The history of St. Vincent Kokomo begins with the ministry of the Sisters of St.Joseph of Tipton, Indiana. For years, the Sisters of St.Joseph of Tipton served local communities as teachers and nurses. Reaching out to individuals of all religious faiths, denominations and beliefs, the Sisters worked to help caregivers, served as spiritual advisors and were recognized as artisans.
The First Hospital
In 1912, local physician Dr. Edgar Cox asked the small congregation of 38 Sisters to establish the first hospital in the growing town of Kokomo. The Sisters purchased a small property on East Vaile Avenue and converted the unpretentious homestead into a temporary 12-bed hospital. The facility welcomed its first patients on February 6, 1913.
Although small, the hospital assured that the local community had life-saving care close to home. At the same time, the Sisters began construction of Good Samaritan Hospital on the southwest corner of Vaile Avenue and Bell Street.
The New Hospital, 1916
On November 4, 1914, patients were transferred from the temporary facility to the new hospital. In order to ensure qualified personnel to fulfill the hospital’s mission, the Sisters established the Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in 1916.
St.Joseph Memorial Hospital, 1936
In 1935 the Sisters of St.Joseph, having outgrown the Good Samaritan Hospital building, bid on the Howard County Hospital property when it was auctioned for unpaid property tax. As the successful bidders, the Sisters purchased the vacated Klan facility and began renovations. Ironically, the purchase was made possible largely through a bequest from a former patient of Good Samaritan Hospital, Henry Fisse, Jr., who had been turned away from the county hospital because he was thought to be penniless. On May 12, 1936, the 50-bed hospital was ready for occupancy and was named St.Joseph Memorial Hospital.
As the years went by, the Sisters of St.Joseph provided the oversight and sense of mission which allowed St.Joseph Memorial Hospital to meet the ever-growing needs of the community. Each expansion or addition was thoughtfully planned to fulfill the mission of the Sisters to deliver high quality health care in an environment that recognized the dignity of the individual.
A New Building
In 1983, faced with an aging structure that no longer adequately met the needs of patients, the hospital’s Board of Directors approved the demolition of much of the original and subsequent wings of the hospital, building in its place a new four-story facility. This new facility, with 220 licensed beds, was occupied on March 16, 1990 and was renamed St.Joseph Hospital & Health Center.
A Change In Sponsorship, 1994
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Sisters came to recognize that they needed to find new ways to assure their mission was carried out. They explored like-minded religious congregations that could continue the sponsorship and Catholic identity of St. Vincent Kokomo and found the Daughters of Charity of the East Central Province in Indiana. The Daughters of Charity had sponsored St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis for more than 100 years.
The Sisters of St.Joseph of Tipton saw that the transfer of sponsorship to the Daughters of Charity provided an excellent match, one in which the original mission and philosophy would remain essentially intact. The exchange of sponsorship of St.Joseph Hospital and Health Center from the Sisters of St.Joseph of Tipton, Indiana to the Daughters of Charity of Indiana was officially recognized on July 1, 1994.
Partnership with Central Indiana Health System, 2002
In February of 1998, St.Joseph partnered with St. Vincent Hospital of Indianapolis to create the Central Indiana Health System (CIHS). In late 2002, CIHS changed its name to St. Vincent Health and began welcoming additional Indiana hospitals to the system.
A Tradition Of Quality and Caring
Today, St. Vincent includes 22 ministries located throughout Indiana. St. Vincent Kokomo, now a 129-bed acute care facility, continues to be a leader in the system as we serve the residents of Kokomo and surrounding communities. A medical staff of more than 150 physicians provides medical, surgical and diagnostic services for inpatients and outpatients. Just as we did in the days of our tiny 12-bed hospital, so today do we continue to minister to the bodies, minds and spirits of the people of the greater Kokomo area guided by our mission, vision and values.