John's Regional Health Center in Springfield occupies an area surrounded
by Sunshine Street on the north, Fremont Avenue on the east, Cherokee
Street on the south, and National Avenueon the west. It had its
beginnings in 1891 in a two-story frame house at Washington Avenue
and Chestnut Street. It was run by three Sisters from the Sisters
of Mercy who came from St. Louis. In 1906 the Sisters raised the
money to build a new hospital at 536 East Chestnut. It had 40 patient beds and cost $40,000 to
build. It served as St. John's Hospital until 1952 when the current
St. John's was built.
Though Cox Health Systems is the largest hospital system in Springfield,
St. John's Regional Health Center is the largest hospital. It currently
has 866 beds with 4,048 full time employees and 559 staff physicians.
The original 11-acre tract held a 350-bed facility when the hospital
opened on September 24, 1952. The postcard is dated 1965, but it
could be an architect's drawing of the building made to illustrate
the new 1960 addition that is the 4-story wing on the right side
of the picture. In 1960 and 1972, building projects added 350 beds
to the hospital.
In February 1970, St. John's unveiled its soon-to-be famous cardiac
laboratory. By 1981 the hospital had a 60-bed cancer treatment center,
a burn unit, a convent for the Sisters of Mercy and an 80,000 square-foot
medical office building. St. John's also has schools of nursing,
medical technology, radiology, anesthesiology and respiratory therapy.
In 1985 ground was broken for the Hammons Heart Center which was
completed in 1986 at a cost of $5.5 million. The $1.7 million St.
John's Fitness Center opened in 1988.
In 1989 a new school of nursing was built on south Fremont Avenue
and the old school of nursing was imploded. The West Pavilion was
completed at a cost of $50 million. The $3.5 million Sports Medicine
and Rehabilitative Center also opened in 1989. In 1990 the Mid-American
St. John's Regional Health Center became St. John's Health System
and added more than 100 physicians by merging with the Smith-Glynn-Calloway
Clinic in 1994. St. John's Health System is currently one of the
top employers in Springfield, Missouri.