St. Anthony Hospital. In 1858, gold was discovered where the South Platte River meets Cherry Creek, and Denver, Colorado, was born. It would take just a single generation for the tiny settlement to become one of the most populous cities in the West, second only to San Francisco. Few factors contributed more to its growth than the railroad system built by enterprising Denverites.
In 1883, the Union Pacific Railroad constructed a 66-bed hospital at 40th and York Streets to care for railroad workers. Nestled in a park, the three-story building was considered well equipped and up-to-date. However, the Union Pacific needed to look beyond Denver to find nurses and other staff for its new hospital.
Railroad leaders called on the Most Rev. Joseph P. Machebeuf, Colorado's first bishop. Bishop Machebeuf turned for help to the Poor Sisters of Saint Francis Seraph of Perpetual Adoration, of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1884, seven Sisters from the newly formed American branch of that order arrived in Denver. Since the Motherhouse for the Order was in Germany, the hospital staff spoke German at its inception. The Sisters worked with heartfelt concern for their patients, but by 1890, their leader, Sister Mary Huberta, believed they needed their own hospital.
Despite a cool reception from the new Bishop Matz, Sister Mary Huberta forged ahead, "We will begin, and Saint Anthony will help us." Thus began the Sisters’ campaign to build the hospital, each faithful that the "wonder worker" of saints would assist. Saint Anthony, after all, is revered for restoring confidence to the frightened and hope to the despairing.
The Sisters proved fearless fundraisers, proceeding directly to the rough-and-tumble mining camps. There, they stood outside saloons and barbershops, wielding tin cups and wangling one-dollar donations from railroad workers, as they collected their wages. Dollars turned into dreams on the shores of Sloan’s Lake. In May 1892, St. Anthony Hospital opened with 120 ward beds, 60 private beds, and a name faithful to its patron.
Since its inception, St. Anthony Hospital has been an innovator, bringing new services and technology to the care of its patients. A strong focus on emergency medicine has been part of the hospital since the beginning, leading to the creation, in 1972, of Flight For Life – the first civilian, hospital-based emergency medical air ambulance service. Today, Flight For Life Colorado serves a nine-state area.
In 1977, a special operating room – Trauma Room 10 – became the life-saving destination for patients who needed immediate surgery, following transport to the hospital. Trauma Room 10 continues to be the only surgery suite of its kind in Colorado.
The Institute of Emergency Medical Training, founded in 1973, is a leader in pre-hospital training. Last year, the Paramedic Academy trained more than 60% of all newly licensed EMTs in the state, and St. Anthony’s PreHospital Services provided medical direction and continuing education to more than 50 first-responder agencies in Colorado. St. Anthony Hospital is the only private, nonprofit hospital in Colorado, designated a Level I trauma center.
A leader in cardiovascular and neurosurgical care, in 2010, St. Anthony Hospital was the only Colorado hospital to receive a triple-gold award from the American Heart Association, for three consecutive years as a “Get with the Guidelines” program for both heart and stroke care.
St. Anthony Health Foundation. St. Anthony Health Foundation was established in 1991 and became affiliated with CHI Colorado Foundation in 2001. Since its inception, it has been the fundraising entity for St. Anthony Hospital. The Foundation makes it possible for St. Anthony Hospital to offer programs and services that focus on the needs of people in our community who are elderly, poor, or otherwise underserved. No donation is used for operating costs; so 100% of every contribution supports the need.