Seventy-five years ago this month, an order of Catholic nuns from Cleveland opened a new hospital in Columbia.
Some of the specialties at Providence Hospital at Forest Drive have changed through the years – obstetrics was the first order of business in the early years, heart care is the headliner now – but the overriding goal has remained providing quality health care. As the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a Columbia native, said in 1995: “God’s healing power is at work in a special way at Providence, and it is a cause of celebration.”
The hospital is celebrating its 75th with events Sunday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and at the hospital.
“Over the past 75 years, the Providence presence in the Midlands has been unwavering,” said George Zara, president of Providence Hospitals. “As we mark decades of devotion to healing this month, we will also celebrate the people who daily live our values and our mission in their service to our patients and our community.”
Here are some historical tidbits on the hospital, mostly from a booklet entitled “Devoted to Healing: 75 Years of Faith, Leadership and Innovation” by Bud Ferillo:
Happy birthday, Providence
Two events are scheduled Sunday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of Columbia’s Providence Hospital.
By the numbers
Number of beds at Providence Hospitals, including 258 at the Forest Drive location and 74 in Northeast Richland.
Number of hospital employees, including 1,249 downtown and 374 in the Northeast. That includes 401 combined medical staff.
Number of annual admissions to the hospitals, including 7,995 downtown and 2,783 in Northeast.