Our History

St. Bernard Hospital began more than a century ago as the vision of the Rev. Bernard Murray, the leader of St. Bernard’s Church in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. In an effort to bring adequate health care to the community, Murray asked the Kingston, Canada-based Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, a community of women religious, for help in founding a local hospital. In 1903, the group sent seven sisters who, along with community residents, raised funds for the hospital’s construction, breaking ground in 1904.

On Nov. 21, 1905, the hospital was dedicated St. Bernard Hotel Dieu – “house of God.”  Throughout the years, the hospital has evolved alongside the community it serves, modernizing and adding to its facilities to keep pace with advances in medicine and the standard of care. Of the four hospitals that once served Englewood, St. Bernard is the only one still operating today.

The hospital’s commitment to educating tomorrow’s health professionals was first realized through St. Bernard’s School of Nursing, which trained registered nurses for many years until its closing in 1972. That commitment continues today through clinical training programs for students in a variety of departments, including emergency medicine, surgery, obstetrics, psychiatry, dentistry, pharmacy and dietetics. We are also Englewood’s single largest employer, and our staff includes nearly 900 employees and 150 physicians, all of whom strive daily to fulfill the sisters’ original vision of quality health care for the Englewood community.