Presence St. Mary's Hospital

On March 28, 1897 the Sister Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary with the support of the entire community dedicated Kankakee's first hospital at the corner of Merchant and Fifth avenues. The 11-bed facility was originally known as Emergency Hospital and served 101 patients the first year.

The sisters' mission of bringing the healing and life-giving presence of Jesus Christ to the community, and of witnessing to the values of faith, self giving, family love, service to the poor, justice and dignity of person still exists today at St. Mary's. This time line beginning in 1895 will share with you some of the events that have taken place at Emergency/St. Mary's Hospital. A special "Thank You" to the sisters, the community and the many employees and physicians throughout the years that have dedicated their lives and talents to ensure the St. Mary's mission continue.

The hospital served 101 patients, had 69 operations and reported 8 deaths. There were 26 charity cases in the first year. (25%) The patient count was listed as: 52 Americans , 24 Canadians, 11 Germans, 5 Irish, 2 Poles, 2 Africans, 1 Italian, 1 Swede, 1 Belgian, 1 Scotsman, 1 Swiss.

A committee is formed by Fr. Paradis to bring health care to the Community. The effort to raise funds to build a community hospital begins.

March 28, 1897
"Emergency Hospital" opens its doors on the 29th. First patient, Mike Andrews is admitted on the 30th. Dr. Lee is the attending physician.

The first addition is constructed. The hospital now has 24 beds.

Second addition is built, second OR is opened. The roof raised to accommodate-this was considered "ingenious" construction. Elevator & X-Ray added).

Ground broken for Fifth Avenue Wing. Total cost: $150,000 Opened in 1922 with three stories.

Hospital Silver Anniversary. Opened School of Nursing with 8 students; 5 sisters, 3 lay persons. 

Clinical Lab & Pharmacy opens. Run by one of the first female pharmacists in the state of Illinois: Sr. Emerentia. 

Hospital Medical Staff organizes. Dr. Hamilton first Chief of Medical Staff. Dr. L.D. Moorehead of Loyola University School of Medicine, Chicago; served as Advisor.

Hospital name changed to "St. Mary's Hospital". Approved as a "Class A" facility by the American College of Surgeons and by The Catholic Hospital Association. Physicians from various specialties available.

Construction of fourth & fifth floors in the Avenue Wing. Now 150+ beds. 

St. Mary's fully approved by the American College of Surgeons. St. Mary's Hospital got highest rating in the Nation. The depression causes a hospital debt of $310,000 but was erased by a show of community support & caring.

National Hospital Week celebrated with the Community. Tours of their hospital were given to the community.

Quadruplet babies born. One dies at birth. Parents are Virgil & Bertha Deschand. The sisters care for the babies for free, giving them shelter through a harsh winter. Community applauds the sisters giving effort.

Fifty-seven year old WWI Veteran dies at St. Mary's after being cared for by the sisters and living at the hospital for 27 years. Admitted in 1919 after crippling car accident. Repaired clocks/watches to pass time here.

Golden Jubilee 80,081 patients to date 186 beds 40 Bassinets Radio stations broadcast a celebration mass. Big community event. 4,382 operations 226 nursing grads.

St. Mary's Hospital opens first civilian blood bank in state of Illinois. Huge community effort. Many went as one large group to donate and began blood supply.

St. Mary's Auxiliary organized with 19 members. First president is Mrs. Richard Harrigett. First purchase was for equipment in the OB unit. A membership drive brought the Auxiliary up to 66 members. First duties: to staff the reception desk & the gift cart during visiting hours

100 patient beds added. Second nurse's residence completed. Auditorium also completed in the construction project.

1,770 babies born at St. Mary's. New record.

Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization is established. St. Mary's earns first Full JCAHO Accreditation.

The first community fund drive for the hospital takes place. One third of the total cost of the new Court Street Wing was raised. 

St. Claire Wing opened. New chapel open in time for Holy Week.

Cobalt Unit opened for cancer therapy. New OB department opened. Reported that since 1897, 42,000 babies have been born at St. Mary's. 

First lay administrator hired Joe McGovern.

St. Mary's celebrates its 70th anniversary. 261 beds 40 cribs 22 sisters 70 physicians 20 dentists 600+ employees  

St. Mary's establishes 24-hour ER services. St. Mary's hosts program sponsored by the Illinois Academy of General Practice. Over 600 physicians from around the state attended to hear instructors from five Chicago medical schools. St. Mary's Hospital participated in first County Disaster Drill.

St. Mary's Hospital opens new coronary care unit, 5 beds.1971St. Mary's installs a Picker Gastrix X-Ray unit. First of its kind in the nation. Unit had the first remote console for controlling function/testing. Closed circuit television provided technicians with views of the examinations. 

First full-time medical director appointed-Dr. Reinhold Schuller from Herscher. City of Kankakee closes Fifth Avenue for construction of St. Mary's Pavilion. St. Mary's Hospital first state designated area wide trauma center. St. Mary's Hospital begins Home Health Care service.

West wing drawing is previewed. 290 beds, a $10 million project. Four stories. Diagnostic/Ancillary Services and Inpatient rooms. St. Mary's EMT Training program begins. Ninety persons graduate from program.

Pastoral Care officially opens. Men enter the ranks as hospital volunteers. Dads allowed in delivery rooms.

Renal Dialysis Unit opens with four machines in operation. Only unit in area.

West Pavilion is opened and dedicated. In the first 80 years, St. Mary's has cared for 400,000 patients. 

Peritoneal Dialysis Unit opens. Outpatient surgery is streamlined to allow patients to enter and leave the hospital the same day for many procedures.

St. Mary's celebrates 85 years of service. ServantCor established as Parent Corporation for health care and for-profit institutions.

St. Mary's introduces new logo, circle with cross. Speakers' Bureau formed Adult Day Care and Cardiac Rehab open. Linear Accelerator installed-latest in Cancer Treatment.1986First building in MedCentre Network (Kankakee MedCentre West) built on corner of Court Street & Fifth Avenue. Trauma Center certified as the area's hemophilia treatment center. 

New Birthing Center opens.

Bradley Rehabilitation Center is opened. The Health Connection opens as a link for St. Mary's Outreach programs with the community.

St. Mary's new SICU is dedicated and opens for patient care early in 1994.

St. Mary's introduces occupational health services to the Kankakee area through HealthCor. Kankakee's first integrated care network (KICN) is formed through a partnership of Kankakee Affiliated Physicians and St. Mary's Hospital.

The Regional Cancer Center opens, Illinois Neurosurgery and Spine Network brings extensive neurological services to our area.

Kankakee's MedCentre East opens introducing St. Mary's Community Wellness Center and new Cardiac Rehab Services.

St. Mary's continues bringing health programs and services to our community by initiating Health 2000, a community health stewardship focused on identifying future health needs.

St. Mary's Hospital becomes part of Provena Health.

New MICU opened at Provena St. Mary's, featuring state-of-the-art monitoring technology and two patient-family suites (the first of its kind in Kankakee County).

George N. Miller, Jr. named President/CEO of Provena St. Mary's Hospital.

The Provena eICU Connection is launched for all of the ICU beds. Critical care physicians and nurses, working in conjunction with the medical staff in each facility, monitor ICU patients from a remote network 24 hours a day. 

Provena St. Mary's Hospital renovated the Family Birthing Center.


  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital opens a new outpatient campus in Bourbonnais that houses the Regional Cancer Center and the Center for Diagnostic Imaging.
  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital opened The Total Wellness Center in Bourbonnais that houses the Fitness Center, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Behavioral Health.
  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital opened Cardiac Catheterization Lab.


  • Jeffrey Brickman, President and CEO of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center, has been promoted to Regional President and CEO of the newly, created Provena Southwest Suburban Region, Provena Health.


  • Provena Sleep Diagnostic Centre Clinic is opened.
  • Family Birthing Center Room renovations were completed.
  • Installation of new "Kisses" mother-baby security system in Family Birthing Center is completed.
  • Recipient of Robert Felter Grant for "healing hopes' program.
  • Received Region 9/10 Network Award for Program Excellence for Fistula First Initiative.
  • Achieved Certification of new home Hemodialysis Program.


  • $2 million dollar first floor renovation project was completed and dedicated.
  • Newly remodeled Gift Shop and Gathering Grounds provided by Provena St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary.
  • Opened Provena St. Mary's Breast Health Center in Bourbonnais. A Breast Health Navigator is added to the team.
  • Digital Mammography offered at Provena St. Mary's Breast Health Center
  • Joseph R. Danna, M.D. is named Provena St. Mary's Hospital's Physician of the Year.
  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital is awarded a 5 Star Clinical Excellence Rating for Total Knee replacement and Joint Replacement Surgery.


  • Michael J. Arno is named President & CEO of Provena St. Mary's Hospital.
  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital became an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
  • Provena St. Mary's Hospital earns designation as a Spirit of Women Premier Hospital.
  • Manteno Dialysis Centre receives Richard Breitenfield Quality Award for the Fistula First Initiative.
  • Provena Health was named on of the top 50 U.S. health systems based on hospital clinical quality and efficiency, according to a study released by Thomson Reuters.
  • Opened new Endocrine and Diabetes Clinic, which focuses on the targeted combination of medical care, patient education and healthy lifestyles. Our advanced Diabetes and Nutrition Center, a key component of our clinic, is recognized
  • by the American Diabetes Association.
  • Developed "Doctor at the Door" program in our Emergency Department whereby a physician assesses patients upon arrival to help determine if they require hospitalization or less urgent care. In the event hospitalization is required, the
  • "Doctor at the Door" can order needed tests before a patient is even placed into a room, enhancing efficiency and patient care.
  • Installed second digital mammography machine.
  • Purchased 22 Stryker InTouch critical care hospital beds to enhance patient comfort and staff support.
  • Purchased new GE Infinia Dual Head Gamma camera system that brings unprecedented and infinite levels of image quality and diagnostic capability to our nuclear medicine department.


  • Received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center
  • Received a three-year re-accreditation of our comprehensive cancer program from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. All nurses at the cancer center earned certification.
  • Recognized as a Workplace of Distinction by Morehead Associates for the second consecutive year.
  • Received Excellence in Healthcare Awards for inpatient care, outpatient care, and outpatient imaging.
  • "Pursuit of Excellence Star" awarded to our Peritoneal Dialysis Unit
  • Provena Medical Group re-accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
  • Installed four comprehensive ACUSON S2000™ ultrasound systems and the SOMATOM® Definition AS CT Scanner.
  • New community education and volunteer programs: Mammo parties, Red Hot Mamas®, and Spirit of Teens.
  • Welcomed new physicians to Provena Medical Group: Srilata Gundala, M.D., board-certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hematology; Francis L. Hobson, M.D., board-certified in Adult and Pediatric Otolaryngology;
  • Shital Mehta, M.D., board-certified in Psychiatry; and Wuraola Omotosho, M.D., Internal Medicine.
  • Added hospitalist physicians: Basava Ancha, M.D., and Ankur Sethi, M.D.
  • Welcomed new certified audiologist, Lori A. Kelly, M.S., at the Provena St. Mary’s Ear, Head, and Neck Institute and Hearing Center.
  • Introduced the outpatient VNUS Closure procedure to treat venus reflux.
  • Remodeled the Pediatric Unit with new beds, recliner chairs, flat screen TVs, CD players, and electronic games.
  • Purchased SimMan®, an interactive technologically advanced patient simulator for EMS education.
  • Installed the OrthoScan HD, which can image hairline fractures and adjust automatically to metal and motion.
  • Implemented BrainLAB Image-Guided Surgery for ENT.
  • Purchased two Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps (IBAP) for Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Cardiac Cath Lab to increase cardiac perfusion.
  • Opened MedCentre North location in Bourbonnais. Includes physicians who specialize in internal medicine and family medicine and the Provena St. Mary’s Sleep Diagnostic Centre.
  • PSMH Foundation honored Bipin N. Bhayani, M.D., as Servant Leader of the Year and Dong O. Kim, M.D., F.A.C.S. as Physician of the Year.
  • Provena St. Mary’s Foundation Annual Gala raised $80,000 to purchase surgical equipment and technology, and more than $33,000 was raised by the Auxiliary for the hospital’s digital mammography project.
  • Nearly 47,000 hours were logged by PSMH’s 325 dedicated volunteers
  • Participated in over 150 community outreach and educational events throughout Kankakee County, with free wellness screenings and health classes drawing over 28,000 community participants.
  • Partnered with the National Kidney Foundation to provide free kidney screenings.
  • Offered Fit ‘N’ Healthy Program to area churches as part of a continuing initiative to combat obesity in our communities.
  • Hosted the 16th Annual Camp Aire asthma camp for children.
  • In honor of a former employee, Provena Home Health, Kankakee raised $14,000 for Relay for Life.


  • Provena Medical Group re-accredited by AAAHC
  • Provena St Mary's Cancer Center - All nurses earn certification
  • Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care sign letter of intent to explore merger
  • Added new CT scanner
  • Added new and advanced ultrasound system
  • Received Workplace of Distinction Award
  • Received multiple "National Excellence in Healthcare" awards
  • Introduced Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - the only hospital-based wound healing therapy in the area
  • Auxiliary recognized by Illinois Hospital Association - Received award for advocacy
  • In July, Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care reach definitive agreement to merge
  • Added Hydrotherapy - an alternative form of pain management for women in labor
  • Brought middle ear and coclear implant surgery to area
  • Dr. Vallabh N. Patel was named Physician of the Year
  • Dr. Degaulle Haile, OB GYN physician, added to staff
  • Received American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR Action Registry - GWTGTM Silver Performance Achievement Award
  • Auxiliary celebrated 60 years of giving
  • Chest Pain Center receives re-accreditation


  • Amy LaFine promoted to CEO of Provena St. Mary's Hospital
  • Provena Health & Resurrection Health Care select Presence Health as new name
  • Area's first cochlear implant surgeries are a success
  • Aquatic therapy is introduced in Rehabilitation Services
  • Introduced Advanced MR technology
  • Presence St. Mary's MedSpa open