• 1700 SW 7th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66606-1690
  • 785-295-8000

History

St. Francis Health is a not-for-profit Catholic health care provider and is part of a larger health care system called SCL Health. St. Francis Health embodies a diverse and caring community dedicated to improving the health and welfare of others. St. Francis employees have provided innovative, inspired service for more than a century. We 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, Kansas, 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 hospital 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 hospital 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 hospital to include programs focused on preventive medicine, such as the Breast Center and its Spirit of Women health improvement events and programs. Through the Marian Clinic and the Marian Dental Clinic, both owned and operated by SCL Health, 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.