The two Congregations of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio share a common mission of providing the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, which began more than 130 years ago. The shared legacy of the two Congregations dates back to 1866 when three Sisters Religious came from France in response to a call from Catholic Bishop Claude M. Dubuis to come to Texas to help care for the sick and infirm. In the leading port city of Galveston, the Sisters founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and opened the first Catholic hospital in the state. In 1869, three members of the Congregation traveled to San Antonio and established Santa Rosa Hospital. Due to the distance between the cities and the problems of transportation at the time, the Congregation in San Antonio became a separate order with the same name as its founding Congregation.
The Congregations of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston announced in September of 1997 their plans to work together toward combining the health care systems which each sponsors. In July 1998, the two signed a letter of intent, calling for all assets of the Sisters of Charity Health Care System (SCH) and the Incarnate Word Health System (IWHS) to become part of CHRISTUS Health. On February 1, 1999, that dream became a reality and CHRISTUS Health was born.
In 1972 Space Center Memorial Hospital opened to serve the 55,000 community members surrounding NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. The goal of the new hospital was "to return to the people of our country the benefits in the form of health service dividends produced from space exploration."
Unfortunately, the facility was closed in September 1974, only 13 months after it opened, by the Federal Housing Administration because the hospital was behind in mortgage payments. The hospital was unoccupied until the federal government took it over.
In 1981 Congress passed an administration bill, part of President Reagan’s budget-cutting proposals, that closed eight Public Health Service hospitals in the United States. The Houston-based Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Health Care Systems was selected by the federal government to assume control of the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Nassau Bay. The government said Sisters of Charity was chosen because of its reputation for providing quality care for its patient population. The Sisters purchased the facility for $1.
On Dec. 9, 1981, CHRISTUS St. John Hospital treated its first patient. The founding sisters of the hospital, Sister Clare Marie, Sister Frances Therese, and Sister Edwin Berry, worked night and day to build St. John Hospital into the quality health care facility it is today. The hospital opened to serve the needs of the community, merchant marines, workers for the Department of Defense as well as Vietnamese and American shrimpers.
In 1982 CHRISTUS St. John Hospital was one of the first hospitals to have a layman, rather than a member of the Congregation, as administrator. Over the years, CHRISTUS St. John Hospital, located across from Johnson Space Center, has been under contract with NASA for provision of the medication kits for the Space Shuttle and for physiological testing for the space program.
A $9 million expansion that was completed in 1989 debuted the concept of LDRP suites in the Center for New Life, enlarged the emergency department and improved diagnostic imaging capabilities.
On Jan. 23, 1998, the hospital unveiled its new street name and address. Hospital Boulevard was renamed St. John Drive in an official proclamation from the mayor. The hospital’s founding sisters were forever memorialized in the new street address, since the "3" in 18300 was chosen to represent the three sisters.
CHRISTUS St. John Hospital has always been committed to the CHRISTUS Health Mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through community involvement and programs. The hospital is responsible for establishing Point of Light Clinic, school-based clinics and Project Gabriel in the Dickinson and Nassau Bay areas. CHRISTUS St. John Hospital also received national attention with the development of its parish nurse program.
CHRISTUS St. John Hospital continues to offer quality acute care health services, has added specialties to serve the community, has actively recruited top physicians to fill the needs of Nassau Bay residents, and remains solid in the mission of mercy envisioned by its founding sisters 20 years ago.
CHRISTUS Health is committed to providing meaningful benefits for you and your family and to sharing with you the prosperity you help create. We support our health care teams with competitive compensation and an outstanding benefits package.
Medical Health Coverage
Prescription Drug Plan
Group Term Life
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
Cash Balance Plan- provided to you at no cost. Matched Savings Plan- optional plan with CHRISTUS matching 50% of first 4% contributed.
TDA’s- Tax Deferred Annuities are also an additional voluntary plan which allows Associates to make tax deferred contributions to supplement their retirement.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Provides important tax advantages, which enables you to pay unreimbursed Medical and Dependent Care expenses with pretax dollars. There are two spending accounts:
Dependent Day Care
Generous vacation accruals for both full and part-time Associates.
Sick time accruals (if available at facility)
Tuition Reimbursement for Associates seeking degrees for career or self-advancement.
Continuing Education for all Associates ranging from job specific to fundamental business and interpersonal techniques.
CHRISTUS is very involved in communities efforts to enhance the communities we serve by participating in United Way campaigns, The Children’s Miracle Network Telethons, and numerous other charitable events.
Associate Assistance Program
A confidential resource, free of charge, to assist our Associates and their families resolve personal and family stresses.
Programs & Wellness
CHRISTUS Health truly understands the importance of maintaining a balance between work and personal lives…therefore many facilities offer programs and opportunities which promote health and wellbeing.
Some programs consist of:
Smoking Cessation classes, nutrition and weight management classes, fitness opportunities, health and wellness checks including blood pressure, cholesterol screening and mammograms are often available.
Credit Union Memberships and free checking advantages with participating banks.
CHRISTUS Healing ministries: Nourishment for the soul at Our Daily Bread
CHRISTUS Health has many ways of fulfilling its Mission, “to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.” In this issue, Via CHRISTUS explores Our Daily Bread in Galveston, and some other community outreach ministries that extend a helping hand, and a healing touch, to those we are honored to serve.
"The food pantry is my prayer room," says Sissie Sandoval, the kitchen manager at Our Daily Bread in Galveston, Texas. It is here, among the canned vegetables, loaves of bread and bags of rice, that she prays for food on behalf of the homeless people who depend on Our Daily Bread for nourishment. Sissie is constantly amazed at the bounty they’ve received over the past 15 years through the generosity of donors such as Homecut Bakery, which has delivered freshly baked donuts ever since they opened. "One day, we needed three more bags of potatoes for potato salad…. I prayed for potatoes, and a lady brought in three big cartons of potato salad, already prepared," she says. "In fact, we haven’t lacked potatoes since the day we prayed for them. The Lord has provided everything we’ve asked for."
If the appearance of food is a miracle, so is each homeless person who has sought help and found hope through spiritual care, enrichment programs, volunteering and nourishment at Our Daily Bread. The community-based initiative, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, serves 30,000 meals a year, every one of them donated. Under the leadership of Sister Ursula O’Keeffe, the program has been providing day shelter, nutrition, clothing, personal hygiene, first aid and referral services to those in need since 1986. Located near a neglected section of Galveston called "The Jungle," Our Daily Bread is a welcome refuge for those who have little but the clothes on their backs.
Dignity and respect
"It takes more than food to take care of a whole person," says Sister Ursula. "People have basic needs that must be met before they can address the more complicated problems. We try to meet the basic needs of food and clothing, respect and dignity…we believe you get what you give. We treat each person courteously, and serve their food on real china…we call people by name to seat them when their table is ready. And we get to know each person, their particular story and the problems they’re facing. Perhaps the most important step is to identify the problems, and find out what people are willing to do for themselves. We believe it’s each person’s privilege to decide what positive steps they are willing to take, and once they’ve decided, we will help," she states.
The mission of Our Daily Bread is "…to minister to the person who is homeless in such a way that God’s love and compassion will be experienced by all."
To extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
Our Core Values
•Dignity: Respect for the worth of every person with special concern for the poor and underserved.
•Integrity: Honesty, justice, and consistency in all relationships.
•Excellence: High standards of service and performance.
•Compassion: Service in a spirit of empathy, love, and concern.
•Stewardship: Wise and just use of talents and resources in a collaborative manner.
•Strengthen our current ministries and expand into new locations and services.
•Implement innovative approaches to caring for the whole person.
•Increase access to health care for the poor and underserved through advocacy and other initiatives.
•Make significant contributions to creating healthy communities.
•Create a work environment filled with hope, dignity, and mutual respect.
Whether your skills lie in patient care or administration and you prefer to work in not-for-profit health care, CHRISTUS Health facilities may have a career opportunity for you. CHRISTUS Health and our facilities are committed to being an equal opportunity employer as part of our on-going mission. It is the policy of CHRISTUS Health not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, orientation, disability, age or national origin.
In the changing world of health care, you hear about new health systems being formed all the time. They consolidate facilities to reduce costs. Streamline operations. Improve the bottom line. All in order to take better care of themselves. What you don't usually hear about is a group of hospitals joining forces to take better care of people.
Now, that may seem like an old idea. But it's what makes CHRISTUS Health so different. And it's why the Sisters of Charity Health Care System and Incarnate Word Health System have now come together as one. With a common name, based on a mission they've had in common for over a century.
Of course, that's not to say there aren't obvious benefits of bringing our resources together. As a system, we have more than 30 hospitals and facilities in more than 60 communities in five states. And assets of over $3 billion. That puts us among the top ten Catholic health systems in the country.
It's given new strength to an old idea. Because, together, we can do more for people than we could apart.