In the early 1900s, Lake Charles, LA was the center of a growing lumber industry, yet it had no hospitals. Seeing the need for a quality medical facility, John Greene Martin, M.D., president of the local medical society, and Rev. Hubert Cramers, rector of Immaculate Conception Church, set about to provide for one.
They approached the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Galveston, Texas, for help in setting up a hospital in Lake Charles like the one the sisters had established in Galveston. When the hospital was finished, Dr. Martin, a native of Ireland, insisted that it be named after St. Patrick, the patron saint of his homeland.
The new three-story hospital was dedicated on St. Patrick's Day in 1908 as St. Patrick Sanitarium, with 50 beds, an operating room and a sterilizing room. The name was later changed to St. Patrick Hospital which has continued its tradition of dedication and quality medical care for almost 100 years.
History of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and CHRISTUS Health
In 1866 three brave sisters from Lyon, France, answered the call of Bishop Claude Dubuis to minister to the "sick and infirm of every kind." These first members of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word worked to fulfill this call by opening Texas' first Catholic hospital in Galveston and, three years later, San Antonio's first private hospital.
With the move to San Antonio in 1869 and the difficulty of traveling between the two cities, the three Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word congregations became independent and continued their missions of healing.
Out of the original call grew the Houston-based Sisters of Charity Health Care System and the San Antonio-based Incarnate Word Health Care System. In 1999 CHRISTUS Health was formed to join the two health systems and strengthen the sisters' faith-based, not-for-profit health care ministry in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah and Oklahoma. This co-sponsored health care system is one of the top 10 largest Catholic health systems in the nation. The system will take a leadership role in the health care field, furthering its Mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.