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History of Saint Francis: More Than A Century Of Caring

Saint Francis Hospital was founded in 1897 by Mother Ann Valencia Ailloude,
C.S.J., and a small group of Sisters of Saint Joseph who came to Hartford from
Chambery, France at the invitation of Bishop Michael Tierney.

The original hospital was established in the former home of Bishop Tierney,
located at the intersection of Collins and Woodland Streets, in Hartford's
Asylum Hill neighborhood. When it opened, the hospital could accommodate 30
patients in its wards and it had two private rooms.

A year after its founding, the hospital started its own school of nursing. In
all, 5,818 registered nurses graduated from the school during its 98-year

In 1899, Saint Francis began an ambitious construction program, adding
additional buildings and facilities, which permitted the introduction of new,
specialized services.

Today, Saint Francis is licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65
bassinets. The hospital’s newest building, the 10-story Patient Care Tower,
was completed in 1996. This modern structure contains three floors of outpatient
services, critical care and surgical units and a women's pavilion.

Throughout its 104-year history, Saint Francis has responded to the medical
needs of the region. In 1903, during a scarlet fever outbreak, Sisters from the
hospital set up a temporary isolation unit on Sisson Avenue. In 1919, Saint
Francis was named an Army Reserve Hospital.When World War II started, Saint
Francis was the first hospital in Hartford to initiate a Volunteer Red Cross
Nurse Aide course. During the polio outbreak of the 1950s, Saint Francis was the
first area hospital to establish a post-polio program.

Continuing its growth with the addition of ambulatory care services not
previously provided by acute care hospitals, the institution, in 1976, changed
its name to Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, reflecting its expanded
role in providing health services to the growing Greater Hartford Community.

In 1990, Saint Francis made history when it affiliated with Mount Sinai
Hospital, the first recorded collaboration between a Catholic and a
Jewish-sponsored hospital in the United States. Five years later, a formal
corporate merger was completed. Today, the Mount Sinai Campus is a vital
component of Saint Francis Care, a dynamic integrated health care
delivery system.

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