"Mercy's committed to being able to keep those children here in the community," Steele said.
There are also plans for a new Mercy Clinic in Branson. CoxHealth is working on renovation and expansion in Branson too. And, on Wednesday, the hospital announced a new patient tower at Cox South Hospital.
"This is really a 20- to 30-year planning cycle, and what's happening is there's an undeniable wave of patients coming our way, with the aging of the population," said CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards.
Edwards says those older than 65 tend to use three to five times more healthcare. With baby boomers reaching retirement ages, hospitals must prepare, but Edwards says most put it off during the recession.
"But it's getting to a point now where they must grow. Bond interest rates are at maybe the lowest in my career, and so the ability to access money to grow is as affordable today as it may ever be, and that's stimulating growth in hospitals too, just because the money's so affordable," Edwards said.
The construction boom will bring jobs for hundreds of tradesmen, as well as healthcare professionals, who recruiters will be working to bring to southwest Missouri.
"The name Springfield has gotten out pretty well, so the recruitment, I think is a great reflection on how positive it is to live here in the Ozarks," said Steele.
The companies say local schools with a focus on healthcare are benefits to filling those upcoming jobs. Also, CoxHealth and Mercy are both working to partner with the University of Missouri to bring medical students to Springfield for their residencies, in hopes of attracting more doctors.
Totals for the current construction projects are:
Mercy Orthopedic Hospital: $110 million
Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital: $28 million
Mercy Children's Hospital, phase 1: $23.5 million
Mercy Branson Clinic & Urgent Care: $34 million
Mercy says smaller projects, such as renovations to the Mercy Eye and Ear Center bring the total to $210 million.
Cox South Patient Tower: $130 million
Cox Medical Center Branson: $25 million