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 traveled 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.
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.
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: Saint Anthony's opened Saint Anthony's Medical Mall at 4325 Alby, Alton.
- Saint Anthony’s purchased Yungck Medical, creating Saint Anthony’s Medical Equipment.
- 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.
- Opened a Joint Replacement Center for hip and knee replacements, becoming the area's leader in joint replacement surgeries.
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.
- A newly constructed Outpatient Chemotherapy department was opened. The patient-centered area offers 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.
- Transitioned to an all-private room facility on the Saint Anthony's campus with newly remodeled patient rooms, beds with position monitoring and innovative patient safety features, flat screen televisions and furnishings.
- 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 Excellece 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, including installation of a fully digital cardiac catheterization system, was completed in December 2011, and was blessed as Saint Anthony's Heart Center in January 2012.
- The Acute Rehab Unit on the campus of Saint Clare’s Hospital, transitioned to all-private rooms. As the area’s only certified inpatient rehab unit, the Acute Rehab Unit is already well-regarded by physicians in the local area, as well as St. Louis hospitals.
- 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.
- March, 2012, 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.
- Dr. Naeem Aslam, gastroenterologist with Saint Anthony’s Physician Group, performed the area’s first Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) procedure at Saint Anthony’s. The Health Center becomes the only Alton-area facility to have the $400,000 EUS technology, as well as the staff specially trained in EUS procedures.
- $600,000 advanced telemetry system was added to ICU, the Emergency Department and medical/surgical units.
- 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. Saint Anthony’s is 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 was named one of the nation’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading authority of health care organizations. Saint Anthony’s is one of only 620 hospitals – out of more than 3,300 eligible U.S. hospitals – to receive the award for outstanding care for heart attack, surgical care and pneumonia.
- With the addition of several new physicians with Saint Anthony’s Physician Group – Dr. Keith Bonacquisti (Ear, Nose & Throat), Dr. Kevin Palka (Medical Oncologist & Hematologist), and Manpreet Sandhu (Medical Oncologist & Hematologist), Saint Anthony’s Physician Group becomes the largest physician group in the RiverBend area.
- Saint Anthony’s announced as part of the MidAmerica Stroke Network, a collaborative system of hospitals that provide high-level stroke care to patients. When a patient presents in the Emergency Department with stroke-like symptoms, Saint Anthony’s emergency room physicians immediately begin with care protocols to help patients recover quickly and completely, reducing the risk of permanent brain damage and improving patient outcomes.
- The Leapfrog Group, an independent national not-for-profit organization focusing on patient safety, quality of care and affordability, awarded 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 infusion center as part of its Cancer Center of Excellence on the Saint Clare’s Hospital campus. Opening January 2013, the area features a healing and stress-reducing environment for individuals receiving chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment.