Mercy Hospital in Springfield began on October 29, 1891 when three Sisters of Mercy – Sister M. Alacoque Kelley, Sister M. Xavier Kinsella, and Sister M. Stanislaus Tennelly – arrived in Springfield from St. Louis to open St. John’s Hospital. They were brought here by a Hospital Aid Society at the behest of local physician Dr. Jonathan Edward Tefft. The first St. John’s Hospital was a two-story, eight-room brick residence at the corner of Washington Avenue and Chestnut Street.
St. John’s relocated to a newly built, 40-bed hospital at Main Avenue and Nichols Street in February 1906 and began operating a school of nursing the same year. On September 24, 1952, St. John’s opened its $7.5 million, 350-bed hospital at Cherokee Street and National Avenue. The hospital employed 80 physicians, 20 Sisters, and a number of other staff. After this new hospital opened, the old building at Main and Nichols became the Mercy Villa nursing home.
Since the 1960s, the hospital has continued to grow. A $20 million expansion and renovation was completed in the early 1980s, and a seven-story patient tower and an Emergency Trauma Center were added in the 2000s. St. John’s Hospital was renamed Mercy Hospital Springfield in 2012, and in 2016 the hospital celebrated its 125th anniversary. Mercy is one of the five largest health care systems in the United States, serving millions of patients in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Categories: Health, Science & Technology
Subject: Hospitals--Buildings; Health care; Mercy Hospital
Collection Name: St. John's Hospital (Mercy Hospital) Historical Collection
Contributing Institution: Springfield-Greene County Library
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