September 22, 2019
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Mercy celebrates Centennial and historic gift to advance Fore River move

Community Author: Ed Gilman
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Ed Gilman | BDN
Ed Gilman | BDN

Hospital’s largest contribution of its kind honors Dr. Harry E. Davis

At a ceremony marking its centennial today, Mercy Hospital announced a $2.75 million capital campaign commitment from the family of Dr. Harry E. Davis, Mercy’s first and longtime chair of pediatrics. Dr. Davis’s daughter, Patricia Klingenstein, together with her husband John and their children, have supported many efforts to improve healthcare in Maine. The Klingenstein’s gift is especially personal and honors Portland’s beloved and well-known “Dr. Harry”.

“We are grateful for the Klingenstein’s transformational and historic philanthropic commitment in our centennial year,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “It’s truly an investment in Mercy’s future, the care of our community, and a continuation of their strong partnership with Mercy”

Founded in 1918 by the Sisters of Mercy to heal those affected by the Spanish flu pandemic and to care for the city’s poor and disadvantaged, Mercy has served as greater Portland’s community hospital for 100 years. Today’s ceremony is the first in a series of events that are planned throughout the year to commemorate Mercy’s centennial and to celebrate the hospital’s next century of care.

Mercy opened as “Queen Anne’s Hospital” in Portland on the corner of Congress and State Streets and moved a few blocks to 144 State Street in 1943. Mercy established its second hospital campus along the Fore River in 2006 and became a part of the EMHS statewide healthcare system in 2013. Mercy is Maine’s fourth-largest hospital and one of greater Portland’s largest employers.

Last year, the hospital launched the “One Mercy” capital campaign to consolidate services and operations on its Fore River campus. The Klingenstein family’s campaign gift is the largest one of its kind in Mercy’s 100 year history. In recognition of their contribution, an existing wing at Mercy’s Fore River hospital has been named in honor of Dr. Harry E. Davis.

“Over the last century, philanthropy has been crucial to the fulfillment of the vital community healthcare mission established by the Sisters of Mercy,” said Susan Rouillard, Mercy’s vice president of philanthropy. “The Klingensteins’ remarkable support has improved the quality of life of our patients and will continue to do so in Mercy’s next century of care.”

Dr. Harry Davis received his medical training from Tufts Medical School in 1919. He interned at the Chelsea Memorial Hospital and later at Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC. He did postgraduate work in the children’s division of Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and Dr. Davis returned to Portland in the early 1920s to work as a pediatrician. He served as chief of pediatrics at Mercy Hospital from 1943 until his death in 1963.

“My father loved his patients and his many years of work at Mercy. He had a special bond with the Sisters of Mercy, and he would have been pleased we have honored him during this historic time at a place he loved so very much,” said Patricia Davis Klingenstein.