(Belleville, IL) – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Foundation announces an extraordinary $2.5 million gift toward the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Capital Campaign. This unprecedented gift was made by an anonymous donor “exclusively to the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Replacement Project” and dedicated “in honor of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis who have served at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.”
This capstone gift pushes the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Capital Campaign over the $6 million mark while celebrating the legacy of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis established in Belleville in 1875. The gift is a testament to the Sisters’ enduring mission of providing high-quality Franciscan health care for Southern Illinois. The selflessness and anonymity of this gift is a true expression of the Sisters’ Franciscan values.
“When I was told of this gift in honor of the Sisters who served at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, I was moved to tears,” stated Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, Provincial Superior of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. “My thoughts turned to them-especially the many Sisters who are deceased. Their efforts have brought hope and healing to countless people throughout the history of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and this generous gift assists us to continue this tradition as we anticipate the opening of the HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, IL. On behalf of the Sisters, I believe that our physicians, colleagues, and volunteers are well prepared to continue to provide care in the Franciscan tradition that is associated with St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.”
The legacy of the Hospital Sisters in Belleville dates back to 1875 when at the request of Alton Diocese Bishop Peter Baltes, 20 Hospital Sisters traveled from Germany to the Midwest to begin a new mission. When the Sisters arrived, they immediately went to work, providing care for the sick and poor in Springfield, Litchfield, Effingham, Alton, Belleville, and East St. Louis. Eventually, several hospitals were constructed, including St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville. These hospitals were usually located near the city center and adjacent to railroad lines, for easy access. Over the next 142 years, the Sisters’ mission expanded and grew, leading to the formation in 1978 of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) that now operates 15 hospitals and has physician partners throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.
“This magnificent gift connects the legacy of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis with the future of St. Elizabeth’s in our new hospital building,” said Peg Sebastian, President and CEO of HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “All of us who continue the work of the Hospital Sisters today, by providing hope and healing to the people of our community, owe a huge debt of gratitude to this unknown individual.”
The St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Capital Campaign supports the replacement St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and physician office building that is being built in O’Fallon along with future updates to the Belleville Health Campus. The replacement hospital project broke ground in June 2015 and is set to open in November of 2017. St. Elizabeth’s Foundation is conducting the campaign and has secured over $6 million to date.
The new hospital facility and medical office building is located on 114 acres off Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road in O’Fallon, IL. The 144-bed inpatient hospital will feature state-of-the-art advancements in technology and upgraded patient amenities. An attached medical office building will provide a full range of outpatient services to meet the changing needs in health care. The interstate location provides quicker access to necessary health care for critical ambulance transport of patients from St. Clair, Clinton, Bond and surrounding counties. It will also stem the migration of patients to St. Louis based hospitals and keep health care dollars in Illinois.
Giving opportunities are still available at both the replacement hospital in O’Fallon and the Belleville Health Campus. For more information, visit www.steliz.org/giving, email StEFoundation@hshs.org, or call 618-234-2120 ext. 2446.