President of Mercy of NWA
Eric Pianalto was named president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in 2013. A Northwest Arkansas native, Eric has been with Mercy since 1994, in a variety of diverse roles within Mercy’s four-state ministry. Prior to being president, he was chief operating officer for regional operations in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Two decades with Mercy has given him a balanced view of health care, offering perspective during the inevitable health care shifts and challenges to come.
Eric’s leadership was cultivated here in Northwest Arkansas. He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rogers into a family of Italian immigrants and sharecroppers who settled in Tontitown during the 1890s. He graduated from Springdale High School, married a Fayetteville girl and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas. He later earned a master’s in business administration from Webster University.
Health care is actually Eric’s second career. His first job was in manufacturing, which took him to Indianapolis. He and his wife, Dawn, decided within a short time that they prefer the south, so he took a job with a family practice, occupational medicine clinic in Rogers.
Eric currently serves on the board of directors for Arvest Bank, Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation, Rogers – Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Springdale Schools Alumni Foundation and the Springdale Schools Education Foundation. He is past chairman of the Tontitown Grape Festival and has served on an advisory committee for the Arkansas State Medical Board Association. Eric and Dawn have three daughters and reside in Tontitown.