Joplin hospital destroyed by tornado has tentative rebuilding plans

Officials with the Joplin hospital destroyed in the May 22 tornado say they hope to have a site and design for a new hospital by December.

Gary Pulsipher, president of St. John's Regional Medical Center, says a committee has formed to begin looking for a site to rebuild. The goal is to choose a site, buy the land and have a design ready for the Mercy Health System's board of directors to consider at its December meeting.

The Joplin Globe reported Monday that it is likely to take 2 1/2 years to rebuild the hospital.

In the meantime, St. John's is operating out of a mobile medical unit east of the existing medical center. Pulsipher says the mobile hospital will be replaced with a second-stage hospital within a few months.