CHRISTUS Hospital – St. Elizabeth celebrates 50years of operation on Calder Street.Join with us as we acknowledge the growthof our health ministry, the medical advancementswhich are integral to our care, and the importantevents that have led to our healthcare leadership inthe region.
Beaumont was a cityof 8,000 residents.Lumber, cattleranching, and ricefarming led theeconomy.
The riverboats andrailroads providedtransportation thatencouragedexpansion.
The ambitiousyoung communityassessed its needs anddecided thata hospital was apriority.
A request was madeto the Sisters ofCharity of theIncarnate Word inGalveston to founda hospital inBeaumont.
Two Sisters arrivedto select a site.They arranged for thepurchase of a halfblock of ground onthe banks of theNeches River for$700.
Starting a traditionthat would continuefor more than acentury, the Sistersturned to the peopleof Beaumont to helpthem build thehospital.
The name for the hospital hadalready been chosen:Hotel Dieu – the House of God.
Families that were early benefactorsto the Sisters included:Fletcher, McFaddin, Broussard, and Hebert.
Hotel Dieu Hospitalopened withoutceremony.The three-story framebuilding was designedto care for 24 patients,as well as providehousing for theSisters.
A caretaker’ s gardenprovided much of thefood for both Sistersand patients.
When a smallpox epidemic broke out, theSisters worked selflessly night and day,forgetting the danger of contagion –thinking only of the welfare and comfortof their patients.
Patillo Higgins andAnthony Lucas struckoil at Spindletop.The populationjumped to 50,000 –finally stabilizing atabout 20,000.
Like most of thetown, the littlehospital was veryovercrowded.
So the Sisters addeda frame building toincrease the bedcapacity to 80.
A building known as the Ryan Cottagewas purchased as a residence for nursesand soon became theHotel Dieu School of Nursing.
Sister M. PlacidusMulcahy, laterMother General of theCongregation, was thefirst Director ofNurses.
The Sisters and nurses performed most duties atHotel Dieu, working 12-hour shifts to care forpatients, clean the wards, wash bedding, andsterilize instruments.
The Sisters purchased property on Sabine PassAvenue to build a larger and more substantialhospital to meet the needs ofthe growing town.
A four-story brickbuilding, equippedwith all modernfacilities, wasdedicated and readyfor occupancy,bringing the bedcapacity to 150.
The physicians, theSisters, and theirco-workers pursuedtheir mission to thesick and poor at HotelDieu throughout theDepression.
The Sisters of Charitypurchased a hospitalalready in operation –Beaumont GeneralHospital. The namefor the newacquisition wasSt. Therese Hospital.
St. Therese and HotelDieu hospitals wereoperated by theSisters as separateinstitutions, alongwith St. MaryHospital – a 150-bedhospital and School ofNursing in PortArthur.
Mr. and Mrs. J.H.Phelan, Sr., donated$50,000 for a newchapel at Hotel Dieuin memory of Mrs.Phelan’ s parents, Mr.and Mrs. JohnCunningham.
A new convent wasbuilt, as the old onewas dilapidated.Furnishings for theSisters’ new homewere donated byMr. and Mrs. J.E.Broussard.
On the campus ofHotel Dieu, theSisters builtRosary Hall – a newschool and residencefor nurses – andSt. Martin de PorresHospital, whichprovided 75 beds.
Babe DidriksonZaharias, a Beaumontnative, underwentsurgery at Hotel Dieu.The nurses wrote:“ The g re ate st g o lfe ro f all time s… le t thenursing stude nts ino n all he r se cre ts.”
The need for a larger, more modern hospital wasevident. With help from the community, plansfor raising funds began.A.J. Coburn, president of Coburn Supply Co.,led the citywide fund drive.
Mr. & Mrs. J.H.Phelan, Sr., donatedtheir family estate onCalder Avenueto the congregationThe Phelan homewas to serve as aconvent, and the15 acres of propertyused for a newhospital.
The stately andelegant Phelan homewas estimated to beworth $1.5 millionin 1956.It was the mostgenerousphilanthropic giftin the history ofBeaumont.
In May, the newsix-story, 231-bedSt. Elizabeth Hospitalopened.Construction costof the new hospitalwas $6 million.
Twenty-six Sistersworked within thehospital, withSr. Mary GerardHouston as the firstadministrator.
Employing 325, thehospital featured largeand well-equippedpatient rooms (eachwith a telephone andTV), comfortablewaiting rooms,elevators, and, ofcourse,air-conditioning.
The area’ s first coronary care unit andfirst intensive care unit were opened atSt. Elizabeth.
St. Elizabeth Hospital expanded to 280 beds.About a year later, work began to add66 more beds and expand support facilities.
The J.C. CragerCardiac Pavilionopened under thedirection of Drs.Thomas Lombardoand Joseph Reeves.
The first heart catheterization lab was opened.Dr. Thomas Lombardo performed the first heartcatheterization procedure.
A 27-bedNeurological Pavilionwas opened. Drs.Starr, Rafes, andFaulk were leaders inthe field ofNeurosurgery, alongwith a young Dr.Mark Kubala.
A $1 million parking garage was builtto accommodate 580 cars for theexpanding facility.
A new Emergency Center at 14th andNorth Street opened.Major renovations to the surgery and pathologydepartments took place.
The radiology department installed a newdiagnostic system called the computerized axialtomography (CAT) body scanner.
The Mamie McFaddinWard Cancer Centeropened atSt. Elizabeth with agenerous donation tohonor Mrs. Ward.
A $27 million expansion project throughoutthe hospital was also completed.The project included a four-story wingon the west side of the hospital.
This expansion increased the total numberof beds to 469 –419 of them private.
With a generousdonation from H.E.and Kate Dishman,the Kate DishmanRehabilitation Centerwas opened on thehospital’ s sixth floor.
The Center forNew Life opened with19 beds.It was the area’ sfirst single-roommaternity care unit.
The Heart Institute at St. Elizabeth Hospitalbegan the area’ s first cardiac rehabilitationprogram.
The 120,000 sq-ftWilton P. HebertHealth & WellnessCenter and medicaloffice building wasbuilt on the campus ofSt. Elizabeth.
Construction wasmade possible witha donation of$1 million fromthe Wilton P. andEffie Mae HebertFoundation.
The Sisters of Charityof the Incarnate Wordin Houston and SanAntonio formedCHRISTUS Health.
CHRISTUS Hospital-St. Elizabeth & St. Maryand CHRISTUS JasperMemorial Hospital are anintegral part of the faith-based, not-for-profit healthsystem.
The hospital completed construction of a$9 million, five-story parking garage on Calderbetween 14th and 15th streets to accommodate936 vehicles.
The 260,000 sq-ftCHRISTUSOutpatient Pavilion(OPP) located on11th Street betweenHarrison and Northopened in June.
Dedicated departments with the OPPinclude imaging, outpatient surgery, lab, diabeteseducation, as well as the Tracy Byrd HyperbaricMedicine and Wound Care Center.
The Spine and Orthopedic Specialty Centeropened to provide care for patients undergoingstate-of-the-art joint replacement and spinesurgery.
The Spine and Orthopedic Specialty Centeropened to provide care for patients undergoingstate-of-the-art joint replacement and spinesurgery.The Southeast Texas Bariatric Center opened toprovide innovative programsand services to safely and effectivelytreat obesity.
A new EmergencyDepartment openedin March 2011.The new west-sideambulatory entrancefeatures state-of-the-artrapid assessment andtreatment areas, as wellas modern and spaciousdesign and décor.
Major renovations to theCenter for New Lifewere completed.
CHRISTUS Hospital-St. Elizabethis a 438-bed healthcarefacility, employs morethan 1,650, and is thelargest Magnet Hospitalbetween Houston andBaton Rouge.
St. Elizabeth is the regional leader inspine and orthopedics, cardiology, oncology,general surgery, imaging, bariatrics, birthing,and neonatal care.
Our nursing professionals and nationallyrecognized physicians work at the forefrontof research, clinical trials, treatment, andcare.
The success of our evolving historyhas been made possible throughunique gifts, values, spirit, andcommitment to something largerthan each of us –
The success of our evolving historyhas been made possible throughunique gifts, values, spirit, andcommitment to something largerthan each of us –the joyful spirit of God’ s healing love.
As we celebrate 50 years of caring,we endeavor to continue the mission of theSisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word –to extend the healing ministryof Jesus Christ.
Our goal isto forever bringtheir mission to life.