Good Shepherd Nursing Home Honors Mercer for Career of Service | News, Sports, Jobs

Residents and staff of The Good Shepherd Nursing Home this week paid tribute to Dr. William Mercer for his dedication to medicine and nursing home residents. His CEO of Welty Corp., Donald R. Kirsch (left) presents the award to his Mercer. (photo courtesy)

WHEELING — On Friday, staff and residents of the Good Shepherd Nursing Home honored Dr. William Mercer for “practicing medicine in a compassionate and selfless manner.”

The staff said Mercer’s medical skills and kindness were “a blessing to the residents of Good Shepherd.”

The reception was also held to celebrate Mercer’s recent national honors for the groundbreaking programs he launched while serving as Public Health Officer for Wheeling Ohio County. The American Public Health Association (APHA) has awarded Dr. Mercer with his Milton Andrews Romer Award for Creative Public Health Work.

Welty Corporation CEO Donald R. Kirsch said he was not surprised to learn that the doctor had been given the prestigious national honor.

“Dr. Mercer has taken care of the residents of The Good Shepherd for decades. He is a talented and truly caring physician. I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor,” said Kirsch. rice field.

Mercer’s award recognizes the “Joe To Cool To Smoke” campaign he created to teach children about the dangers of smoking. As a young cartoonist, Mercer was a fan of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” and envisioned using the Peanuts character Snoopy to convey a non-smoking message to children.

He contacted Schultz’s son Craig for permission to use Snoopy in the county’s anti-smoking campaign. Organizations rarely endorse the use of Peanuts characters, but Schultz quickly gave his approval and the “Joe Too Cool to Smoke” campaign was born.

The APHA award also recognized Mercer’s work on Project HOPE, which stands for Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort. Project HOPE is a street medicine program Mercer started in 2006. In 2015 Wheeling He partnered with the Ohio County Public Health Department, which later became Project HOPE.

The Project HOPE team is made up of Mercer. Nurse Crystal Baue. Dr. Tom Wack. Dr. Steve Przybysz. Marianne Cap, DNP. Many other volunteers looking after people in homeless shelters and homeless people. A team of doctors, nurses, social workers, pastoral care providers, and other professionals can provide basic medical care, food, water, clothing, follow-up appointments, and information about services accessible to the homeless. provide.

Howard Gamble, administrator of the Wheeling Ohio County Health Department, and Jeanie Schultz, widow of cartoonist Charles Schultz, nominated Mercer for the APHA Award. They, along with a dozen other Wheeling residents whom Mercer has worked with, sent letters of support.

The APHA committee said it was impressed by Mercer’s creativity and innovation, and Joe Too Cool to Smoke and Project HOPE “are committed to addressing public health issues at the street and policy levels while building cross-sectoral communities.” It shows our commitment, collaboration and passion.” partnership. Other recipients of his APHA Award this year included U.S. Senate Speaker Charles Schumer. Previous winners in other categories of the APHA Awards include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Michelle Obama and Dr. Jonas Salk.

Born in Wheeling, raised in Warwood, and educated at West Liberty State University and West Virginia University, Mercer always knew he would return to Wheeling.

“I’m a homeboy,” he says.

He and his wife, whom he calls “lovely Gigi,” have been married for 41 years and have four children: Chris, Steve, Andy, and Taylor.

Mercer is board certified in family medicine, with additional qualifications in geriatrics, and is a certified medical director of post-acute and long-term care. “I’ve always been drawn to older patients,” he said. “It’s challenging and exciting to understand their problems and find ways to help.”

His personal medical practice was successful, and over the years his patients brought him hundreds of Peanut ties, statues, T-shirts, and other items. Only his examination room reflected his love of comic strip characters, but as his Peanuts collection expanded, every corner of his office filled with hilarious memorabilia. The collection was so impressive that when Mercer retired from private practice, he decided to donate it to the Museum of Toy Wheels and Trains to display it across the floor.

According to Mercer, Jeannie Schultz agreed that his project was the perfect, non-commercial way to use the character.

“Dear Snoopy, I am delighted to have joined Dr. Mercer’s program. All of us at ‘Snoopy Central’ appreciate being involved with Dr. Mercer and the innovative program he created and nurtured.” and have seen his dedication to the health of West Virginia’s youth,” said Jeannie Schultz.

Mercer spends most of his time these days caring for patients in a nursing home. He was moved by the party his patients and Good Shepherd staff threw for him to celebrate his APHA award.

“The staff are great. From the administration down, they really care about the residents. The Good Shepherd is great and I love working there,” he said.

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