A history rich in caring
Mercy General Hospital's history of healing in Sacramento dates back to the opening of the Sisters of Mercy's first hospital, Mater Misericordiae, at 22nd and R Streets in the late 1890s. In 1925, the Sisters broke ground at 40th and J Streets for a hospital that would serve the people of Sacramento for years to come.
More than 80 years later, the Sisters' tradition of healing with compassion lives on at Mercy General Hospital, now with 343 licensed beds and a physician staff of more than 700. Today, Mercy General is proud to be regarded as one of the area's most comprehensive and accomplished medical centers.
Mercy General Hospital has grown in services and sophistication over the past 80 years, but our mission has remained unchanged. Following are some of the key dates and events in our history:
Catherine McAuley founds order of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. It is her vision that the healthy and educated should give their lives to the sick and uneducated.
Eight Sisters of Mercy from Dublin arrive in San Francisco.
Sisters Mary Baptist Russell and Mary DeSales Reddan travel by river steamboat from San Francisco to the gold rush boomtown of Sacramento. There they establish the first local Catholic school in the basement of St. Rose's church. The Sisters begin making regular visits to the sick, thereby beginning the Sisters' mission of healthcare in Sacramento.
The Sisters of Mercy acquire the Ridge Home, a 15-bed sanitarium at 22nd and R streets, for $12,000. The Sisters immediately make plans to build a modern hospital on the property.
Ground is broken on land adjacent to the Ridge Home for a new 30-bed hospital. The new facility, named Mater Misericordiae (Latin for "Mother of Mercy") is the Sisters' first hospital in Sacramento.
Mater Misericordiae (also called "the Sisters' hospital") opens to the public. The Sisters begin a training school for nurses.
Sacramento suffers a devastating influenza epidemic. To keep up with the growing need, Mater Misericordiae expands to 90 beds and now occupies all the useable land on the block.
The Sisters purchase a seven-acre dairy site at 40th & J streets to build a new hospital.
The new hospital opens on what is now the site of Mercy General Hospital. The new hospital has a capacity for 155 beds and 35 bassinets. It also houses the nursing school.
The name of the hospital is formally changed from Mater Misericordiae to Mercy Hospital (later known as Mercy General Hospital).
Mercy College of Nursing closes after training more than 600 nurses, including nurses who served in both World Wars.
The 40-bed Mercy Children's Hospital opens adjacent to Mercy Hospital. It is the only institution in the Sacramento Valley dedicated exclusively to pediatrics.
Mercy Hospital adds a new East Wing with 115 beds.
The hospital adds the North Wing, which accommodates the cardiac and general surgery operating rooms, ICU's and other services.
Mercy Children's Hospital is closed; pediatric services are absorbed into Mercy General Hospital.
The Boards of Directors of the three Sacramento Mercy hospitals formally consolidated into one governing board - Mercy Healthcare Sacramento - the first multi-hospital division of the newly formed Dignity Health.
Mercy General Hospital receives its first 100 Top Hospital designation by Solucient. Mercy General went on to receive a total of three such designations: 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for Cardiac Intervention; 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success; and 100 Top Hospitals: Regional Benchmarks for Success. These awards are given to top-performing hospitals based on quality of care, efficiency of operation and sustainability of overall performance.
Mercy General Hospital is recognized by HealthGrades, Inc., a national healthcare rating organization, as one of the nation's premier cardiac programs for clinical outcomes. In each of these six years, Mercy General Hospital is rated as the top cardiac provider in the Greater Sacramento region. In its 2004 Report Card, HealthGrades also names Mercy General as the number one provider of coronary artery bypass surgery in the state of California.
Dignity Health announces a reorganization plan designed to focus resources at the hospitals and the communities they serve, and keep Dignity Health competitive in the marketplace. As part of the reorganization, the former regional structure - along with the Mercy Healthcare Sacramento name - are dissolved.
Mercy General Hospital announces a generous $15 million gift from former heart patient, Alex G. Spanos, to build a state-of-the-art heart center at Mercy General. The $70 million facility will allow the hospital to adequately accommodate the high volume of heart patients treated each year.
Dignity Health reports a positive net income for its fiscal year - the first time in six years - to culminate the successful three-year reorganization effort. Mercy General plays a significant role in that financial improvement.