krystal Simon, CEO of Care to Learn. “To say that this could be a game changer, is an understatement.”David Argueta, president of Mercy Springfield Communities, told the crowd about the first lunch he had with Max months ago.“In our first conversation, we talked about how do we enhance care and do things better,” Argueta says. “From the beginning, we were both committed to where we could collaborate. We knew we wanted to continue to elevate pediatric care.”Health care and community leaders agree that continued elevation is vital to our region’s growth and long-term success.“Springfield is a caring community, and when there is a need, we band together,” says Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. “We are a hub for tourism, education, transportation, as well as health care. That comes with an obligation to ensure that the services that are needed here are provided here.“We need to be in a position as a community to take the next step and grow to provide expanded services. David and Max are taking a huge step to deal with a real health care challenge.”As the project progresses, we will continue to involve our region in the conversation.“There are so many ways we’ll continue to give the best care while still being competitors,” says Max. “Competition cultivates great results, but when we can collaborate, we can only improve.”You can see more from Wednesday night’s panelists in this thread.