Our History

The Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis came to Chippewa Falls on June 28, 1885, at the invitation of Father Charles Goldsmith, the first and only pastor in Chippewa Falls at the time.

Smiling senior woman walking in arm with diverse medical professional woman Smiling senior woman walking in arm with diverse medical professional woman

By November, the 2-acre property of Edward Rutledge was purchased. The sale of hospital tickets to loggers (a $5 ticket insured the holder for one year in case of sickness including medicine) funded the procurement of the property and building additions.

In the 1970's, the Hospital Sisters began a major capital campaign to raise funds for a larger facility. The 'new' HSHS St. Joseph's was formally opened on September 21, 1975, on County Highway I. In 1976, the first lay administrator was appointed.

Fifteen Sisters have served as administrator and many worked in the hospital. Educational offerings and retreats for staff preserve the Sisters' mission to provide care in the Franciscan spirit and continue our Catholic healing ministry.

Young nurse looking forward in busy hospital area

Monument to the Work of Many Hands

Long is the list of Sisters, physicians, nurses, technologists, aides, workers, and volunteers who share ownership of HSHS St. Joseph's heritage of care, and to whom current and future generations are deeply indebted. There have been dedicated administrators, chaplains, nurses, physicians, surgeons, generous donors, volunteers and thousands of employees who ultimately made it all happen. Without them, the Chippewa Falls community would have been deprived. Because of them, Chippewa Falls and our surrounding areas are a better home for all of us. They are known to Him Who rewards in fullest measure. 

They have also laid the foundations on which we, to whom the future is entrusted, must continue to build. The reassuring, consoling presence of HSHS St. Joseph's in our community cannot be taken for granted. 

Just as many hands carried on HSHS St. Joseph's mission in the past, so, too, will many hands be called on to carry forward its spirits and help preserve its heritage of care in the future. Part and parcel of regional Chippewa Falls, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital is pledged to hear and respond, to see need and provide, to safeguard and to share the heritage of care which is the hospital's legacy.