St. Vincent Anderson celebrating 125 years

Don Knight | The Herald Bulletin St. Vincent Anderson will celebrate its 125th Anniversary with two community events next week.

This month, St. Vincent Anderson celebrated its 125-year anniversary.

The hospital, with a mission of “caring for anyone in need with special attention to the poor and vulnerable” has served the Anderson region well for a century and a quarter. Today, it's both a major care provider and a major employer and economic force.

Along with other health-care providers, St. Vincent is counted upon by Anderson and the entire Madison County area to provide leadership to forge a better quality of life.

St. John's Hospital was founded in 1894 after John Hickey donated property to build Anderson's first hospital. Originally, it had just eight beds and operating costs of only $25 a month. Many of the original 80 patients brought their own beds to the facility, which was operated by seven Catholic sisters.

The name of the hospital has changed at least four times over the years, first from St. John’s Hospital to St. John’s Hickey Memorial Hospital, then to St. John’s Health Care Corporation, then to Saint John’s Health System, and finally to St. Vincent Anderson in 2013.

Today, the hospital has 129 beds and a range of health-care facilities and services, including a Level III trauma center, acute care, a mental health division, an advanced cancer center, a surgery pavilion, an outpatient rehabilitation center, an outpatient digestive health center and an outpatient women’s center research institute.

At the St. Vincent Anderson 125-year anniversary Birthday Bash on June 13 at Anderson County Club, the power of the hospital to elevate the community was on display. Through the anniversary party and the St. Vincent Classic for Kids annual golf tournament that day, hospital officials hoped to raise more than $80,000 to help the children served by St. Vincent.

That's a lot of money, but it's a mere drop in the bucket when you consider St. Vincent's overall contributions to the community for 125 years. Those are priceless.

Here's to the next 125!