Awards, United Hospital

Dr. John Merchun to be honored with Spirit of Caring Award

Spectrum Health Celebration of Caring dinner highlights upcoming Charity Ball

Dr. John Merchun, center, with his family after receiving the Spirit of Caring Award.

Greenville, MI., December 12, 2019 – As a highly skilled radiologist, Dr. John Merchun has been trained to see things others may not.

But he didn’t see this coming.

The Greenville native son was announced as the 2020 Fred and Lena Meijer Spirit of Caring Award recipient December 11 at the Spectrum Health Foundation United and Kelsey Hospitals’ Celebration of Caring dinner at Candlestone Golf Resort.

“I’m a little bit stunned,” Merchun said after the announcement.

He quickly credited other community leaders present, many who have previously received the award.

“If I deserve this at all, it’s only because of what I’ve learned growing up from them and for no other reason,” Merchun said. “Greenville is blessed as a community to have so many deserving people.”

Out of town family members joined Merchun and his wife Julie – presenting themselves after the announcement.

“Seeing my family and friends walk in – that was the closest I got to breaking out in tears,” he said.

Last year’s award recipient, Karen Carbonelli, introduced Merchun as the winner after sharing comments from his nomination that described him as someone who shows empathy to others, gives freely of his time, talent and treasure and treats everyone with respect and compassion.

Merchun serves as chief of radiology at Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville. He also credited his team for his professional success. “I rely so much on my team – the nurses, the technologists to all do their jobs, so we all work together,” he said. “It’s about creating an environment where all that can happen. I get to take a lead part in that, but I’m certainly not the only part of the show. That’s what I live every single day.”

The award will be formally presented at the 2020 Spectrum Health Foundation United and Kelsey Hospitals’ Charity Ball February 8 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding efforts in caring for others and in improving health care in the greater Greenville community through philanthropy, leadership and commitment.

Merchun is the 15th Spirit of Caring Award winner. His name will be displayed with other winners in the Hendrik & Gezina Meijer Surgery & Patient Care Center at United Hospital.

He serves on the hospital board of directors and has helped secure state-of-the-art equipment, improve facilities at United Hospital and has raised funds for the Charity Ball.

Last year’s Charity Ball raised more than $97,000 to support the United Lifestyles’ Combating Childhood Obesity program.

The 2020 event will focus on raising funds to expand the hospital’s partnership with Montcalm County school districts by establishing six adolescent behavioral health virtual health clinics, following a successful pilot program at Greenville High School this year.


Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,300 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 155 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.



John Norton
Corporate Communications Manager
Office: 231.592.4387
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