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SCL Health System Celebrates Founders’ Day on Nov. 11

November 06, 2012

Media Contact:
Chris Woolsey, SVP and Chief Communications Officer – 303-813-5065

DENVER – Nov. 6, 2012 – SCL Health System is proud to celebrate Nov. 11 as Founders' Day, an annual celebration of the arrival of the first Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in Kansas. They arrived by riverboat from Nashville, Tenn. in 1858, in what was then still untamed and sparsely-populated country.

The sisters came to minister to those in need, to reveal God's love wherever that love was most needed. They quickly began educating children, raising orphans and caring for the sick. In 1864, they opened Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth, Kan., the first civilian hospital west of the Mississippi River. Thus began the healing ministry that we are privileged to continue today. SCL Health System, now based in Denver, operates 11 acute care hospitals, four clinics for the uninsured, one mental health treatment center for children and more than 100 ambulatory clinics. We serve communities in Kansas, Colorado, Montana and California.

"As we approach Founders' Day, we pause to look back, to remember, and to celebrate the many good works of these past 154 years," remarked Sister Jennifer Gordon, SCL, System Director, Mission Services. In the words of our Foundress Mother Xavier Ross, "We pause to look forward to the good that is yet to be."

The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth 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 religious were dedicated to serving the sick and poor through an active ministry. Their motto was "The love of Christ impels us." This heritage and tradition serve as a foundation for our health ministry today.

In the days leading up to Founders' Day, SCL Heath System associates, physicians, volunteers and community members will be invited to reflect on the part that each of them plays in continuing the ministry of healing that the early sisters began. "It takes all of us to reveal and foster God's healing love and to improve the health of the people and communities we serve," Sister Gordon noted.

About SCL Health System
SCL Health System (SCLHS) is a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization that operates 11 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. 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. On an annual basis, SCL Health System regularly provides more than $200 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 opened their first hospital in 1864. In 2011, the sisters transferred sponsorship of SCL Health System to Leaven Ministries. To learn more, visit www.sclhealthsystem.org.