History of Saint Anthony's Health Center  


Locally owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, Saint Anthony's Health Center was founded in 1925 by five pioneering Sisters, who Historical SAHCtraveled from their General Motherhouse in Thuine, Germany to expand their mission to America. The story is told that they arrived with less than three dollars between them and one bag of oranges. But they were rich in faith.

 Saint Anthony's Infirmary 

Thanks to generous donations, the Sisters were able to purchase the Nazareth Home, a combination orphanage and infirmary in 1925, and they renamed the home Saint Anthony's Infirmary. In 1956, the organization became a fully licensed hospital, operating as Saint Anthony's Hospital. In 1959, construction on a new wing of the hospital was completed. More lay persons joined with the Sisters in caring for the sick. Midnight Mass marked the opening of the new chapel in 1964 and the West Annex was completed in 1966.

Through the Years...1970's 

1970: An Intensive Care Unit was introduced with a 4-bed unit for seriously ill or injured patients.
1972: William E. Kessler becomes first lay administrator.
1975: First hospital-based home care service brought to the Alton community: Saint Anthony’s Home Health Care.
1980: Operating Rooms opened and Surgery was added.
1983: Emergency Room opened; renovation completed in 1989.
1986: Saint Anthony’s Adult Day Services established.
1988: The Women’s Pavilion obstetrics unit was opened.
1989: Saint Anthony’s acquired St. Joseph’s Hospital and renamed the facility Saint Clare’s Hospital.
1990:  Diabetes Treatment Center opened, and first cardiac catheterization performed at Saint Anthony’s Health Center.
1992: Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation unit added on the Saint Clare’s Hospital Campus.
1993: Saint Anthony’s Foundation created to facilitate charitable giving.
1994: The Women's Pavilion became certified as a Level II Perinatal Facility by the State of Illinois.
1996: Enhanced Cardiac Rehabilitation program.  GI Lab expanded on the Saint Anthony’s Health Center campus.
1997: Sleep Studies Lab opened on the Saint Anthony’s Health Center campus.
1998: Continued the Hunterstown Partnership with the City of Alton, and established Private Care Services to include homemakers and private duty nursing.
1999: Inpatient Alzheimer Special Care program opened.

A New Mellinium
2000: Saint Anthony’s Health Center received a prestigious Top 100 Hospital designation.
2001: In collaboration with the City of Alton, a Weed & Seed office opened on the Saint Clare’s Hospital campus.
2002: Saint Clare’s Villa, a 64-unit supportive living facility, opened on the Saint Clare’s Hospital campus.
2003: New technology and expansion of services: PET Scan, 3 D Treatment Planning for radiation, sentinel node biopsy and stereotactic biopsy procedures introduced. Joint Replacement Center opens for hip and knee replacements.

2004: Angioplasty added to Cardiology Services.
- Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine opened on the Saint Clare’s Hospital campus – first wound center in the area.
- New technologies added in: MRI, Lab, GI, OB/Fetal Monitoring, Surgical Services
2005:  Sisters of St. Francis and Mission Partners of Saint Anthony’s Health Center meet the President of the United States.
- Medical Malpractice Legislation signed into law by Governor Rod Blagojevich August 25, 2005.
- Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Technology (IMRT) added to Radiation Therapy. Using a powerful, advanced computerized program, physicians can plan a precise dose of radiation in three dimensions based on individual tumor size, shape and location. Led by Dr. James Piephoff, Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist.
- Outpatient Chemotherapy department was opened offering seven infusion suites, private blood draw area and exam rooms, as well as a comfortable waiting area for family members.
- New State-of-the-Art Sleep Scan System purchased to provide advanced monitoring capabilities.
- Saint Anthony's Health Center is the only hospital in area to receive commendation from The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
2007: Construction completed, realigning Central Avenue -- adjacent to the Saint Anthony's Health Center campus.
- Saint Anthony's Hospice establishes Bella Serenity, first hospice room at Willow Rose Rehab and Healthcare in Jerseyville.
- Completion of renovation to the Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Center.
2008: Adult Day Services Memory Garden Dedication.
E.J. Kuiper appointed President and CEO of Saint Anthony's Health Center.
- Saint Anthony's Health Center awarded Gold Seal Approval by The Joint Commission the national standard of healthcare quality.
2009: Saint Anthony's Cancer Center of Excellence awarded 3-year approval with Commendation by the Commission on Cancer.
- Reverend Mother Margaretha Maria, from the Sisters’ Motherhouse in Thuine, Germany, visited Saint Anthony’s Health Center for two weeks. Under the leadership of Reverend Mother and Mother M. Regina Pacis, Provincial Superior of the Sisters of St. Francis, the Sisters recommitted to a Mission of providing quality health care for all who need care, especially the most vulnerable.

2010 - 2011 

- Upgraded MRI with advance technology for more detailed images with increased speed, better resolution and unique applications.   

- Acquired the latest low-dosage CT technology available in the St. Louis area, making Saint Anthony's CT the safest with decreased radiation exposure by up to 50 percent.

- Installed Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) - digitized imaging for MRI and CT exams.

- Acquired new technology for Neurological Diagnostics for EMG and Conduction Studies.

- Enhanced Saint Anthony’s Women’s Pavilion with advanced obstetrical monitoring.

- Added new laboratory analyzers for better chemistry and blood gas testing diagnostics.

- Purchased new EKG system to insure cardiac testing has latest capabilities.

- Expanded women's services with digital mammography.

- Expanded ongoing information technology improvements, such as new automated systems and improved WiFi for our guests.

- Saint Anthony's campus transitions to an all-private room facility with newly remodeled patient rooms, beds with position monitoring and innovative patient safety features, and flat screen televisions.

- Completed a 366-space parking lot with underground utilities adjacent to newly aligned Central Avenue.

- Constructed two entrance monuments — one along new boulevard entrance into the Health Center and one at State House Square.

- Began offering free curbside Valet parking services on the Saint Anthony’s campus.

- Ongoing renovation of visitor and patient waiting areas with new flooring and furnishings: front lobby, outpatient registration, Medical/Surgical, Emergency Room.

- In September 2011, Saint Anthony's Cancer Center of Excellence was awarded a "Three Year with Commendation" approval by the American College of  Surgeons Commission on Cancer.


- A complete renovation of Saint Anthony's cardiology services, includes installation of a fully digital cardiac catheterization system.

- The Acute Rehab Unit on the campus of Saint Clare’s Hospital, the area’s only certified inpatient rehab unit, transitioned to all-private rooms.

- At a cost of over $564,000, a new laboratory information system went live at Saint Anthony’s, resulting in improved efficiencies to process the more than one million test results annually.

- Saint Anthony’s becomes the only Alton-area hospital to offer MRI Guided Breast Biopsies, used to detect suspicious masses typically not visualized by ultrasound or mammogram.

- The area’s first Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) procedure is performed at Saint Anthony’s Health Center by Dr. Naeem Aslam, Gastroenterologist with Saint Anthony’s Physician Group. Becomes the only Alton-area facility to have the $400,000 EUS technology, as well as the staff specially trained in EUS procedures.

- An advanced telemetry system was added to ICU, the Emergency Department and medical/surgical units, at a cost of $600,000.

- SAHC received The National Award of Excellence from the National Rehabilitation Association for outstanding achievement in creating opportunities for people with disabilities. The group commended the partnership between Saint Anthony’s and the Alton School District’s work-training program helps students with disabilities better prepare for transition to employment and community participation.

- Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer; one of a select group of 106 currently accredited cancer programs across the United States and one of six in Illinois to receive the recognition.

- Saint Anthony’s Health Center named one of the nation’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading authority of health care organizations. 

- The Leapfrog Group, an independent national not-for-profit organization focusing on patient safety, quality of care and affordability, awards Saint Anthony’s Health Center an “A” grade for providing the highest quality patient care and engaging in numerous initiatives and programs to improve quality and patient safety. 

- Construction is completed on a $225,000 cancer infusion center as part of its Cancer Center of Excellence on the Saint Clare’s Hospital campus. 


- The Cancer Center of Excellence Cancer Infusion Center opens, featuring a healing and stress-reducing environment for individuals receiving chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. Dr. Kevin Palka of Saint Anthony's Physician Group becomes the first Medical Oncologist to set up a new cancer center practice in Alton in over 23 years. Dr. Manpreet Sandhu joined Dr. Palka in August, 2013.

- Saint Anthony’s Health Center has been named one of the nation's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading authority of health care organizations in America. Only hospital in Alton to receive the Top Performer marks two years in a row.     

- The Joint Commission, in conjunction with The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, recently recognized Saint Anthony’s Health Center with Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.

- Saint Anthony’s Health Center becomes first Illinois hospital to launch Specialists On Call’s Teleneurology Service, assuring immediate 24/7/365 access to board certified, fellowship trained neurologists via telemedicine for patients suffering from stroke or any other neurologic emergency.

- Clinical Radiologists, SC, begins providing diagnostic and interventional radiology services at Saint Anthony's Health Center, offering access to a group of 65 board-certified radiologists covering all subspecialties and providing 24-hour radiology service coverage.

- A Patient Navigation Program is introduced to serve as a link between cardiologists, primary care physicians, and services. Patient Navigation is now offered through Oncology, Cardiology, Pulmonology and Neurology.

- Advanced ophthalmologic technology, phacoemulsification cataract surgery, now performed by Dr. Wen Chen.

- The Center for Pain Management relocates to an updated area on Saint Anthony's 3 West unit, featuring a procedure room with state-of-the-art fluoroscopy.

- Saint Anthony's Diabetes Services becomes one of only a few diabetes programs in the bi-state area to be recognized by the American Diabetes Association for excellence in diabetes education.

- Millennium Anesthesiology Consultants becomes the provider for anesthesiology services to Saint Anthony's Health Center.

- Saint Anthony's Sleep Center expands and relocates to Suite 308 of Saint Clare's Professional Building, partnering with Clayton Sleep Institute, a leading independent sleep medicine organization. Through the partnership with Clayton Sleep Institute, Saint Anthony's Sleep Center expands to include sleep testing on patients of any age.

- Saint Anthony’s Health Center is the first heart center in the Metro-East to implant a new internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) that uses a single lead to sense vital changes in heart rhythm.

- Routine diabetic foot health care provided by board certified podiatrist John Lindsay, D.P.M., is added to the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine.

- Saint Anthony's Cancer Center of Excellence receives the American Cancer Society's President's Award for enhanced efforts with patient navigation in radiation therapy and the infusion center.

- Dr. Naeem Aslam, Gastroenterologist, begins offering Hemorrhoid Banding in the Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Center.

- Clinical Radiologists, SC, expands services offered at the Center for Pain Management, by adding small joint injections for ankles, hand/wrists, fingers/toes and elbows in addition to the large joint injections to shoulders, knees and hips.

- The Acute Rehabilitation Unit on the Saint Clare's campus received a three-year CARF Accreditation for inpatient rehabilitation, with stroke specialty -- the only such facility in the greater Alton area.

- New bedside glucometer meters are implemented, offering the advantage of a smaller sample size, and time-saving wireless communication directly into the Laboratory Information System (LIS) module.

- Lymphedema Management is expanded to include treatment of Lymphedema at any stage through the certification of trained and experienced Lymphedema Therapists.

- Multi-million dollar IT enhancements include a hospital-wide Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, Workstation on Wheels technology for all inpatient units, as well as new tablets and printers for Home Health Care and Hospice Services. In addition new high tech Alaris IV Pumps were placed throughout Saint Anthony's Health Center, continuing the commitment to quality and patient safety.   

- Saint Anthony's Women's Pavilion receives a 3-year re-designation as a Level II nursery by the Southern Illinois Perinatal Program. 

- A cooperative agreement is established with CenterPointe Hospital to open a mental health Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) on the first floor of Saint Clare's Professional Building, near Psychological Services.

- Saint Anthony's Health Center received recognition by the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition for outstanding patient safety and quality outcomes.

- New Alaris IV Pumps are placed throughout Saint Anthony's Health Center, continuing the commitment to quality and patient safety.

- Saint Anthony's becomes the only mammography facility in the Riverbend area to be an accredited Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, a prestigious national recognition by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

- Saint Anthony’s Health Center announced a partnership with Nautilus Fitness Center and Virgin Pulse that promotes healthy lifestyles for its Mission Partners. Mission Partners in the Saint Anthony’s health plans can earn points through and opportunities for reduced health insurance premiums.

- Saint Anthony’s Leadership Academy, an 18-month leadership development program, was launched in the summer. Comprised of eight Mission Partners who were selected after a rigorous application process, the Leadership Academy focus on numerous projects, including, legal, quality, marketing and finance.


- Sister M. Mikela Meidl appointed President and CEO of Saint Anthony's Health Center; Sister M. Anselma appointed Chief Operating Officer.

- Over 300 area residents, Mission Partners and supporters previewed the newly renovated Emergency Center on February 25 at a special ribbon cutting and open house. The crowd, including Alton Mayor Brant Walker, Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick and members of the River Bend Growth Association, were on hand as Father Tom Donovan blessed the patients as well as the expanded waiting areas, triage and Results Pending room.  

- March 17: Saint Anthony’s Health System (SAHS) signs a Letter of Intent to affiliate with OSF Healthcare System (OSF), one of the largest integrated health care systems in Illinois. The affiliation with OSF would give Saint Anthony’s and the surrounding communities access to enhanced high-quality health care, close to home. 

- Saint Anthony's Psychological Services begins offering the area’s only group therapy sessions led by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. 

- For the third year, Saint Anthony’s Health Center renewed its "A" grade safety rating from The Leapfrog Group, which places the Alton hospital among the top-performing medical centers in the nation for its patient-safety standards.

- October 3: The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George from Saint Anthony’s Health System announce that they received Canonical Approval from the Vatican on their intended affiliation with OSF Healthcare System. 

- Saint Anthony's Cancer Center of Excellence receives "Three Year with Commendation in All Areas" approval by the American College of  Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

- November 1: Saint Anthony's Health Center officially becomes OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center; Saint Clare's Hospital officially becomes OSF Saint Clare's Hospital.


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