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New Beads of Courage Program Launches







For more information, contact:
Gregg Lagan, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines
(515) 247-3050 or cell (515) 490-6636


September 12, 2018


New Beads of Courage Program Launches at Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics

DES MOINES, Iowa­—Innovative arts-in-medicine program Beads of Courage has launched at Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics. The Beads of Courage program at Mercy is the first of its kind in Iowa for pediatric cardiac patients. Providing arts-in-medicine for children with serious illnesses, the program helps more than 60,000 children in eight countries record, tell and own their stories, using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage and hope along their treatment journey.

The program is made possible by a lead gift from the 2017 Principal Charity Classic to Mercy Foundation, and the program was publicly announced at Principal today as results from the 2018 Principal Charity Classic were shared.

An estimated 250 Mercy patients will be annually impacted by this resilience-based program, providing young patients with a tangible way to show their strength and courage. Upon its launch, 74 children at Mercy have been enrolled in the program so far. Each child participant is given a string and beads that spell out his/her first name. Then, colorful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone – ranging from blood draws and clinic visits to tests and scans – are given to the child by their Mercy providers to add to the strand.

“We are very pleased to launch this program, and we are very grateful for this generous gift from Principal Charity Classic,” said David R. Hockmuth, M.D., of Mercy Medical Center and Iowa Heart Center, who is Des Moines’ only pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. “We are excited to make a positive, lasting impact on our young patients with this innovative and meaningful program that teaches empowerment and builds tenacity.”

The Principal Charity Classic, the annual and award-winning PGA TOUR Champions event in Des Moines, raised a record $4,356,321 in support of Iowa kids in 2018. The event has now donated more than $17.7 million since 2007. Funds raised by the Principal Charity Classic support six Tournament Charity Partners in the Des Moines area – including Mercy Foundation – as well as more than 100 organizations throughout Iowa enrolled in the tournament’s “Birdies For Charity” program.



About Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

Mercy operates four not-for-profit, Catholic hospital campuses, with a total of 875 beds, along with more than 20 additional facilities that house more than 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and is also one of the largest employers in the state – with more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates.  Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines is a member of Mercy Health Network and is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo.  The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 99 hospitals and multiple other facilities and services.

About Mercy Foundation

Mercy Foundation secures vital funding that ensures equal access, clinical excellence and high-quality care for all in Greater Des Moines through Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines. Learn more at

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