2001 - Today
U.S. News and World Report ranked St. Mary's Medical Center as the #4 hospital in Indiana in July of 2013. The U. S. News Rankings Editor stated, "Only about 15 percent of hospitals are recognized for their high performance as among their region's best." St. Mary's was also recognized as high performing in eight specialties: diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face particularly difficult surgery, a challenging conditon, or added risk because of other health problems or age.
In September of 2012, a major Emergency Department and inpatient bed expansion project was completed. The renovation/expansion included space for patients needing care in the Emergency Department and 20 additional private rooms in the hospital.
St. Mary's Health System and St. Vincent's Health System (Indianapolis) announced a new health partnership effective July 1, 2012.
On January 19, 2011, St. Mary's was proud to announce its designation as a Magnet® designated facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Magnet Recognition Program® honors healthcare organizations that provide nursing excellence. Magnet® designation is the gold standard for nursing care.
In December of 2009, St. Mary's took receipt of a 3T MRI imaging unit. The 3T MRI has twice the field strength of most conventional MRI scanners and increases the imaging resolution by 16x. Upon becoming operational in January of 2010, St. Mary's became the only hospital in Southern Indiana offering 3T MRI imaging.
St. Mary's became the first Level II Pediatric Trauma Center in the region in 2009 adding to its 2005 verification as a Level II Trauma Center for Adults. These verifications were awarded by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT).
December 2006 heralded the opening of the Center for Advanced Medicine. Built in partnership with St. Mary's, the physicians of Ohio Valley HeartCare and developer and owner Bremmer & Wiley, the all-new, four-story, 125,000 square foot Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM) provides for the utmost comfort and convenience for outpatients.
In 2002, the Ascension Health ministry expanded through the addition of another Catholic health system, the Carondelet Health System of the Sisters of Sr. Joseph, St. Louis, Missouri.
Open-heart surgery, laser and advanced surgery techniques, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and improved diagnostic testing have all been an important part of St. Mary's. They continue to be today's priorities as St. Mary's seeks to enrich the health of its community. Other services, both inpatient and outpatient, such as rehabilitation and weight management have developed. St. Mary's has aligned its services to meet the tri-state's need for a Trauma Level II and Advanced Care Center - a stringent designation for better care of our patients.
It is the mission, however, of the Daughters of Charity - to care for the poor and the sick through the Charity of Christ - which urges the staff of St. Mary's to continue its service to the people of this community. The spirit of the business leaders and the Daughters of Charity of 1872 led us through the first 125 years and provides the vision for the next 125.
St. Mary's, one of the first health care organizations in the Evansville area, is entrenched in a very unique and rich history. Starting back in 1872, the closest public health care facility was located 120 miles away in Louisville, Kentucky. To serve its growing population of 30,000, a business leader from Evansville purchased a vacant U.S. Marine Hospital in town on the banks of the Ohio River and approached the Daughters of Charity to initiate a health care ministry.
Much has changed in the art of medicine since 1956. St. Mary's was a pioneer by allowing the father to be a part of the birthing process through family-centered maternity care. The 1970's saw an expansion of residency programs and clinic work. Open heart surgery, laser and advanced surgery techniques, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, improved diagnostic testing - all have been an important part of St. Mary's.
In 1999, the Daughters of Charity formed a union with the Sisters of St. Jospeh Health System to create what is now called Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit Catholic health system in the United States. St. Mary's purchased the local Welborn Baptist Hospital for cost efficiencies and in December, started delivering state-of-the-art cancer care through its Cancer Center by combining medical oncology and radiation oncology, and providing access to the latest national cancer studies and clinical trials. A helicopter service was absorbed into St. Mary's with the Welborn Baptist Hospital acquisition to extend itself to outlying communities in need of emergent and advanced healthcare services.
The World War II years posed increased demands and along with these the realization to the hospital administration and staff that the second St. Mary's was rapidly becoming inadequate. Again, it was time for a change.
All concerned agreed the hospital needed a new site of ample acreage away from the noise and downtown congestion - a place of serenity, fresh air, and easy access from all points of the Tri-State. The Daughters decided on an 80-acre tract laying on the city's eastside between Lincoln and Washington Avenues.
On October 23, 1950, more than 1500 Catholic men and women assembled to hear that they were to set the example for a massive public campaign for funding. Their goal was met within a month and the public campaign was off and running. Ground was broken for the third St. Mary's on Sunday, May 17, 1953. Then, a spectacular event occurred. On March 10, 1956, patients and equipment were moved from the old hospital to the new. "Operation Good Neighbor" took 100 minutes to move 97 patients 6.8 miles by ambulances, taxis, and 110 tractor-trailer trucks. Over 5,000 pieces of equipment were delivered and installed and every major department was functioning by nightfall. All manpower and equipment required for the transfer were donated.
In the early 1890's, Evansville underwent rapid growth and industrial transformation. The neighborhood surrounding St. Mary's became a manufacturing district with trains rumbling past many times daily. The need for a finer, larger hospital was plain to see - and the Daughters set about to get it. On August 11, 1885, the Daughters of Charity purchased seven lots located at First Avenue and Columbia. Ground was broken eight years later with an opening set for February 15, 1894.
The second St. Mary's Hospital offered many innovations never seen or even heard of by residents of the time. The main operating room's lighting was so effective doctors could even operate as easily at night as in the daytime. Steam-powered elevators were installed and a new chapel, seating 150, was built. A few months after opening, St. Mary's School of Nursing began accepting women for training. The year 1906 saw the construction of a new surgical pavilion; and 1922, the erection of a four-story annex.
When the Daughters arrived in Evansville in July 1872, they began cleaning and preparing the old Marine Hospital for service. Prior to its actual opening date, a stranger traveling upriver became ill and stopped in Evansville. He had heard rumors of the new hospital. The Sisters prepared a bed for the grateful stranger in one of the renovated rooms and sent for a doctor. That stranger was the first patient at St. Mary's Hospital.