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History

History_1

Sacred Heart commemorated its 125th Anniversary in 2011.

We invite you to take a look at the people and events that have shaped our hospital's past.

 

1880-1899

Key Dates & Milestones

  • 1886 (April 30) – Mother Joseph leaves Vancouver, WA, for Spokane.
  • 1886 (May 14) – Sisters (in Montreal) agree to build the hospital.
  • 1886 (July 2) – Blessing of the Cornerstone on the feast of Sacred Heart, which led to the naming of the hospital.
  • 1887 (January 15) – First patient is admitted.
  • 1887 (January 27) – Sacred Heart Hospital formally opens.
  • 1887 (February 14) – The county awards the Sisters a contract to care for the poor at a rate of $1 per day.
  • 1888 – Total of 579 patients seen.
  • History_31889 – Additional wing opens.
  • 1893 – The first operating table arrives, quickly followed by two more additions to accommodate three operations per day.
  • 1892 – Electric lights replace oil lamps.
  • 1893 – First obstetrical patient delivers a baby at Sacred Heart.
  • 1898 – Nurses Training School opens–the first in Spokane and second in the state.
  • 1899 – Doctors pay $375 for the first X-ray machine.

1900-1959

Key Dates & Milestones

  • 1900 – First class of nurses graduate from the School of Nursing.
  • 1902 – A new wing allows for 17 private rooms, a new operating room and three bathrooms. The new rooms would provide an additional $12-15 of income each week.
  • 1907 – Dedication of the cornerstone of the new hospital at 8th & Browne.
  • History of Scared Heart in Spokane, WA.1910 (March) – Transfer of 130 patients from the riverfront location to the new building at on the South Hill. It includes a maternity ward and nursery, since women are now birthing in hospitals instead of at home. The cost of the new facility is $800,000 (four times the original estimate of six years prior).
  • 1917 – Anesthesia training program begins (later becomes the School of Anesthesia).
  • 1919 – Department of Laboratory Medicine opens.
  • 1922 – Another wing is added.
  • 1932 – Laboratory opens its School of Medical Technology.
  • 1941 – First triplets born at Sacred Heart.
  • 1946 – New Sacred Heart School of Nursing constructed to accommodate up to 300 students. (In the 80s, this building would become a nursing home; today it serves as office space.)
  • 1949 – Completion of the South Center and Southeast wings brought the bed capacity to 505. (These structures still exist today as the East and Center towers of the Sacred Heart Doctors Building.)
  • 1950s – Maternity Clinic is established as part of the Ob/Gyn residency program at Sacred Heart.
  • 1959 – Spokane’s first open-heart surgery is performed by Dr. Ralph Berg at Sacred Heart. (The nation’s first open-heart surgery was performed at the Mayo Clinic only 4 years earlier.) 

History_5History_6

1960-1986

Key Dates & Milestones

  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.1960 – Sacred Heart Service League begins.
  • 1960 (October 7) – First Heart Beat newsletter is published.
  • 1960 – Entrance remodeled to accommodate curb-side admission of emergency patients arriving by ambulance.
  • 1962 – Artificial Kidney Center opens–the third in the nation!
  • 1962 – Heart Beat staff newsletter becomes regional magazine.
  • 1960s – Eight-bed intensive care unit for babies opens.
  • 1967 Sister Peter Claver receives permission to plan the construction of a completely new facility.
  • 1968 (September 10) – Cornerstone of new hospital is laid.
  • 1971 – New Sacred Heart Medical Center opens with 623 beds at a cost of $35 million. Staff and volunteers move 350 patients from the old building to the new facility via underground tunnel.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.1971 – New building designed to accommodate helicopter landings on the roof. Military personnel began carrying premature and critically ill infants from outlying areas.
  • 1971 (October 21) – New building is dedicated.
  • 1972 – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program opens.
  • 1973 – 1,000th open-heart surgery performed. Also, fathers are allowed to be in the delivery room!
  • 1974Educational Services develops a TV studio; closed-caption TV broadcasts educational programs to patients and staff.
  • 1976 – Computerized body scanner installed in Radiology.
  • 1977 – Master’s degree program in Anesthesia offered jointly with Sacred Heart and Gonzaga University.
  • 1975 – St. Joseph Care Center moved from Mission Ave. to the Sacred Heart campus.
  • 1981 – The maternity ward opened an antepartum unit for women in high-risk pregnancies.
  • 1981 (November 2) – The Kidney Transplant Program begins and the first patient receives a transplant
  • 1982 – Spokane’s first set of quadruplets was born at Sacred Heart.
  • History_91982 – Sacred Heart begins its Children’s Hospital Fair for local school children to learn about health care in a hands-on environment.
  • 1982 – Cardiac Emergency Network forms to streamline the care of heart attack victims in rural areas.
  • 1983 – "Sacred Heart Air" (Adult Infant Rescue) air ambulance program begins.
  • 1984 – East Addition opens, housing psychiatry, rehabilitation and outpatient services.
  • 1984 – The Maternity Clinic formerly operated by the Ob/Gyn residency program is adopted as a Sacred Heart program.
  • 1985 – Breast Center opened to provide early screening for breast cancer.
  • 1985 (June 8) – Heartflite. a full-time, hospital-based air transport program, begins service.
  • 1986 – The Birth Place initiated its 24-hour telephone Helpline for mothers of new babies.
  • 1986Centennial celebration. Noted events include installation of Ken Spiering’s sculpture near the site of the original hospital (on Centennial Trail near today’s Convention Center) and presentation of the Heart Follies song and dance show by employees and physicians. WATCH VIDEO »

History_11

1987-Present

Key Dates & Milestones

  • 1987 – Sister Peter resigns as President due to health concerns.
  • 1987 – Cuddles & Care opens to provide sick-child day care.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.1988 – Hospital is certified to begin pediatric cardiology under Dr. Hrair Garabedian.
  • 1988 – Rehab program opens head injury unit.
  • 1988 – Kingston Inn purchased and converted to Health Resource Center.
  • 1989 (August 27) – Heartflite tragedy kills three staff members and one patient.
  • 1989 – Sacred Heart opens multi-disciplinary cancer center.
  • 1989 – The Psychiatry department opens a specialized unit for geriatric patients.1990 (August 1) – Employee parking garage at 7th & Hartson opens.
  • 1990 – Trauma Services holds its first annual Trauma Triumph celebration–a gathering for patients who have experienced miraculous outcomes from tragedies.
  • 1990 – UNOS approves the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Heart Program under the direction of Dr. Timothy Icenogle.
  • 1990 (March 13) – First heart transplant.
  • 1990 – Sacred Heart welcomes its first pediatric intensivist (Dr. Gary Lee) to oversee care of critically ill children.
  • 1990 – Cancer & Research Center opens.
  • 1991 (March 8) – First double-lung transplant performed by Drs. Icenogle, Vishwanath and Cataneo.
  • 1991 (June 17) – Dr. Tim Icenogle implants the first Heartmate ventricular assist device (mechanical heart) at Sacred Heart.
  • 1991 – The Heart Institute opens; the first freestanding outpatient heart catheterization facility in the Northwest, with diagnostics, education and research, plus eight cardiovascular physician groups, all in one spot.
  • 1991 – A “skybuilding” connects the Heart Institute with the hospital’s procedure/surgery floor to expand the Operating Room surgery capacity.
  • History of Sacred heart in Spokane, WA.1993 – New Doctors Building opens with physician offices and outpatient surgery.
  • 1993 (July 11) – Opening of a fully-remodeled and expanded Birth Place and NICU on the 9th floor.
  • 1993 – Sacred Heart and WSU open shared Health Science Research Center.
  • 1993 (July 31) – First cardiac stent is implanted as an alternative to heart bypass surgery.
  • 1993 – University of Washington opens a physician residency (training) program in Sacred Heart’s Psychiatry department.
  • 1994 – Inland Northwest Health Services is formed as a collaborative effort between all Spokane hospitals. Sacred Heart’s outpatient rehabilitation services and air ambulance program (Heartflite) transfer to the new organization.
  • 1995 – The first mobile mammography van arrives to make mammograms convenient.
  • 1995 – The first board-certified pediatric sub-specialists arrive, offering neurology, urology, GI and surgery services specific to the needs of children.
  • 1995 – Pediatric After-Hours Program serves as a 24/7 call center for parents needing advice on the care of their children.
  • 1995 (April 5) – First patient in the Northwest able to return to home from the hospital with a portable electric heart pump.
  • 1995 (August 1) – Sacred Heart and Deaconess medical centers begin a shared Level II Trauma program, rotating trauma care between the two emergency departments. This saves patients needing urgent treatment from having to travel to Seattle.
  • 1995 (October 4) – Unveiling of the Caritas Christi sculpture made and donated by Spokane artist Don Jene Rodgers following his healing at Sacred Heart.
  • 1995 – The Department of Psychiatry opens three outpatient mental health programs: RALLE for adults, BEST for children and Options for senior adults.
  • 1996 (June) – The Emergency Department begins using the clot-busting drug tPA to improve outcomes for stroke victims.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.1996 (June 20) – The first live birth of quintuplets in Washington state occurs at Sacred Heart, to Joyce Bowman and her husband Roger, a quadriplegic.
  • 1996 – Sacred Heart becomes the temporary home of Fairchild Air Force Base’s hospital, with military health care providers taking over the nursing unit on 8 South.
  • 1996 – The Pharmacy receives its first “HelpMate” robot, used to deliver medications securely to nursing unit. Later robots are named Rudy and Ruby, and are often decorated for holidays.
  • 1996 (July 29) – The hospital opens its newly remodeled and expanded Emergency Department to accommodate increasing volumes.
  • 1996 (November 19) – "Ice Storm" hits the Inland Northwest. In addition to regular hospital duties plus emergency responses, Sacred Heart opened its cafeteria to local residents and its auditorium as a sleep center.
  • 1997 (May 1) – Computers at Sacred Heart and 20 other health care providers begin using a new shared medical information system called Meditech.
  • 1997 – Neurosurgeons complete the first “awake craniotomy,” removing a brain tumor while the patient is alert.
  • 1997 (October 10) – First patient in Washington state undergoes deep brain stimulation treatment for tremors at Sacred Heart.
  • 1997 (October 19) – “Coiling” is performed for the first time to a Spokane woman to treat an aneurysm.
  • 1997 – Telemedicine program connects rural physicians to specialists in Spokane.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.1998 – Maternity Outpatient Services opens, to coordinate lactation services, perinatal testing, the Fetal Monitor Network and the Helpline for new moms.
  • 1998 (March 9) – Newly remodeled and expanded Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit open.
  • 1998 – Sacred Heart and Holy Family Hospital integrate with Inland Imaging for one consolidated imaging service.
  • 1998 - Sacred Heart and other Catholic health care ministries form Providence Services Eastern Washington.
  • 1998 – Hospitals and emergency services prepare for the infamous Y2K!
  • 1998 – Group Health hospitalists begin services at Sacred Heart, ensuring patients received timely care when
  • 1999 (February 1) – A mobile intensive care unit called MOBI IV is used for the first time in the Northwest, successfully transferring a critical patient from Salem, OR, to Sacred Heart.
  • 1999 – Providence Center for Faith & Healing opens, offering sacred space for meditation, classes and support groups.
  • 1999 (March) – Endoscopic ultrasound offers better views to diagnose GI cancers.
  • 1999 – The Thoracic Organ Transplant program at Sacred Heart is recognized as having the highest survival rate in the nation–a distinction we continue to hold today.
  • 1999 – Kidney removal now possible with laparoscopic surgery, providing quicker recovery.
  • 1999 (March 25) – Sacred Heart dedicates its new $5 million Intensive Care Unit and Neuro-ICU.
  • 1999 (April 16) – Named Mother Joseph Day in Washington state.
  • 1999 – Sacred Heart School of Nursing Alumni raises funds to create “Memory Lane,” a wall depicting the School’s history from 1902 to 1973.
  • 1999 – Sacred Heart acquires the 5th & Browne Medical Building.
  • 1999 (June 17) – Ground is broken for the construction of Emilie Court Assisted Living.
  • History_161999 (September) – Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a new 40-foot mammography coach arrives.
  • 1999 – The creation of Providence Services Eastern Washington leads to a new logo for all local Providence ministries.
  • 1999 – Dedicated Pediatric Surgery Center opens.
  • 2000 – Sacred Heart becomes pilot site for innovative barcode scanning technology to reduce medication errors.
  • 2000 – Emilie Court Assisted Living opens with 60 studio apartments.
  • 2000 – Radiology at Sacred Heart adds the latest MRI equipment and new PET scanners to enhance diagnosis efforts.
  • 2000 – Sacred Heart launches its first fully developed website, www.shmc.org.
  • 2000 – The Medical Center purchases Southcrest nursing facility and remodels it for the work of Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML).
  • 2000 – Providence Services Eastern Washington approves $131 million expansion project to include the West Tower and the Children’s Hospital.
  • 2001 – The donation of a grand piano to the hospital is the beginning of a “Sounds for the Soul” music program, which continues today, thanks to the talents of volunteers.
  • 2001 – The Madison Inn, a joint venture with the hospital, opens.
  • 2001 (October 7) – Mother Emilie Gamelin is beatified at the Vatican in Rome.
  • 2001 – The Children’s Hospital begins operating under the concept of a “hospital within a hospital” and adopts its own logo.
  • 2001 – Psychiatric Center for Children & Adolescents begins “The Parenting Project,” a service still offered today to help parents with at-risk children.
  • 2001 – Bone & Joint Centers open collaboratively at Sacred Heart and Holy Family hospitals.
  • 2001 – A clinical research center opens under the direction of Dr. Katherine Tuttle.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA.2002 – First robotic surgery performed in the region, by Dr. Leland Siwek.
  • 2002 – Heart Beat goes full color in honor of its 40th anniversary as a magazine.
  • 2002 (April) – Inland Neuroscience & Spine Center opens at Sacred Heart to coordinate the work of many brain and spine specialists.
  • 2002 (April 27) – “Raise the Roof” party celebrates the expansion of the Children’s Hospital.
  • 2002 (June 17) – Groundbreaking occurs for the new West Tower.
  • 2002 – The Discovery Channel films an episode of “Medical Miracles” at Sacred Heart, telling the story of Anjela Uhlenkott, a child who survived a drowning in 1996.
  • 2003 – Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital opens, adding two floors to the East Addition and connecting to Pediatric services within the main tower.
  • 2003 – The Children’s Hospital opens a pediatric oncology program, offering the region’s only kid-specific cancer care.
  • 2003 – Providence Continence Center opens for adults and children.
  • 2003 – The Providence Center for Faith and Healing begins a music-thanatology program to provide peace for patients at the end of life.
  • 2003 (May 14) – First patient at Sacred Heart receives a new bladder constructed out of material from the intestine.
  • History of Sacred Heart in Spokane, WA2003 (August 24) – Children’s Hospital dedicated.
  • 2003 – First heart-kidney transplant occurs.
  • 2003 (September 1) – Providence Services Eastern Washington changes name to Providence Health Care.
  • 2003 (December 5) – nine-month-old boy at Sacred Heart becomes the youngest-known patient to undergo robotic heart surgery.
  • 2004 – Sacred Heart is recognized by the Joint Commission as a Certified Primary Stroke Center–one of only six in the nation and the sole hospital to receive the designation in Washington.
  • 2004 – Massage therapy becomes available at the hospital for visitors, patients and staff.
  • 2004 (September 19) – The West Tower opens, featuring a Women’s Health Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Surgery Center–a $137-million project.
  • 2004 (October) – Sacred Heart surgeon implants the first permanent mechanical heart west of the Mississippi.
  • 2005 – Orthopedic surgeons optimize outcomes for hip replacement patients with the help of a new pelvic reconstruction fracture table.
  • 2005 – Sacred Heart is selected as one of only 20 medical centers in the nation to train physicians in the performance of carotid stenting.
  • History_192005 – The first altruistic kidney donor comes forward, offering the life-saving gift to a complete stranger. The two individuals met for the first time on July 25, after the recipient had recovered from the transplant. MORE »
  • 2005 – Urologists begin offering robotic surgery as an alternative to traditional surgery for prostate cancer.
  • 2005 (September 24) – Sacred Heart musicians and dancers stage the final Heart Follies production at the Spokane Opera House. Heart Follies began as a celebration of Sacred Heart’s 100th anniversary in 1986.
  • 2005 – Toni Marie’s replaces the Positive Image Center in offering aesthetic and support services to people suffering the effects of cancer (and other disease) treatment.
  • 2006 (January 1) – Providence Health Care in Eastern Washington and Providence Health System in five West Coast states, merge to become Providence Health & Services.
  • 2006 – Sacred Heart develops a Rapid Response Team to provide immediate critical care when nurses request an additional assessment of challenging patients.
  • 2006 – In-house TV studio invests in technology to provide On-Demand services to patients throughout the hospital.
  • 2006 – Dr. Timothy Icenogle performs a heart transplant on a 21-year-old pregnant woman. Both mom and baby come through fine!
  • 2006 – Drs. Leland Siwek and Branden Reynolds provide live instruction on robotic heart surgeries via television to 150 surgeons in Southern California. The two are considered “master trainers” for the robot’s maker.
  • 2006 (December 8) – the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of Mother Joseph and four sister companions in the West.
  • 2007 – Thanks to funding from the Foundation, the Medical Center hires a full-time coordinator to launch a Palliative Care program to ensure the highest quality and most compassionate care for patients at the end of life.
  • History_202007 – Cardiac Level 1 program links a dozen rural hospitals to Sacred Heart for prompt treatment of heart attack victims.
  • 2007 – Interventional radiologists offer embolization and radio-frequency ablation as miraculous cancer treatments.
  • 2007 – Sacred Heart School of Medical Technology celebrates its 75th anniversary, continuing a long tradition of preparing students for the real world of lab work.
  • 2007 – Molecular diagnostics experts at Sacred Heart pioneer a new way to monitor molecular tests, capturing the attention of labs around the world.
  • 2008 – Gynecological robotic surgery now available at Sacred Heart.
  • 2008 – Volunteers produce “Living the Legacy,” a complete history of the Sacred Heart School of Nursing.
  • 2009 – Reflecting the merging of Providence organizations in 2007, Sacred Heart and others add Providence to their names and accept a common logo.
  • 2009 – St. Joseph Care Center expands, opening a Transitional Care Unit as a stepping stone for surgical patients needing rehabilitation before returning home.
  • 2010 – Providence Center for Faith and Healing begins Arts in Healing program to help patients cope with illness, recovery and loss.
  • History_212010 – Surgery Center acquires its third daVinci surgical robot and a one-of-a-kind “hybrid” operating room where surgeons can do diagnostic imaging and surgical treatments without moving the patient.
  • 2011 – Sacred Heart Medical Center’s 125th Anniversary!