For more than 150 years, St. Elizabeth has been the heart and soul of healthcare in Northern Kentucky, proudly fulfilling the wish of the Sisters of the Poor: “So that the new hospital may not only be an ornament for Covington, but a blessing for centuries." The healthcare organization, founded with one small hospital in 1861, now operates six facilities throughout Northern Kentucky.
It also has vast resources to serve the Greater Cincinnati area, including almost 1,200 licensed beds, a physician organization which includes more than 86 primary care and specialty office locations, more than 1,200 physicians with admitting privileges, more than 7,400 associates including St. Elizabeth Physicians, more than 1,200 volunteers, three freestanding imaging centers and two outpatient ambulatory surgery centers.
Honoring Our Past
It All Began with One Woman’s Vision
Everything began by the vision of one remarkable woman by the name of Henrietta Cleveland. Despite the incredible personal loss she endured with the death of her husband and two children, Ms. Cleveland managed to found the hospital in 1861.
Concerned with the plight of Covington’s poor, Ms. Cleveland petitioned the Diocese of Covington’s first bishop, the Most Rev. George Carrell, about the need for a hospital in Northern Kentucky to care for the less fortunate. After gaining the bishop’s approval, she enlisted the help of a wealthy Cincinnati social activist, Sarah Worthington King Peter, to raise more than $2,000 to help build the hospital.
The civic-minded pair then recruited the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor to staff the hospital and open a home for foundlings – infants who had been abandoned. The nuns worked with Ms. Cleveland, and the ladies of the first St. Elizabeth Support Guild, to raise the funds needed to purchase a building on 7th Street, which soon became the hospital which they named after St. Elizabeth of Hungary. The first St. Elizabeth Hospital opened its doors on January 23, 1861 and 78 patients were admitted in its first year.
Growth Rooted in Commitment to Mission
The demand for services from that fledgling organization grew swiftly, and over the next 53 years, the sisters would have to move twice to acquire larger facilities to treat those in need. In fact, by 1914 St. Elizabeth opened its new facility on 21st Street in Covington that many knew as the St. Elizabeth North Unit.
Then, in 1948, the citizens of Campbell County began to realize that they, too, had a dire need for a hospital in their growing area. That’s when residents passed a bond issue to build what we now know as St. Elizabeth Ft. Thomas. Within five years, the new Grand Avenue facility opened with 128 beds. Less than 10 years later, two more floors were added, followed by intensive and coronary care units in the early 1970s.
As Northern Kentucky’s population continued to soar and expand to other areas within the region, St. Elizabeth responded by opening its Edgewood facility with 182 beds in 1978. Today, the Edgewood facility has grown to 502 beds and serves as the flagship location for St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
Meanwhile, burgeoning growth in Boone County made clear the need for a state-of-the-art medical facility in that area as well. In 1979, the hospital we now call St. Elizabeth Florence opened in Boone County’s largest city in order to serve the increasing population of the area.
As these facilities grew and added space and specialty services, the need for healthcare in Northern Kentucky’s more rural areas became more evident. Again St. Elizabeth responded to the need. In 1980, a Pendleton County hospital was purchased, which is now known as St. Elizabeth Falmouth, Northern Kentucky’s only inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center. Then, 10 years later, we began managing the facility now known as St. Elizabeth Grant, in Williamstown.
As we crossed into the new millennium, our pace of growth continued to keep us on the cutting edge of medical technology and service. Over the past decade, St. Elizabeth Healthcare has continued to expand our offerings through the introduction of new services, including the Union Diagnostics Center, a $6.4 million hospice center and pediatric urgent care center, to name just a few.
In late 2008, St. Elizabeth Medical Center and the St. Luke Hospitals joined to form what we now know as St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Today, our thriving, healthcare system is not only a regional healthcare leader, but is poised to become a national leader, as well.
Key Accomplishments of St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Since the creation of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we have worked hard to continually bring you the best of what’s humanly possible. Some of the key accomplishments of the healthcare system over the past five years are:
- St. Elizabeth Covington opens
- St. Elizabeth Acquires first da Vinci Robot (Edgewood)
- Merger of Summit Medical Group and Patient First Physicians Group
- St. Elizabeth Surgery Center at Chancellor
- Electronic medical record system (EPIC) implemented in hospitals and physician offices
- Summit Medical Group and Patient First Physicians Group became St. Elizabeth Physicians
- Regional Diabetes Center opens (Covington)
- St. Elizabeth acquires two additional da Vinci Robots
- Total Joint Center (Edgewood)
- Expansion of the Family Birth Place and High-risk OB and Neonatal Care Capability (Edgewood)
- Cardiac Rehab Exercise Area Relocating (Florence)
- New Outpatient Center and Spine Center (Florence)
- New Cancer Care Center and Main Entry (Ft. Thomas)
- New Women’s Wellness Center (Ft. Thomas)
- Renovation of Hospice Unit (Ft. Thomas)
- Renovation of Skilled Nursing Unit (Ft. Thomas)
- Purchase and development of Mildred Dean property (Ft. Thomas/Newport)
- Mayo Clinic Care Network
- Launched computerized physician order entry (CPOE) across the system
- Launched Heart and Vascular Institute Capital Campaign
- First robotic mitral valve repair surgery – February 2012 (Edgewood)
- Installed Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator (Edgewood)
- New Main Entrance and Main Street Corridor (Florence)
- Renovation of 4th floor patient rooms (Florence)
- Renovation of Emergency Department (Ft. Thomas)
- Renovation of Endoscopy Suites (Ft. Thomas)
- Implementation of Critical Care Tele-medicine Program (tele-ICU) (Edgewood, Florence, Ft. Thomas)
- St. Elizabeth Healthcare received Certificate of Need (CON) for Level III NICU services (Edgewood)
- New Maternal Fetal Center (Edgewood)
- Groundbreaking of the Heart and Vascular Institute (Edgewood)
- Construction of a new Electrophysiology lab (Edgewood)
- Construction of a “hybrid operating room” (Edgewood)
- Renovation Labs (Edgewood and Ft. Thomas)
- Construction of a medical office building (Ft. Thomas/Newport)
- Administrative Support Function offices move to one location (Erlanger)
- St. Elizabeth Healthcare and TriHealth have announced a collaboration that will improve patient experience, improve the health of our community and reduce healthcare costs. Name of new organization will be Healthcare Solutions Network.
Inspiring Our Future
Mayo Clinic Care Network
In November 2012, St. Elizabeth Healthcare became the first and only healthcare system in Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana to pass Mayo Clinic’s rigorous review process and become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a collaboration that allows physicians from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to consult with Mayo Clinic physicians, providing even better care to our patients.
This prestigious partnership puts the power of the Mayo Clinic into the hands of our physicians, providing access to proven protocols, eConsults and unparalleled experience.
Level III NICU at St. Elizabeth Edgewood
In June 2013, St. Elizabeth Healthcare made the much anticipated announcement that the Franklin Circuit Court had instructed the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to issue St. Elizabeth a Certificate of Need (CON) to provide Level III neonatal services at its Edgewood facility.
Our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is staffed with specially trained healthcare providers, allowing us to provide patient-centered care for newborns who require special, more delicate care. Our staff works closely with the staff of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to ensure that each little one is given the best, most comprehensive individual care.
Heart & Vascular Institute
St. Elizabeth Healthcare is developing a Heart & Vascular Institute that is built around the needs of our community. Through research, education and cutting-edge technology, the Heart & Vascular Institute will work to reduce the incidence of heart-related deaths by 25 percent in the Northern Kentucky region within its first 10 years.
A new Heart and Vascular Institute will provide the region with comprehensive and personalized care, access to prevention, education and screenings, clinical research and trials, as well as the highest level of technology for diagnostics and treatment of cardiovascular-related issues.
At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the patient is the center of our universe. We are committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care that improves the health of the people we serve. Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare needs.