Celebrating 120 Years

President's Message

On behalf of St. Bernard Hospital, it is my pleasure to kick off our 120th anniversary year. We’re privileged to be celebrating 120 years of providing excellence in healthcare. 

The founding of St. Bernard Hospital goes back to the turn of the 20th century, when in June 1904, seven Canadian Catholic nuns and Father Bernard Murray came together to address the growing healthcare needs of the Englewood community. 

We have continued their mission of providing care and improving the health of the residents of Englewood and the neighboring South Side communities ever since. 

Take the journey with us as our team of healthcare heroes and supporters demonstrate our unwavering commitment to community wellness and each other. We can’t wait to celebrate with you! 

Inspiring words from our longest serving employee

"Originally I wanted to be a teacher. It turned out that I've still been able to teach. As a small community hospital, St. Bernard Hospital is a great place to start a career. I’ve had lots of hands-on experience as an actual part of a health care team. My career has been gratifying, satisfying. I’m helping humanity. And that's a great thing."

Carolyn Estelle, RN
Celebrating 54 years of service

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Join the Celebration

St. Bernard Hospital is embarking on an exciting milestone. Follow our journey to commemorate 120 years of serving the Englewood community and beyond.

Save the date Community health and wellness fair 2024 (1)

St. Bernard Hospital FitFest: A Celebration of Health and Fitness

Englewood residents and their families are invited to join us for a community festival centered on health and wellness. Don’t miss an exciting, fun-filled day featuring educational sessions, physical activities, music, dancing and more!  More information coming soon. 

Hospital Gala Graphic (2)

St. Bernard Hospital Gala

Our annual gala event will make an exciting return on Saturday, November 9. This year’s event will be even more special as we celebrate 120 years and reunite with our beloved hospital community. The event will also honor a local leader for their contributions to the community and beyond. Don’t miss it! Sign up here […]

St. Bernard Hospital Stories

Explore St. Bernard History


Incorporated on June 26th, 1904.

The School of Nursing was founded and three years later graduated its first class of 16 lay and 5 sister nurses. In the 69 years of its existence, the School of Nursing graduated over 1500 registered nurses serving Chicagoland and beyond, eventually closing to make way for hospital expansion.

St. Bernard is affiliated with Loyola University Medical School. The medical students came twice a week for clinical experience or to serve as an intern. 

With its capacity burgeoning over the decades, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley helped break ground for a much needed addition. One year later, a south wing named Sacred Heart Pavilion was opened, providing the community’s first Intensive Care Unit, along with contemporary Operating Rooms, a Laboratory, Pharmacy, and more. 

A new patient care wing opened, increasing bed capacity and renovating old-style open wards into private and semi-private rooms. 

Fundamental changes in healthcare delivery and reimbursement resulted in the closure of hundreds of hospitals, especially those in underprivileged communities. Once one of four neighborhood providers, St. Bernard became the only hospital still open and acting on its original mission, while still innovating for the future. 

The new comprehensive level 2 Emergency Department opened.

A new 40-bed in-patient behavioral health unit opened.

The Lourdene E. Bock Professional Pavilion was constructed, adding two new levels to better accommodate out-patient services and physician offices. 

  • St. Bernard was one of the first hospitals to implement electronic medical records. 

  • The hospital championed a critical economic growth initiative: The St. Bernard Housing Development Corporation. Located within view of the main hospital, Bernard Place is an affordable, 77-unit home community. In the Hospital’s view, improving Englewood’s economic well-being was as vital as providing high-quality medical care. 

As recognition of this tremendous endeavor, Bernard Place won a prestigious Chicago Neighborhood Development Award:  The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project. 

The Pediatric Mobile Health Unit was launched, taking basic care, immunizations and education to area children at schools, day care and community events.

St. Bernard’s sponsor organization, Catholic Health International, was incorporated.

A comprehensive Women’s Wellness Clinic opened.

A number of specialty clinics opened to provide even more types of care to the residents of the neighborhood, including service lines in behavioral health, cardiology, orthopedics, podiatry, and more. 

A gleaming new three-story, 70,000 square foot building, the Ambulatory Care Center, opened its doors to bring state-of-the-art medicine to Englewood. The Center houses multiple specialty clinics, an Immediate Care Clinic, a pharmacy, and conference rooms continuing St. Bernard’s legacy of responsiveness to the needs of the community. 

A modern, expanded dental clinic opens in the newly built Ambulatory Care Center. The center provides specialized services for adults and children with special needs. 

St. Bernard Hospital embraces for the COVID-19 pandemic implementing and sustaining practices such as mask-wearing, social distancing and COVID-19 testing among staff. and patients. An extensive renovation of the surgery is completed. 

Opens the Eye Clinic to address the unmet demand for ophthalmology services in the service area 

The South Side Healthy Community Organization (SSHCO) is established including St. Bernard Hospital, and 12 other South Side health organizations. Grant funding enables the creation of a new health community model. 

St. Bernard Hospital was awarded a grant by the State of Illinois to build the Center for Better Aging, a holistic wellness facility that will provide critical care services for elderly residents.

A renovation project to fully modernize the Emergency Department with patient-centered upgrades and enhanced medical infrastructure is completed.

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