JOPLIN, Mo. – Two leaders have joined Mercy Hospital Joplin. Jeremy Drinkwitz is chief operating officer (COO). Mary K. Houston is director of nutritional services.

As COO for Mercy, Drinkwitz oversees several areas of the hospital, including laboratory, pharmacy, security, facilities and volunteers. He previously was COO at Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, Ark., for seven years. He also served in various administration roles in Virginia, Florida and Mississippi.

Drinkwitz has a graduate degree in health services administration from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. In additional to operational experience in a progressive hospital system, he has developed strategic visions and collaborated in building physician relationships.

Houston, who has responsibility over the hospital cafeteria and inpatient meals, previously worked at Mosaic Life Care, a 325-bed, acute-care hospital in St. Joseph, and has several years of experience in nutritional services. She has served various roles in the Missouri Dietetics Association and the Northwest Missouri Dietetics Association, including president. She was Missouri’s Outstanding Dietitian in 2011.

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2016 by Truven, an IBM company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 43 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.