This year, one of the major hospitals in Youngstown, OH celebrates its centennial anniversary.
The Rose Melnick Medical Museum is pleased to provide artifacts to support an exhibit that documents the history of Saint Elizabeth Health Center.
In 1909, the citizens of Youngstown met to discuss the possibility of opening a hospital operated by nuns. After a very successful fundraiser, they had enough money to purchase a property on Belmont Avenue in 1911. The property consisted of three wood frame houses. The renovation of large, old homes into hospitals was a common practice in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when public hospitals were just beginning in the United States. The first hospitals were small for a number of reasons, including the small size of cities or centralized towns, and the fact that most patients were still treated in their own homes at this time.
In Youngstown, the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary agreed to operate the new hospital. The Sisters had come to the Cleveland diocese from France in 1864. It was also a common practice at this time for religious orders to run hospitals, since many of the patients treated there were poor (unable to afford a private visit from a doctor) or invalids who had no one to care for them at home. Their first patient was admitted on December 8, 1911.
Within a month, the new hospital was filled to capacity. In 1912, more land was acquired and a long history of expansion continued for the next 100 years.
You can learn more about the medical history of the Mahoning Valley from a YouTube video here.
Congratulations to Saint Elizabeth Hospital and the Humility of Mary Heath Partners!