History of Mercy Hospital
Sisters of Mercy arrived in North Dakota for the first time in
1884 from Omaha, Nebr., with the goal of starting a school for
Indian children at Belcourt. It was 11 years later the the Rev.
Mother M. Genevieve Sheridan came to Devils Lake to start a hospital.
The old public school building on Fifth Street was abandoned;
its purchase was negotiated for use as St. Vincent's Hospital.
The hospital had two wards and 11 private rooms. The first patient
was received November
3, 1895. It was soon known that the facility would not be large
enough to handle the needs of the growing community, so plans
were initiated to build a new one.
June 1902, the cornerstone was laid for the first wing of the
present Mercy Hospital and in May 1903, the building was completed
and dedicated. At that time, the hospital was modern, had three
wards, 25 private rooms, laboratory, an operating room, and an
X-ray department. Another unique feature was it's School of Nursing.
The entire hospital was built at an approximate cost of $75,000.
September 17, 1936, the cornerstone was laid for the second addition,
which increased the bed capacity to 75 and improved the facilities
for the Nurses Training School.
for another addition began in 1956, which included an increase
in the number of beds, plus the modernization of the ancillary
facilities. The new wing was dedicated in October of 1958.
1972 plans were initiated to replace the 1902 wing and renovate
the 1957 wing. A certificate of need was issued to Mercy Hospital
to build a 110-bed facility. The new hospital area included space
for 28 new hospital beds, departments of physical therapy, respiratory
care, emergency, laboratory, radiology, surgery, pharmacy, intensive
care, medical records, a doctor's lounge, and an administrative
area. The basement level housed central service, laundry, housekeeping,
mechanical equipment for heating and air conditioning, print shop,
purchasing department, personnel locker rooms, and a storage area.
1936 wing is no longer used for patient care. This wing currently
accommodates a dental clinic, medical library, and spiritual services
Radiology Department was enlarged in 1981. The 1,800 square foot
expansion was necessary to accommodate the Nuclear Medicine and
Ultrasound Department. Also, a connector was built between Mercy
Hospital and the Lake Region Clinic.
Krein was appointed President/CEO in 1983. With this appointment,
Mrs. Krein held the distinction of being the first laywoman president
of Mercy Hospital, Catholic Health Corporation, and the North
Dakota Hospital Association.
1984, the addition of 3,000 square feet to the Radiology Department
was needed to house the CAT scanner and the new doctor's lounge
with additional office space.
Mercy Family Conference Room was completed in the northwest corner
of the basement level in December 1985. The 2,400 square foot
area provides ample space for community and hospital events. For
the convenience of patients and visitors, the front entrance of
Mercy Hospital was enclosed with electronic doors in January 1988.
was broken for a new 35-bed acute care wing on August 13, 1992.
The cornerstone and time capsule were laid on November 6, 1993.
Bishop James S. Sullivan officiated at the dedication and blessing.
1994 remodeling of the following areas was completed: administration,
admissions, business office, payroll and accounting, human
resources, physical therapy, emergency room, same day surgery,
endoscopy suite, pharmacy, and the cafeteria. The chapel was moved
to the ground floor adjacent to the cafeteria.
the next year significant events took place. In January 1995,
Mercy Hospital became licensed by the State of North Dakota for
operation of 50 beds. In September, the Mercy Hospice Program received
state licensure. The Hospice Program is designed to provide palliative
care to terminally ill patients. That same year, the Sisters of
Mercy convent was moved to the fourth floor of the hospital.
mid-1996, three national health care systems; Catholic Health
Corporation, Omaha, Nebr., Franciscan Health System, Aston, Penn.,
and Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio,
created a new and unprecedented health system - Catholic Health
Initiatives (CHI). On July 1, 1996, Mercy Hospital became a part
of CHI. Representing the ministries of 12 religious congregations,
Catholic Health Initiatives facilities provide care in hospitals,
long-term care facilities, and numerous eldercare, housing, and
primary care services throughout the country. The organization
has more than 77,000 employees. With a national presence, and
the strength of its size, CHI is proud to continue the Catholic
health care tradition well into the future.