100 Years of Your Best Medicine
When Christian Hospital first began in 1903, there was no insulin for diabetes or cure for polio. Penicillin had not yet been developed and open-heart surgery was only a dream. Since that time, there have been many medical breakthroughs — yet one constant remained — Christian Hospital’s commitment to providing needed medical services to the community.
Today, Christian Hospital is noted as a leader among hospitals in the St. Louis region. In particular, for its excellence in heart services and lifesaving cardiothoracic surgery, emergency medicine, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, radiology, urology, pulmonology and radiation oncology. Christian Hospital has nearly 500 physicians on staff and a diverse workforce of more than 1,800 health care professionals dedicated to providing the absolute best care with the latest technology and medical advances.
In 1903, the Christian Woman’s Benevolent Association secured the purchase of a modest home at 2835 Lawton Avenue for use as a hospital. Board members from the association and a few local doctors were appointed to a joint committee, which developed standards of care, as well as rules and regulations by which the hospital would provide services.
In August 1903 the doors were opened to patients, and Christian Hospital took its first step toward a remarkable history. Within a short time, Christian Hospital expanded its reach within the community. In September 1914, the O’Bar Sanitarium, a 35-bed hospital at Grand and Palm, was purchased and Christian Hospital relocated services to the north, reorganized the staff and set its sights on the future.
In 1923, a building fund to erect a larger, modern Christian Hospital was initiated. The community expressed overwhelming support for a larger, more up-to-date facility in north St. Louis.The result was a 100-bed facility designed to be “modern and fire-proof.” The new Christian Hospital at 4411 Newstead Avenue was officially opened with a dedication ceremony on October 29, 1925. From the 1930s to the early 1950s, the hospital on Newstead Avenue gradually increased in size to 135 beds.
A Vision for the Future
On April 18, 1960, Paul F. Detrick was named administrator of Christian Hospital. Detrick came to Christian Hospital with nearly 10 years of experience of hospital administration experience. Under his leadership, the building program to expand the Newstead facility was streamlined and the fund-raising efforts reorganized. Construction of the new wing was completed in 1961.
Christian Hospital Northwest
On Nov. 15, 1962, Christian Hospital announced plans to build Christian Hospital Northwest. After extensive research and careful consideration, the hospital purchased a 17-acre tract of land just north of Interstate 270 on the west side of Graham Road in Florissant. This site was in the heart of North County and easily accessible to the entire area by major roadways.
Christian Hospital Northwest would consist of a 156-bed acute-care general hospital, a 98-bed extended care unit and a five-story medical office building, all connected by enclosed corridors.
Christian Hospital’s present Auxiliary can trace its roots to this effort. In 1964, a group of 25 women, representing various church, civic and service organizations in the area, were concerned about the lack of a hospital in the area. This group of women formed the Christian Hospital Northwest Auxiliary.
On Sunday, July 10, 1966, a crowd of about 2,000 people gathered on the hottest day of the year to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited hospital. Less than two years later, Christian Hospital Northwest was ready to open. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 21, 1968. Everyone in North County was invited to the opening and to tour the 254-bed facility.
Christian Hospital Northeast
As with Christian Hospital’s previous building projects, it was immediately apparent that the 254-bed Christian Hospital Northwest was sufficiently meeting patient demand. The hospital experienced overcrowding almost from the day it opened. The Emergency Department quickly built a reputation as one of the best and busiest in the state.
To ensure adequate and accessible health care for the growing population, Christian Hospital announced plans in 1972 to expand again. The shell of a larger hospital was officially completed on April 5, 1974. The final touches were completed 17 months later and more than 7,000 guests attended the two-day opening ceremonies at Northeast.
One System Leads to Another
In June 1993, Christian Health System initiated a merger with Barnes-Jewish Inc. to form what is now BJC HealthCare. Additional mergers in 1994 with Missouri Baptist Health System and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Network garnered national attention for BJC and its unique mix of community, rural and research-based services.
Through the mergers, Christian Hospital and BJC became closely affiliated with the prestigious Washington University School of Medicine, ranked among the top five medical schools in the nation. Today, Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare continue to bring advanced treatments delivered with compassion to the community.
Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare, members of BJC HealthCare, provide world-class medical care to the communities of North County, Greater St. Louis County and Southern Illinois.