A not-for-profit Catholic health care provider in the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, St. Francis Health Center embodies a diverse and caring community dedicated to improving the health and welfare of others. St. Francis employees have provided innovative, inspired service more than a century to care for thousands of patients and their families with the same spirit and resolve demonstrated by the resourceful sisters who opened the facility on Oct. 17, 1909.
Recognizing the need to serve the medically needy, a band of sisters led by Sister Xavier Ross arrived in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1858 to pioneer a health care ministry.
In 1908, the Topeka Commercial Club donated land to the Sisters of Charity to build a hospital. Sister Mary Germaine Kramer and Mother Mary Peter Dwyer raised $40,000 in donations so construction could begin.
St. Francis Health Center opened on Oct. 17, 1909, with 40 beds. Assembling scraps of fabric and fashioning them into colorful quilts for patients was one of the first aspects of business the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth pursued. Ever mindful of the cost of things, they were prudent in their approaches to ensure that whatever resources they had available could be stretched to accommodate the needs of everyone who sought assistance for their ailments.
Today the Health Center has 378 licensed beds, a medical staff representing nearly all specialties, adult and youth volunteers and a thriving auxiliary. Skillfully integrating technology with tenderness, St. Francis and its employees have fostered a premier regional hospital featuring the newest medical innovations and state-of-the-art equipment.
St. Francis was the first in the area to purchase an X-ray machine, establish an intensive care unit, install diagnostic ultrasound equipment, conduct a heart transplant, use bedside computers to provide point of service documentation and purchase a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner. The Health Center is also one of only two non-Veterans Administration hospitals in Kansas to bar code pharmaceuticals to prevent medication errors for patient safety and peace of mind.
The healing touch of St. Francis extends beyond the walls of the Health Center to include programs focused on preventive medicine, such as the Mammography Screening Center and the Sleep Disorders Center. Through the Marian Clinic and the Marian Dental Clinic, both owned and operated by Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, St. Francis helps the working poor and the uninsured secure the treatment they need, from immunizations and routine teeth cleaning to surgical procedures and crown and denture work.