It was a late summer evening in 1916 when Phillip Brooks found his way into a boiler room of a building in Texarkana. As a transient, he had no job, no money, no ties to the community. What he did have, though, was a fever of 106 degrees. Phillip Brooks was dying when the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word found him in the boiler room of the new Michael Meagher Memorial Hospital.
Yes, Phillip Brooks was the first patient of the new 50-bed hospital on its official opening day of September 14, 1916. Michael Meagher, for whom the hospital was named, no doubt would have been pleased since Mr. Brooks personified the hospital's original intent: "to serve those who are ill, regardless of race, religion, or economic status."
Michael Meagher, a Catholic Irishman and a civil engineer, not only witnessed the founding of Texarkana but responded to calls for the betterment of his adopted community. What Meagher did not witness was the founding of his namesake hospital. Upon his untimely death in 1909, Meagher left his entire estate for the establishment of a hospital in Texarkana to meet the healthcare needs of the community and surrounding areas. To carry out Meagher's wishes, the trustees turned to the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to operate the new hospital located at 5th and Walnut Street in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Originally staffed by 10 physicians, one dentist, six Sisters of Charity and 10 nurses, the Michael Meagher Memorial Hospital remained in its first home until 1948. A newly constructed 127-bed "St. Michael Hospital" was dedicated, despite the hardships of World War II, in 1948 to the service of God.
The Sisters prudence and dedication to service - combined with a bold vision - led to the development of our present-day, 128-acre wooded campus of CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, located just off I-30 between Summerhill Road and Cowhorn Creek Road in Texarkana, Texas. The campus includes the main 312-bed acute-care hospital, a 50-bed rehabilitation hospital, an outpatient rehabilitation center, an outpatient imaging center, and a community health and fitness center. The campus was designed to also address the spiritual needs of our patients by providing a healing environment of streams, a 1-1/2 acre lake, wooded paths, and water features.
CHRISTUS St. Michael - Atlanta
On January 1, 2013, CHRISTUS St. Michael expanded its services to residents of Atlanta in Cass County, Texas, and the surrounding region. CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta, formerly Atlanta Memorial Hospital, is a 65 bed, acute-care hospital providing general and medical care for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room patients. General and medical services include radiology, laboratory, respiratory, physical and speech therapy, rehabilitation, as well as wellness programs.
The CHRISTUS Health System was created in 1999 when the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio combined their healthcare ministries to better serve the communities where they were located. As a part of this Catholic, faith-based system, CHRISTUS St. Michael is one of more than 40 hospitals, inpatient and long-term care facilities, as well as dozens of clinics and various health care services. CHRISTUS facilities can be found in more than 60 cities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Georgia and Mexico.
As a Catholic, faith-based, healthcare ministry committed to responding to the needs of those we are called to serve, CHRISTUS St. Michael is now a licensed 354-bed facility and continues to deliver high quality care that is accessible to all. For nearly 100 years, the Sisters of Charity have partnered with physicians, associates, volunteers and our community for continued growth and service to the people of the Texarkana region.