TACOMA, Wash., Oct. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In October of 1891, a committed and compassionate group of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia cared for their first patient at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma. The sisters came to the mill town with just pennies in their pockets, and in 10 months opened the 60-bed hospital, treating all patients who came to them seeking care including those who could not pay. This week, the legacy of these founding sisters will be remembered and recognized as the Puget Sound communities celebrate the 125th anniversary of CHI Franciscan Health's St. Joseph Medical Center.
"Our Sisters established a tradition of care that has enriched Tacoma for more than a century," said Ketul J. Patel, chief executive officer, CHI Franciscan Health. "Our commitment is to deliver compassionate, quality care to all those in need in every facet of our organization, from emergencies, to cancer or heart care, to the birth of a child."
Sister Jude Connelly, a retired nurse who began her career as a nursing student in 1958 at St. Joseph Hospital, now serves on CHI Franciscan Health's Board of Directors. Sr. Connelly will help represent the legacy of the Sisters, along with her Franciscan sisters during the anniversary celebrations.
"The 125th anniversary is a celebration we share with the entire Puget Sound community, and the many generations of local families our ministry has served," said Sr. Connelly. "The Sisters founded St. Joseph Medical Center with a mission of healing and service that continues today, and will carry on long into the future."
Then and Now
Much has changed in 125 years. St. Joseph Medical Center has become a state-of-the-art health care facility offering the latest advances in health care to the community. What remains constant is the hospital's dedication to compassionate care and service to the poor. The following statistics show that growth and change throughout the years.
Patients treated: In the early days, the hospital treated an average of 250 patients per year. Today, St. Joseph admits thousands of patients and conducts more than 15,500 operations each year.
Technology: In the early 1900s, the hospital obtained the latest tools and adopted the newest medical techniques including X-rays to prevent exploratory surgery, ether anesthesia, and brandy and strychnine injections to stimulate the heart. Today, the hospital uses technologies such as non-invasive robotic surgery and Gamma Knife radio surgery, and has a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and an ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) clinic on-site.
Pediatrics: In 1940, St. Joseph opened a 34-bed pediatric unit. Today, approximately 4,200 babies are born each year, the equivalent of about one baby every two hours.
For more information about St. Joseph Medical Center and the 125th anniversary events, including a Community Celebration on Oct. 15, visit www.facebook.com/events/1783529405218273/.
About CHI Franciscan Health
CHI Franciscan Health is a nonprofit health system based in Tacoma, Washington with a team of more than 12,000 doctors, nurses and staff that provide expert, compassionate medical care at eight acute care hospitals and approximately 200 primary and specialty care clinics in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties. This includes St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton and Silverdale; Highline Medical Center, Burien; and Regional Hospital, Burien. Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan Health is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system spans more than 1,100 acute care beds, a credentialed medical staff of more than 2,201 including more than 800 employed physicians providing specialties in cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences and women's care. CHI Franciscan's mission focuses on creating healthier communities, including caring for the poor and underserved. In 2016, the organization provided $156 million in community benefit, including $9 million in charity care. More information: www.chifranciscan.org.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/st-joseph-medical-center-celebrates-125-years-300341910.html
SOURCE CHI Franciscan Health