Place-based stories about the often painful cracks in the American health system that leave people frustrated and without the care they need. Hosted by investigative journalist Sarah Jane Tribble, the podcast is a production of Kaiser Health News and St. Louis Public Radio.
Dedicated to Suffering Humanity – Chapter 4
For more than 100 years, Mercy Hospital — and the nuns who started it all — cared for local people in Fort Scott, Kansas. Town historian Fred Campbell says Mercy was part of the town’s DNA since its booming rail town days. But in recent years, Fort Scott’s economy and the hospital’s finances faltered. Locals say Mercy went “corporate.” We carry that claim to Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, the powerhouse who consolidated all the Mercy hospitals in the Midwest.
Tragedy Is Going to Happen – Chapter 3
Emergency care gets complicated after a hospital closes. On a cold February evening, when Robert Findley falls and hits his head on a patch of ice and his wife, Linda, calls for 911, the delays that come next expose the frayed patchwork that sometimes stands in for rural health care.
The Good Captain – Chapter 2
Closing a hospital hurts. In Fort Scott, Kansas, no one was a bigger symbol for that loss — or bigger target for the town’s anger — than hospital president Reta Baker. Reta was at the helm when the doors closed at Mercy Hospital, putting her at bitter odds with City Manager Dave Martin, who some in town call “the Little Trump” of Fort Scott. He says his town wasn’t given the chance to keep the hospital open.
It Is What It Is – Chapter 1
Midwesterners aren’t known for complaining. But after Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closed, hardship trickled down to people whose lives were already hard. Pat Wheeler has emphysema. Her husband, Ralph, has end-stage kidney failure, and the couple are barely making ends meet as they raise their teenage grandson. Pat is angry with hospital executives who she said yanked a lifeline from residents. “They took more than a hospital from us,” she said.
Trailer | Where It Hurts, Season 1: No Mercy
The story begins when Mercy Hospital Fort Scott shut its doors. Locals lost health care. Health workers lost jobs. Fort Scott’s sense of identity wavered.
Season One is about what happened next — about the people who remain, surviving the best way they know how.
No Mercy: The hole left behind is bigger than a hospital.
Hosted by investigative journalist and Kansas native Sarah Jane Tribble, the podcast is a production of Kaiser Health News and St. Louis Public Radio.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Where it hurts
Incredible series that shows the pain and challenges for rural communities when the health center at the heart of the community disappears. Really makes an important statement about why health coverage and health care matters to real people. Closing a hospital strikes at the core of a community’s fabric. Well done series that gives voice to those affected by the closure.
Vivid storytelling from a very specific place…
If you are paying attention to health care news, you know rural hospitals are in dire straits. This podcast goes beyond the news to give you a real sense of the people of Fort Scott, Kansas — the laughter strikes me, even as they describe extremely difficult things they are going through.
Bless your heart
Fascinating and real look inside our healthcare system and it’s impacts on rural America. This is a perspective I don’t get often and is a great way to learn through people’s stories. Plus I love listening to Sarah’s approach and observations! It’s like being on a run with a friend - she tells it like it is but still finds ways to laugh about it with her interviewees!