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History of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

St. Francis Hospital

St. Francis Xavier Hospital was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. It opened in 1882 as Saint Francis Infirmary with fifteen beds, five staff nurses, and two surgeons.

In 1896, a two-story wooden addition containing two wards, 20 private rooms with baths, and an operating room was completed. By the close of the century, however, the average daily census had increased to 50 patients, and the need for more space became acute. In early 1900, another two-story building was erected adding 18 additional patient rooms, another operating room, a dining area and a chapel.

The Sisters also responded to the increasing need for trained nurses by establishing the St. Francis Xavier Infirmary Training School for Nurses which opened on October 22, 1900.

During World War I, no resources were available to improve facilities at the Infirmary. After the war ended, however, the Sisters raised $161,515 in funds and on July 5, 1925 broke ground to build a new three and a half story Spanish-style St. Francis Infirmary facing Calhoun Street. In addition to patient rooms, the new facility also housed laboratory and x-ray services and an emergency room.

As the Charleston population grew, so did the facility. In keeping with this growth, the name of the Infirmary was legally changed to St. Francis Xavier Hospital on December 31, 1951 and construction continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s ensuring that the Hospital remained responsive to the health care needs of the community.

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

In July 1989, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy transferred the sponsorship of St. Francis Xavier Hospital to the Sisters of Bon Secours, and the hospital became part of the Bon Secours Health System.

Over the course of the next few years, the decision was made that the community would be better served by re-locating the hospital to a new site in West Ashley. As evidence of the community's support for that decision, on December 16, 1996, nearly 20,000 people attended the Blessing and Community Celebration of Bon Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital's beautiful new 140-bed facility.

In 2008 the hospital completed a major expansion and renovation that added a 5th floor. The addition included a new state of the art Neuro-Spine Center with 18 dedicated patient rooms. The Women’s Center added a second floor to separate gynecological patients from new moms and babies. And the nursery was expanded and updated with the latest technologies and comforts for baby.

Today, St. Francis is well-known for its quality, compassionate care.  The hospital offers many services including the only ER west of the Ashley and a labor and delivery department that is consistently rated the best place to give birth in Charleston.

Learn more about the Bon Secours Health System.