The Cleveland’s First Private Hospital
The history of Cleveland and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center are not independent of one another. A city is people; a hospital is people—the story of the past century and a half is the story of how these people have helped each other.
Since 1865—nearly 150 years ago—a handful of pioneering Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine were brought to Cleveland at the request of Bishop Amadeus Rappe, the first bishop of Cleveland. Against the backdrop of a soul-searing Civil War and a spirit saddened by the assassination of a President, new life was teeming on the streets, avenues, shores, railways and alleys of Cleveland. However, without a hospital the city could not serve the railroad and steamboat disaster victims and returning Civil War soldiers who were requiring immediate medical attention and nursing care.
To meet these needs, St. Vincent Charity Hospital, rose above almost insurmountable difficulties to come into existence.
In May 1863, Bishop Rappe had proposed to City Council that Cleveland build a hospital to care for wounded soldiers, with nursing care to be provided by the Sisters. City Council appointed a committee to investigate and immediately dissension occurred. Newspaper editorials opposed a hospital under Catholic auspices since nine-tenths of the taxpayers were Protestants, and proposed instead the establishment of a nonsectarian hospital.
Familiar with failure and discouragement, Bishop Rappe made another attempt. He offered to build a hospital and provide Sisters to care for the patients if the citizens would furnish adequate financial support.
Cleveland citizens agreed and the site—at Perry Street (now East 22nd Street) between Marion and Garden Streets (now Central Avenue)—was purchased for $10,000. The initial hospital cost $72,000 of which $42,000 was raised from the primarily Protestant Cleveland community.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine stated that patients would be received regardless of religious belief and that those unable to pay would have their care paid for by the city. Mother Augustine, a woman of refinement and strength of character, who possessed unusual executive ability, was the first superior of the hospital. She and seven Sisters took up their duties on October 5, 1865. Their practice of always aiding the sick and suffering regardless of creed, race or ability to pay has continued throughout the next century and a half.
Today, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland’s faith-based, high-quality healthcare provider. As a teaching hospital, it is home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute, the Center for Bariatric Surgery as well as complete services in cardiovascular, emergency medicine, primary care, behavioral health, occupational health and addiction medicine in a setting that is as caring and comfortable as home.
Everyone at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is devoted to the mission to treat every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care.
Recent Blog Posts
February 25, 2021
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has opened an urgent care location in Rocky River to treat life's little bumps, bruises and illnesses. There's no need for an appointment. Adults and children age 5 and older can walk in, get treated and get on with their day. The urgent care location also offers telehealth.
February 8, 2021
Integrated Care refers to the practice of treating the whole person — attending to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. This approach meaningfully transforms lives by wholly embracing the needs of each individual. In its February 8th issue, Crain’s Cleveland Business features an in-depth look at this approach at St. Vincent Charity, as well as the hospital’s new Integrated Care Clinic, which provides outpatient mental health trauma and wellness services in a person-centered approach.
February 3, 2021
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population every year. They are highly treatable, yet only 37% of those suffering receive treatment. In its February 2021 cover story, Cleveland Magazine features a series of ways to take charge of your health, including How To Address Signs of Anxiety And Find Solutions from Michael J. Biscaro, chief of behavioral health at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
January 15, 2021
St. Vincent Charity orthopedic surgeon pens column about the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight to reduce arthritis pain
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Matthew Levy writes a monthly column for the Cleveland Jewish News focusing on orthopedic issues, concerns and topics. His most recent column focused on how excess weight not only exacerbates pain from arthritis, but significantly increases the risk of a patient developing arthritis in the first place.
December 29, 2020
Telehealth has been around for years, but it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic that its availability and use really grew. Telehealth services reduce barriers to treatment by allowing patients to see providers remotely for certain conditions. Russell Spieth, Ph.D., director of outpatient services at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s Rosary Hall, spoke to Cleveland Jewish News about the increase in telehealth services and the impact it could have on health outcomes.
December 21, 2020
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and other NE Ohio hospitals thank the community for helping slow spread of COVID-19
As we approach the final weeks of the year, let’s pause to reflect on all that we have been through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of us has been changed and affected personally and professionally. Our communities, and indeed our world, have been changed. That message starts a letter from St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and other Northeast Ohio hospitals to the community, thanking everyone for helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
December 2, 2020
St. Vincent Charity Rosary Hall co-medical directors discuss the importance of ongoing addiction treatment during Covid-19 with Cleveland Magazine
As part of the December 2020 cover story for Cleveland Magazine, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center's co-medical directors of Rosary Hall, Dr. Theodore V. Parran and Dr. Christopher Adelman, discuss the importance of ongoing addiction treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic.