On July 26, 1905, the doors of the very first Spohn Hospital opened on North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Sisters of the Incarnate Word were there to greet and care for the first patient. Dr. Arthur E. Spohn was there too. It was he who had the vision to build a hospital where he could care for the 7000 residents of Corpus Christi.
Without the three Sisters who came to manage and serve in the new hospital, his vision might have remained his dream. But, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio answered God's call and responded to Dr. Spohn by agreeing to operate the hospital. The three sisters, together, traveled the dusty trail to Corpus Christi to open Spohn Sanitarium.
In the beginning, the Sisters did it all! They cared for the sick and injured, they cooked and cleaned and lived in the hospital. And they selflessly cared for others including those suffering from a yellow fever outbreak and in the devastating Hurricane of 1919. Their own Sister Thies drowned trying to save a paralyzed man from the storm as Spohn Sanitarium was ripped to shreds by the violent hurricane.
The Sisters of the Incarnate Word prevailed through many hardships and grew their mission-to spread the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and to care for the poor and underserved. Today, through their hard work and determination, the Sisters of Charity have hospitals and community facilities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah and even in Ireland, the homeland of many of the Sisters. Although the numbers of Sisters has declined in the past decade, their health system has grown and prospered by entrusting the operation of their facilities to lay professionals who share the same vision.