February 23, 2018

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center welcomes Bishop Nelson Perez

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, was honored to host the Most Reverend Bishop Nelson Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. While visiting the hospital, Bishop Perez met with Sister Judith Ann Karam CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, as well as St. Vincent Charity’s David Perse M.D., president & CEO; Sister Miriam Erb CSA, vice president of mission and ministry; Joseph Sopko M.D., chief medical officer; Audley Mackel M.D., medical staff president; and Beverly Lozar, senior vice president.

Together, the leadership team introduced St. Vincent Charity’s distinguished doctors and caregivers, and shared stories of our devotion to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. Bishop Perez learned about key services, including the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute, the Center for Bariatric Surgery and Rosary Hall.

And, on a tour of the main campus, Bishop Nelson saw first-hand the emergency department, psychiatric emergency department and more. Bishop Nelson took in much of the history of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, which has served as Cleveland’s downtown hospital since it was established in 1865. Pieces discussed from the hospital’s timeline included:

  • 1873 – St. Vincent Charity opened its first operating room and Cleveland’s first amphitheater for demonstration of surgical and clinical procedures to medical students.
  • 1950 – Specialized work in heart disease began with the opening of the Cardiovascular Laboratory, one of the first diagnostic and evaluation labs in the Midwest. 
  • 1952 – Rosary Hall was founded by Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin CSA after she had been transferred from St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, the birthplace for Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • 1956 – The first open-heart surgery in the Midwest was performed on a 6-year-old girl by Dr. Earle B. Kay. The surgery used the Cleveland-developed heart lung machine known as the Kay-Cross Heart Lung Machine. The Cardiac Recovery Unit opened in October and was designed as one of the first in its kind in the country to provide more safety for the cardiac surgery patient.
  • 1985 – Arthur Steffee, M.D., chief of orthopedics at St. Vincent Charity, performed the first vertebral implant in the country. He used a metal and plastic replacement he designed himself. Dr. Steffee went on to form Acromed, which he later sold to DePuy in 1998 for $325 million. 
  • 1988 – St. Vincent Charity opened the psychiatric emergency room, one of only two in the state of Ohio. 
  • 1997 – St. Vincent Charity was the first hospital in the region to begin offering bariatric surgery.
  • 2007 – Dr. Louis Keppler, co-medical director of the Spine and Orthopedic Surgery, performed the first short-stem hip replacement surgery in the U.S. Those procedures now account for nearly 30% of all hip replacements performed in the U.S.

Northeast Ohio Catholic magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland also published coverage about Bishop Perez and his visit to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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