St. Vincent Charity Medical Center


Celebrating 150 Years Serving You

Event Calendar

Upcoming Events


Friday, August 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Front lawn of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Cleveland - you’re invited to lunch. Join us and enjoy 5 food trucks, live music, stilt walkers, giveaways and more. It’s our way of giving back to a city that has cared for us for 150 years. Participating food trucks include Boca Loca Burrito Factory, Chill Pop Shop, The Nosh Box, P&J'S Lunchbox and Donut Lab.

Honoring the Legacy of the Sisters of Charity


Sunday, September 27, 2015

1 p.m. Luncheon and Special Program, Invitation Only
3 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Open to All

Our yearlong anniversary celebration concludes with the 150th Anniversary Luncheon and Mass, honoring the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. The afternoon begins with a luncheon and a special program at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland with Mass immediately after at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon, Bishop of Cleveland.

Past Events

Christmas Tree
Lighting Celebration

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Front Lawn of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
This event is free to the public
Learn More

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
150th Anniversary Bash

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Cleveland Museum of Art

Join us as we celebrate St. Vincent Charity’s 150 years of healthcare in Cleveland! Dance along with a live band, enjoy an outstanding Cleveland-themed menu, jump into the photo booth to memorialize the event, enter to win raffle prizes and much more!


we’re doing what we do best. Giving. So throughout our anniversary year, we will hold events where we give in allotments of 150. It’s our way of saying thank you to our dear friend of 150 years, the entire Cleveland community


Sunday, May 3, 2015
We’re donating 150 volunteer hours from St. Vincent employees to clean up E. 30th Street in the Campus District area. Because giving back is good for Cleveland, good for the community and even better for all of us.
Learn More


Tuesday, May 12, 2015
We’ll be hosting New York Times bestselling and local author Regina Brett at an event open to the community to raise awareness of the warning signs and challenges of dealing with mental health issues. The event coincides with National Mental Health Awareness Month and will raise funds to support our nationally-recognized Psychiatric Emergency Room. The first 150 ticket purchasers will receive a free copy of “God Is Always Hiring,” by Regina Brett.

Patient Stories

What we’re doing now

At St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, our mission is fulfilled by the sum of our parts—Caregivers, Physicians, Volunteers, Leadership and Faith. We believe that we are ALL each other’s Caregivers. For 150 years our Caregivers have brought their passion for caring to an environment that seeks excellence and compassion in all things. Today, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland’s faith-based, high-quality healthcare provider. As a teaching hospital, we are home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute, the Center for Bariatric Surgery as well as complete services in cardiovascular, emergency medicine, primary care, behavioral health, occupational health and addiction medicine in a setting that is as caring and comfortable as home.

The next 150 years...

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is uniquely positioned to continue meeting the healthcare needs of Clevelanders well into the future. Our location at the southeast corner of the city center, places us in the heart of Cleveland’s rebirth. Centered between two growing higher education campuses, adjacent to a multi-million dollar public house redevelopment project, and on the edge of Cleveland’s rapidly growing residential community, there is a tremendous need for care nearby.

Working together with like-minded partners, we will extend our mission further and respond to the community’s health needs. In order to meet the growing demands of our community, St. Vincent Charity plans to modernize the medical center’s downtown campus to move forward in the changing healthcare environment. With this comes the opportunity to complete campus demolition plans and free up space for new facilities and an expanded footprint. As we look toward the next 150 years, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center plans to continue our tradition of providing compassionate care following the legacy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.


150th Anniversary Host Committee

David F. Perse, MD, Chair of 150th Anniversary Celebration
Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, Honorary Chair of 150th Anniversary Celebration

Christopher Adelman, MD
Meredith Camp Events
Michael Canales, DPM
John Collis, MD
Sister Miriam Erb, CSA
Sheila Hart Design
Wendy Hoke
Lou Keppler, MD
Terry Kessler, Esq.
Leslie Koblentz, MD
Sister Jane Lab, CSA
Elizabeth Macintyre, MD
Audley Mackel, MD
Mary Denis Maher, CSA
Mary Mihaly
Northeast Ohio Media Group
Carla S. O’Day, MD
Ted Parran, MD
Robert Richardson, MD
Second Story Productions LLC
Joseph Sopko, MD

Share your story!

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s history is made up of many stories and we want to hear yours! Tell us your favorite memories and stories of Cleveland’s first private hospital.

Email us your Story!


St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s healing mission is never more important than it is today. With your help, we can carry on our faith-based legacy of high quality, compassionate care for all of God’s people for another 150 years.

Donate Now


French-born Amadeus Rappe, first bishop of Cleveland, traveled back to France to secure a group of Sisters to aid him in establishing hospitals and orphanages in Cleveland.

October 10, 1851

The Augustinian Sisters at St. Louis Hospital, Boulogne-sur-Mer, responded and arrived in Cleveland.

June 23, 1863

The present site of St. Vincent Charity was purchased for $10,000.

October 5, 1865

Mother Augustine and seven Sisters took up their duties at St. Vincent Charity Hospital. Their practice of always aiding the sick and suffering regardless of creed or race has continued for 150 years.

October 10, 1865

St. Vincent Charity opens as St. Vincent Charity Hospital. Accommodating 80 patients, the Franco-Italian style building originally cost $72,000.


The first operating room opens. Cleveland’s first amphitheater for demonstration of surgical and clinical procedures to medical students.


Dr. Gustave C.E. Weber, first chief of staff at St. Vincent Charity and one of the first surgeons, organizes Charity Hospital Medical College, which confers first medical degree in Cleveland. In 1881 it merges with Medical Department of Wooster University to form Western Reserve Medical Department, the precursor to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.


Hospital opens first outpatient department, known as the “outdoor” department.

April 1895

Sister M. Mechtildes, CSA, went to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to study pharmacy. She returns in July 1895 fully efficient to take charge of the drug room and fill any and every prescription of the physicians.

September 15, 1898

School of Nursing, with an enrollment of six, was founded under the director of Sister M. Charles, Superior of the hospital with the motto, “Charity is Kind.”


Electricity comes to St. Vincent Charity because two men working for the Illuminating Company were burned and brought to Charity. To ventilate the room, fans were requested but could not be used as the hospital was not wired. The Illuminating Company brought the cables from the street through the window so the fans could be used. After the patients were discharged, the building was equipped for electricity.


As the hospital outgrows its facilities, a wealthy donor requests an investigation of St. Vincent Charity and eight other hospitals to ensure it was being operated efficiently and economically. Cost per day per patient at St. Vincent Charity was $2.75. Six of the hospitals had higher costs: one $3.69 per day, another $3.80 per day. The Benefactors, including John D. Rockefeller, were pleased and contributed to the campaign.

October 10, 1917

St. Vincent Charity celebrates its 50th Anniversary with the opening of a Surgical Pavilion, a “monumental gift from the Citizens of Cleveland.” More than $250,000 was raised in six days to support the six-story building with 150 beds, five ORs, X-ray Department, the Accident Room, Contagious Ward and living quarters for House physicians.


The School of Nursing opens a new residence and teaching facility along East 24th Street.

October 10, 1940

Hospital celebrates 75th Anniversary.


As the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine observe the 90th anniversary of their first hospital in Cleveland, their thoughts and prayers are with the 12 Charity physicians and 33 nurses serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.


Specialized work in heart disease began with the opening of the Cardiovascular Laboratory, one of the first diagnostic and evaluation labs in the Midwest.


The hospital’s new $2 million, 112-bed main building facing Central Avenue opens. The building adjacent to the surgical pavilion features the Edward F. Murphy Memorial Pavilion for pediatrics division.


Rosary Hall Solarium was founded by Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin, CSA, in December after she had been transferred from St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, the birthplace for Alcoholics Anonymous.


Under the direction of Dr. Henry A. Zimmerman, the hospital puts into operation the first fluoroscope for diagnosing heart disease in the United States.


The first open-heart surgery in the Midwest is performed on a 6-year-old girl by Dr. Earle B. Kay. The surgery used the Cleveland-developed heart lung machine known as the Kay-Cross Heart Lung Machine. The Cardiac Recovery Unit opens in October and is designed as one of the first in its kind in the country to provide more safety for the cardiac surgery patient.


The Intensive Care Unit, the first in the city, opens.


St. Vincent Charity dedicates the Roger W. Disbro Research Building. Funded by the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Department of Public Health, the building would house research labs for doctors in heart, circulation, artificial heart valves, hypertension, liver disease, kidney function and shock.


Ninety-nine years and 11 months after the first St. Vincent Charity opens, the hospital dedicates its modern-day $8 million, 424-bed facility. It includes an ER, psychiatric division, four patient floors, the first of its kind heart pavilion.


The 14-room surgical suite opens along with a cardiovascular lab, pathology lab, pulmonology, occupational and physical therapy, neurological resting and electrocardiography.


Bishop Anthony M. Pilla rededicates Charity Hospital under its new name—St. Vincent Charity Hospital and Health Center—to better reflect the hospital’s scope of activities.


St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing merges with Ursuline College.

April 2, 1985

A 54-year-old Amherst, Ohio, man is the first to receive the “New Jersey knee,” a high-tech knee replacement joint developed by two doctors. It was performed by Arthur Steffee, M.D., chief of orthopedic surgery at St. Vincent Charity.


Occupational Health and Wellness Center opens to provide comprehensive health and wellness programs for area employers.

October 1985

Arthur Steffee, M.D., chief of orthopedics at St. Vincent Charity, performs the first vertebral implant in the country. He uses a metal and plastic replacement he designed himself. Dr. Steffee goes on to form Acromed, which he later sells to DePuy in 1998 for $325 million.


St. Vincent Charity brings laser surgery to Cleveland. Dr. Rais Beg performs the first laser arterial surgery on a 70-year-old woman with blocked coronary arteries.


St. Vincent Charity opens the psychiatric emergency room, one of only two in the state of Ohio.


The first Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery opens in the area, allowing patients to undergo treatments and surgery without receiving donor blood. It was developed to serve the needs of the Jehovah’s Witness population.


The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System form joint venture partnership with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, creating a for-profit system.


St. Vincent Charity is the first hospital in the region to begin offering bariatric surgery.


The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System and University Hospitals Health System announce formation of a not-for-profit joint venture corporation to replace the partnership with Columbia/HCA.


Dr. Louis Keppler, co-medical director of the Spine and Orthopedic Surgery, performs the first short-stem hip replacement surgery in the U.S. Those procedures now account for nearly 30% of all hip replacements performed in the U.S.


Completely renovated state-of-art Psychiatric Emergency Department, one of only two in the state, opens.


$6.9 million, two-year renovation of both the medical emergency department and the psychiatric emergency department is completed, expanding the space by 24,000 square feet and modernizing to reflect expectations for care today and to provide a respectful healing environment.


After a decade of joint venture with University Hospitals, St. Vincent Charity Hospital returns to sole ownership by the Sisters of Charity Health System and rebrands itself as St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.


Thanks to generous gift from John M. and Mary Jo Boler, the School of Nursing Memorial Garden is dedicated at the corner of East 24th and Central, where the School of Nursing once stood.


Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is implemented across the hospital as St. Vincent Charity works toward meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use for electronic health record.


Rosary Hall celebrates 60 years of helping addicts find freedom from addiction.

November 20, 2013

St. Vincent Charity became the first hospital in Cleveland to live tweet a surgery. In partnership with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, 3,874 people tune din to watch a live knee replacement surgery with Dr. Louis Keppler, Co-Director of the Spine and Orthopedic Institute at St. Vincent Charity.


150th Anniversary yearlong celebration kicks off with biennial Pizzazz Gala.

October 10, 2015

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center celebrates 150 years of caring for Greater Cleveland.

A Strongsville woman recounts how Caregivers helped ease the burden for all

When Pat Piecuch found out she needed to have spine surgery and was told her surgery would not be covered at her usual provider, she was unsure of where to turn. A physician referred her to Dr. Lou Keppler, orthopedic and spine surgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, an event her family now believes was an act of God.

“From the first moment we arrived it became clear that St. Vincent Charity was where Mom was supposed to be,” said Susan Lyon, Pat’s daughter. “She felt safe and nurtured. St. Vincent Charity just felt different.

“Every professional we encountered demonstrated caring values, from the parking lot attendant and the aide who drew Mom’s blood, to the physicians, administrators and nurses,” said Lyon. “Every Caregiver performed their jobs with joy and showed a true interest in the patient’s well-being.”

Her mom, who cared so much about her environment, appreciated the calm, nurturing feel of the renovated private patient rooms. But it was the attention her family received that makes Lyon truly grateful.

“My family and I all grew to become better, more faithful and compassionate people through Mom’s illness thanks to her experience at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Lyon.

Frank Brady turns his patient experience into volunteer opportunity

For Frank Brady, inactivity is not an option. In addition to being a full-time real estate agent, Frank has always been a spirited athlete. However, in 2008 after competing in a race in Chicago, Brady knew something was seriously wrong with his right hip. He realized he would need a doctor’s intervention if he wanted to continue leading his active lifestyle. After some research, Frank was referred to Dr. Lou Keppler, orthopedic surgeon and co-medical director of the Spine and Orthopedic Institute at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.

Having been to other healthcare facilities before, Brady immediately recognized something different about St. Vincent Charity.

“To me, there’s no comparison to St. Vincent Charity,” said Brady. “From the quality and cleanliness of the rooms, to the genuine feeling of compassion I felt from each Caregiver I interacted with. The people are what make this hospital special; you can tell that everyone really believes in the mission of the organization.”

He felt such a close connection the medical center, the Caregivers and the mission of St. Vincent Charity that he decided he wanted to become a part of it all. Just a few months after his hip replacement, Brady began donating his time as a volunteer.

“St. Vincent Charity is truly a special place,” said Brady. “I’ve been here enough times to know that the compassion you see in the Caregivers is genuine. You can see that God is present here every day in the patients and in the Caregivers.”

From sick and homeless to grateful patient and donor

“I didn’t want to be treated as a charity case,” said Dawn Wheeler, a 61-year-old who has lived and worked all over the world. But when she drove herself to the Emergency Department at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center on January 10, 2014 her life had spiraled beyond anything she could have imagined.

Once she arrived at the ER, Wheeler was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted. “The nurses the first night were amazing. They sat and talked to me, they let me cry, they just took care of me. Everyone from the people who cleaned my room to the people who brought my food, all the way up. Everyone was so friendly and caring. Not one time did I feel like a charity case.”

Wheeler has always taken care of herself. She and her ex-husband had lived and worked in Europe and then Kuwait where she worked at a travel agency. After about a year living in Cleveland, the bottom dropped out and Wheeler found herself living in the shelter.

“God has placed people in my path to take my hand and pull me out of my dark hole,” she said. “Coming to St. Vincent Charity saved my life. When I got better, when I got money, I was going to give something back.”

Suffering from pneumonia, Wheeler said what she really wanted was to wash her hair after six days in the hospital. The nursing units, however, had no hair dryers and she could not have a wet head. So she told everyone—the nurses, administrators, chaplains and doctors that when she was back on her feet, she was going to buy hair dryers for the nursing units.

In June, she called and wanted to make good on her promise. “I’m still a fighter, though I now realize that sometimes it’s OK to ask for help,” she said. “You all saved my life,” she said of her caregivers. “This is not just a hospital. There’s a lot of love here.” Her advice to others? “If you can, give back what you receive and more.”

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration

Enjoy children’s activities, hot beverages and holiday snacks, holiday music, giveaways, fireworks and, of course, the lighting of the tree.

Performances by: Cleveland Municipal School District’s All-City Choir, Fuller Sounds Handbell Ensemble of Rocky River United Methodist Church and the Singing Angels Performing Chorus Roaming entertainment provided by: Saint Ignatius High School Circus Company, Saint Paschal Baylon Rascals, Mrs. Claus and Mr. Mint Stilt Walkers, Saint Ignatius Drum Line

Free parking available in lot at 2322 E. 22nd Street directly across from St Vincent Charity Medical Center.