Our story begins in 1851 when the first Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (CSA) arrived in Cleveland, Ohio from France to serve as the city’s first public health nurses. As the CSA Congregation grew, the Sisters continued to respond to unmet community needs of the changing times. The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine established hospitals, schools and dozens of health and social service programs in Ohio and South Carolina.
The health care ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System has an extensive history of innovation and quality. This health care legacy continues today at five nationally recognized hospitals:
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
A model of urban health care, with progressive, vital and responsive programs and services, the hospital strives to meet the changing needs of the community today and tomorrow. Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland (OH), the hospital has been part of the fabric of the city and the region since 1865.
Mercy Medical Center
Due to the generosity of Mrs. Rosa Klorer who had purchased the former residence of U.S. President William McKinley, the Sisters were called to Canton (OH) to establish Stark County's first and only Catholic hospital in the historic home in 1908. Today, Mercy Medical Center offers comprehensive programs and services to meet the health care needs of the community.
The opening of Providence Hospital in Columbia, SC in 1938 was the result of an extraordinary act of faith by an extraordinary collection of people. With an invitation and support from Fr. Martin C. Murphy of St. Peter's Church and Columbia businessman James B. Younginer, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine mortgaged their Ohio motherhouse to finance a new hospital in a city the Sisters had never even seen. Providence Hospital continues today as a leading provider of cardiovascular services in South Carolina.
St. John Medical Center
This hospital opened its doors in 1981 as the result of a merger of two long-standing health care institutions: St. John Hospital and Bay View Osteopathic General Hospital. Today, St. John Medical Center offers a full range of both inpatient and outpatient services and serves as a teaching hospital for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Providence Hospital Northeast
Established in 1999, this facility is dedicated to making quality, compassionate healthcare more convenient for families in the rapidly growing Northeast area of Columbia.
New Strategies for Growth
Our hospitals have always thrived through the contributions of our co-ministers, the laity. In 1982, the need for an even broader infrastructure with greater participation of the laity was clear. Through the leadership of Sr. Mary Patricia Barrett, CSA, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System (now known as Sisters of Charity Health System) was established to promote collaboration and provide strategic direction and faith-based leadership to the growing family of ministries. The formation of the parent corporation was a critical step in increasing the involvement of laity in the oversight and operations of the Sisters’ health care ministry.
Responding to Unmet Needs
Other additions to the Sisters of Charity Health System’s family of ministries include two residential care centers for the elderly, new collaborative partnerships for health and human services and one of the nation’s only residences for homeless men recovering from illness or medical treatment. Healthy Learners, a South Carolina network providing health services free of charge to children from low-income families, earned prestigious national honors in 2006: the NOVA Award from the American Medical Association and the Achievement Citation from the Catholic Health Association.
Vision for Today and Tomorrow
Today, the Sisters of Charity Health System, with assets of more than $1 billion, lives out its true devotion to healing by serving the unmet needs of hundreds of thousands of children and families in Northeast Ohio and South Carolina. We continue this tradition of healing the whole person through a range of health and human services organizations, including five state-of-the art hospitals, two geriatric residential facilities, direct services in health, education and housing, and grantmaking foundations with significant community initiatives that focus on the root causes of poverty.
Led by President and CEO Sr. Judith Ann Karam, CSA, we are dedicated to excellence, pledged to advocate for the poor and committed to the values of Jesus Christ. At all levels, we are a trusted resource for those in need of physical, psychological or spiritual wholeness.