McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital signed an assistance agreement with St. John’s Mercy Hospital, Joplin, Mo., in which McCuneBrooks will expand to 52 beds from 25. The agreement, which also includes the building of a surgery suite, will put about 80 St. John’s employees back to work, according to an announcement from St. John’s parent, Mercy Health System, Chesterfield, Mo. St. John’s, formerly known as St. John’s Regional Medical Center, was destroyed by a tornado May 22. Funding will come from an unrestricted donation by St. John’s to McCune-Brooks. St. John’s hospitalists will provide coverage seven days a week, 24 hours a day and additional specialists such as anesthesiologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists and ear, nose and throat physicians also will join the medical staff, according to the announcement. “After orientation in our system and introduction to our mission, vision and values, St. John’s partner employees will help us ensure continued patient safety and comfort, allowing us to continue to provide patient-centered care,” Bob Copeland, CEO of McCuneBrooks, said in the statement.