About SCL Health System
SCL Health System (SCLHS) is a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization that operates 9 hospitals, four safety net clinics, one children’s mental health center and more than 100 ambulatory service centers in four states – Colorado, Kansas, Montana and California. The health system includes 14,000 full-time associates and more than 500 employed providers.
Based in Denver, the $2.7 billion health network is dedicated to improving the health of the communities and individuals it serves, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. In 2011, SCL Health System contributed $220.5 million in community benefit, including services for the poor, health screenings, educational programs, community donations and research.
SCL Health System was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL), who trace their origin as a religious community to the 1600s in France, where Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac established the Daughters of Charity. These women were dedicated to serving the sick and poor through an active ministry.
In 1857, a small congregation of sisters from Nashville, Tenn., led by Mother Xavier Ross, ventured to the edge of an expanding frontier in the then-Indian territory of Kansas. They opened the first private hospital in the state in 1864, with the first trained nurse in the state and surely the first woman in the Western territory to run a hospital. In 1873, the sisters founded what is now Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, the oldest private teaching hospital in Colorado, and one of the four Colorado hospitals of SCLHS.
SCLHS was formed in 1972 to strengthen and unify the health care facilities sponsored by SCL. In 2011, the sisters transferred sponsorship of SCL Health System to Leaven Ministries. Our organization’s rich heritage and enduring legacy serve as the foundation for our health ministry today, and our mission, vision and values serve as the framework for our success.