The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 13, 2012

Our View: Healthy dose of optimism

The Joplin Globe

— School buildings are on the road to being rebuilt. Major retail stores are up and running strong.

 And now, less than a year after the May 22 tornado, a destroyed hospital has opened the doors to a temporary building and is moving dirt at a furious pace for a new home.

 We agree with Julie Blankenship, a registered nurse with Mercy Hospital Joplin, who was quoted in Thursday’s Globe. Blankenship worked in a ditch the night of the tornado. Then she worked at Memorial Hall, later in a tent and then in a modular hospital.

“Now, we have this. It feels like a permanent hospital,” she told our reporter.

“One thing’s for certain: We keep getting better and better.”

 Indicators are running strong for Joplin’s recovery.

 Mercy Hospital Joplin, on Wednesday, gave the public a preview of its $100 million component hospital. On Sunday, patients will be transferred there.

 The temporary hospital is 150,000 square feet and has 55 private rooms that can quickly be converted into 110 semiprivate rooms. There’s an emergency department, and yes, babies can enter the world in this transition building.

 It’s another tremendous step forward for our community. Call it a real shot in the arm for a town that needs to hang on tight to every piece of good news it can get.

 Joplin’s psyche is a long way from being healed. But our confidence is coming back.

 Mercy never considered leaving Joplin when the chips were down.

 It’s an attitude we hope is contagious.