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Nazareth Hospital History

Nazareth Hospital is part of the story of The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, founded in Rome in 1875 by Frances Siedliska, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd. In 1885, Mother Mary and 10 other Sisters came to the United States to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through education and health care.

To meet the healthcare needs of Northeast Philadelphia, the Sisters prepared to open a hospital, by sending members of the Congregation to train at hospitals throughout the country, and by raising money to build. After six years of preparation, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth founded Nazareth Hospital in 1940. On March 9, Nazareth Hospital opened with 116 beds and at a cost of $800,000 -- financed solely by the Sisters, their families and friends.

The first patient at Nazareth Hospital was greeted by a dedicated group of pioneering women, skilled in nursing, dietary services, pharmacy and technical support services. Their example of dedication and compassion inspires all the Nazareth colleagues who have followed in their path.

The hospital grew and served the varied health needs of our community with programs ranging from maternity and medical/surgical units to radiation therapy, rehabilitation and a transitional care unit. Today, Nazareth Hospital continues to be a vital part of Northeast Philadelphia, and is dedicated to providing the community with needed access to high-quality health care, delivered with compassion and respect.

Ownership

Recognizing the necessity of partnering to strengthen the base on which the hospital was founded and of maintaining the Catholic identity of Nazareth Hospital, the Sisters transferred ownership of Nazareth Hospital to the Franciscan Health System on March 1, 1995. In 1996, through the Franciscan Health System, Nazareth Hospital became a member of Catholic Health Initiatives.

In 2001, Catholic Health Initiatives transferred ownership of several facilities, Nazareth Hospital among them, to Catholic Health East (CHE). Through this transfer, Nazareth became a member of Mercy Health System, a member of CHE.