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St Joseph’s Hospital Has Been Providing Compassionate Care Since 1868

St Joseph's Hospital

We’re lucky enough, here in London Ontario, to live in a city with such incredible options for medical care. We have some of the best hospitals in all of the province and country right here in our home. In fact, people from all over Ontario get referred to our hospitals because they are renowned for their expertise. One of those great hospitals is St. Joseph’s.

If you’ve lived in London for more than just a few years, the chances are that you or a loved one has had some kind of visit to St. Joseph’s hospital. In fact, St. Joseph’s hospital has been such a major part of London Ontario’s history. As our city has grown and changed, so too has it, as it has adapted to the community’s needs and continues to aim for excellence in health care. St. Joseph’s is a research and teaching hospital, which means that they’re continuously striving to achieve the best practices of tomorrow, today. They’re researching and learning and shaping their practices to what the future of healthcare is.

At St. Joseph’s, they strive to care and cure differently. They want the right care for the individual and look at each patient as a whole and unique individual, knowing that care comes in three forms: mind, body and spirit. St. Joseph’s is a hospital that cares compassionately. It’s a hospital that seeks to have everyone’s confidence in their ability to fully and completely care for their patients.

Located in the Old North neighborhood of London, St. Joseph’s is conveniently located on one of the major roads in London, and is pretty central to the city, giving amazing access to all who need it.

Londoners should be proud to have access to such an incredible hospital with expert medical staff that stay on the cutting edge of medicine, while also showing respect and compassion for each and every patient that they serve. Who wouldn’t want to take their own sick or injured loved ones to a hospital like that?

Mission and Values

The vision of St. Joseph’s hospital is to earn total confidence in their ability to provide complete care, and to make a difference that lasts in the quest to live full lives. They want their patients as well as the family and friends of those patients to be able to rest easy when they enter St. Joseph’s that from start to end, they will be treated with respect, compassion and understanding. St. Joseph’s strives to help patients achieve the ability to live their lives to the fullest possible.

St. Joseph’s has deep roots in faith and is still a faith based institute. They care for a person’s whole being: body, mind, and spirit. They provide life-affirming care with the utmost respect and ethics.

St Joseph's Hospital - Mission and Values

In their quest to serve and care for everyone who needs it, they also provide a voice to those without one and are constantly trying to create a better healthcare system that helps all. Their service and compassion does not stop within the walls of the hospital. They seek to ensure that everyone who needs help can find it, no matter what their situation is, and advocate for changes within the medical systems to get that help out there.

Their core values are respect, excellence, and compassion. Respect involves celebrating diversity, listening always, honoring those that they’re providing care for, appreciating the work of others, and always being truthful. Excellence is about continuously learning and pushing, giving their best each and every day, and being creative with the skills and gifts that they have. Compassion is about truly caring for each individual, making a difference, giving, being with others, and striving to truly understand the needs, realities and hopes of each individual that they serve.

History

St. Joseph’s Heath Care actually has incredible deep roots and has been providing care, compassion, and excellence for those in need since back in 1868. In that year the Sisters of St. Joseph’s fought to provide a place to care for the sick, the poor, and the helpless. So they opened Mount Hope, which was an orphanage for children, a safe place for the elderly, and a refuge for the homeless.

The community and the government saw what wonderful work the Sisters were doing, and suggested that they open a hospital. The sisters purchased a house, which was located on the corner of Richmond and Grosvenor Street, and in 1888 the hospital officially opened.

St Joseph's Hospital - History

It had humble beginnings, with there being 10 hospital beds (although there was also room for 14 more beds) and four medical staff members, and three sisters running the hospital.

Just four short years after, the hospital was doing so well that they opened a new, bigger facility in October of 1892. The new building was three and a half stories, had 60 beds, and even had an operating room! The new facility was built adjacent to the old house building.

To get an idea of what it was like back then, London’s population was at 35,000, each patient cost approximately 25.87 cents per day, and the average length of stay at St. Josephs was 34 days. The hospital saw an impressive 339 patients in 1893 and that number rose in 1902 to 573 patients.

Nursing care for patients was originally provided by the Sisters, and then in 1901, it was decided that anyone tending to patients needed to have medical training, and so they established the St. Joseph’s Hospital Training School for Nurses. 1901 was also the year of St. Joseph’s first recorded birth!

Since St. Joseph’s continued to care for more and more patients, they needed to expand again. In 1903 they added an addition on the east of the hospital and added 80 beds and 30 nursing staff.

St Joseph's Hospital - History 2

Just over a decade later, St. Joseph’s Hospital needed to expand again. This time they added a three-story wing on the south. This added private rooms, service rooms, as well as a library and lecture rooms. While the new wing was being built, they also added a new chapel into the hospital, which is still there today.

In 1922 eight doctors were designated to specific specialties within the fields of medicine in the hospital: Surgery. Medicine, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, and Gynaecology.

In the 30s and 40s St. Joseph’s Hospital excelled in creating excellence within their medical staff. It became a hospital that patients in all of Southwestern Ontario often were referred to because of St. Joseph’s expertise. In 1947 Western Ontario formalized and signed an agreement to make St. Joseph’s a teaching hospital.

With London Ontario expanding rapidly after World War II, St. Joseph’s became a very busy community hospital. Not only that, but it became a hospital that smaller more rural hospitals would refer patients to. Because of the incredible expertise of medical staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital it also became a referral hospital for the entire province. Because of all of this growth, St. Joseph’s went through many more expansions, adding on more and more wings as it  became needed, including an administration wing, a psychiatric area, a new Emergency Department, a new surgical suite, an intensive care unit, as well as a maternity and nursing facility.

St Joseph's Hospital - History 3

St. Joseph’s continued to expand and grow within the 60s, 70s and 80s. The internationally renowned neonatal intensive care unit opened during those expansions, as well as a surgical day care unit, a laboratory test center, a new coronary care unit, as well as new rooms for medical clinics.

Then in 1982, researchers at St. Joseph’s were the first to show that diseased tissue could be distinguished from healthy tissue through nuclear magnetic imaging. They became the first ever in Canada to have a human image using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which is widely known as an MRI.

Since the 80s, St. Joseph’s has continued to grow in its expertise and strives to stay on the cutting edge of medical technology and understanding. They continuously pursue excellence in both knowledge and in compassionate patient care.

Areas of care

St. Joseph’s Hospital is a leader in both short-stay surgery as well as day surgery. They’re also a leader in the treatment and management of chronic and complex medical diseases. St. Joseph’s continues to grow its role in ambulatory treatment, illness prevention, as well as research and education.

Within a year, St. Joseph’s Hospital sees approximately 1740 impatient surgeries and 46,060 urgent care visits. Across all of St. Joseph’s programs, they also have around 428,200 outpatient visits within the year. St. Joseph’s Hospital also strives to keep their bed count at 21 because they believe in advancing technology to give patients shortened surgical stays.

St Joseph's Hospital - Areas of Care

Their teams are trained to provide detailed and thorough assessments, proper diagnosis, treatment, as well as follow up. At St. Joseph’s, they care about you as an individual from start to finish. Here are all of the areas of care in which St. Joseph’s looks to serve you:

  • Allergy and immunology
  • Breast care
  • Cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention
  • Cardiovascular investigation
  • Cataract suite
  • Colposcopy clinic
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Gastroenterology program
  • Hand and upper limb centre
  • Infectious diseases care
  • Ivey eye institute
  • Lung disease
  • One stop- pituitary clinic
  • Osteoporosis and bone disease
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pain management
  • Prescription shop/Drug store
  • Pre surgical screening unit
  • Regional sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centre
  • Respirology
  • Rheumatology
  • Surgery
  • Urgent care
  • Urology

Events

St Joseph’s offers a two day mental health first aid course for seniors. This is such an important course to offer right now. Because of the baby boomers, there are more people over 65 than under 15. Not only that, but mental health issues increases at once a person hits the age of 69. This means that London is looking at serious mental health issues for senior citizens. The course promotes mental health care as well as the prevention of mental illness and suicide when possible, even helping people to learn how to intervene at the earliest stages possible.

St Joseph's Hospital - Events

They also offer conferences for physicians, nurses, medical students, and trainees about various health care issues. Keeping those who practice medicine sharp and constantly learning is one of the best ways to ensure the best care possible for patients.

St. Joseph’s Hospital also has their annual geriatric medicine refresher day, which provides practical knowledge, and inspires advancement in care.

They also offer free educational sessions about mental illness and addiction for families, in order to help the most amount of people possible, because knowledge and understanding is the first tool to prevention and care.

They offer other educational session to the public as well as medical professionals and are always looking to inform and spread awareness.

Looking Forward

St. Joseph’s has a 2018-2021 strategic plan. Within this strategic plan they have three key principles: uncompromising quality and safety, partnerships with patients residents and family caregivers, as well as advocacy and collaboration for innovation and system change.

Their five strategic priorities within this plan include: reaching out to the people who need them the most to ensure that excellent care is accessible to all, connecting care to support mind body and spirit needs, innovating together by making expanding and sharing knowledge an expectation across all jobs within the hospital, leveraging technology to transform care and knowledge, and empowering people in an inclusive environment that promotes the understanding that everyone’s voice matters.

St Joseph's Hospital - Looking Forward

St. Joseph’s hospital is dedicated to maintain their focus on those that they serve. The care of the whole individual, the respect and understanding, as well as the total confidence in their ability to provide complete and compassionate care are at the heart of everything that St. Joseph’s hospitals is and strives to be.

London Ontario is lucky to have a hospital like that within our great city. It’s a hospital that understands that medicine is about serving the patient through compassionate care. St. Joseph’s strives to pursue that kind of medical care to each and every patient, as well as to find ways to extend that kind of care outside of the hospital walls through the community for those who cannot speak up for themselves.