Mercy Health Saint Mary’s to host various events in honor of anniversary milestone

Sister Catherine McAuley

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s announces the hospital’s 125th anniversary on Aug. 18th, 2018. The hospital is marking its monumental milestone throughout the year, with numerous colleague and community events scheduled from mid-August through December.

“It is with great pride that our local hospital – a pioneer in the health care industry – celebrates this significant occasion in the community,” said Bill Manns, president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “What began as a small, faith-enriched facility more than a century ago has grown exponentially while maintaining expert doctors and staff committed to providing, accessible and personal care to our patients. We look forward to continued progression and innovation as health care continues to evolve.”

Originally established as Saint Mary’s Hospital by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, the original 15-bed facility was housed in the former McNamara home on South Lafayette Avenue in Grand Rapids. Five years later, hospital officials opened the Saint Mary’s Hospital Training School for Nurses and built a three-story addition, doubling the number of beds to 30. In 1911, Saint Mary’s constructed a new 75-bed hospital at the corner of Cherry Street and Lafayette Avenue – where  Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center now stands. Over the next 60 years, Saint Mary’s Hospital underwent myriad expansions, bringing the total number of beds to 370 by the late 1970s.

Now located at 200 Jefferson Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, Saint Mary’s joined Mercy Health in 2011, bringing greater access of services and personalized care to the West Michigan region. Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is the heart of the most comprehensive health system in the region, connecting patient-focused care with exemplary doctors and health care experts.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has established many achievements throughout the past 125 years, including:

  • 1973 – The first and only Kidney Transplant Program in Grand Rapids for adult patients — a historic program that is still one of the largest and most successful community hospital-based kidney transplant programs in the country
  • 1990 – McAuley Infectious Disease Program for HIV/AIDS: Saint Mary’s was the first West Michigan hospital to create this program.
  • 2005 – Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center: West Michigan’s only comprehensive cancer hospital, it earned its LEED certification a year later, becoming the second U.S. hospital ever to receive the award.
  • 1988-2000 – Six Community Health Centers: Bringing superior health care to underserved members of the community, including Heartside Health Center (1988), Clinica Santa Maria Health Center (1990) and Browning Claytor Health Center (2000)
  • 1997, 2005 – Exclusive joint partnerships with Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation services and Van Andel Research Institute for Parkinson’s Center research, respectively
  • 1999 – Mercy Health Wege Institute for Mind, Body and Spirit: One of the largest and most experienced integrative health programs in the United States, partnering progressive complementary therapies with mainstream medical services and practitioners
  • 2009 – Hauenstein Neuroscience Center: The region’s first multidisciplinary, comprehensive clinic to provide unparalleled treatment for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Muscular Dystrophy, Muscular Sclerosis, Palliative Care, Stroke and other neurological disorders

“When you look at what Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has accomplished in 125 years, it’s astounding. As the first hospital in Grand Rapids to provide several breakthrough programs and services, it has built a rich history in the local and regional health care arenas,” said Julie Ridenour, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees chairwoman. “We are excited to celebrate the health care path we’ve paved over the past 125 years and look forward to leading the industry for centuries to come.”

To honor its history and legacy in the Grand Rapids community and celebrate its significant milestone, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s will host a variety of events throughout the year:

  • Aug. 17: Colleague and volunteer kick-off celebration
  • Aug. 18: Gifts for babies born at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s on its 125th anniversary
  • Sept. 7: Prayer Service of Gratitude at The Cathedral of Saint Andrew
  • Oct 15: Community Anniversary Luncheon at DeVos Place, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with special guest Earvin “Magic” Johnson (tickets available soon)
  • Nov. 9: Mercy Health Saint Mary’s 125th Anniversary Gala