About St. Alexius Hospital – Our History
St. Alexius Hospital

1869 – 2012 

Founding Document, 1869

A historical document of the founding of St. Joseph’s (Alexian Brothers) Hospital. Bother Bonaventure Thelen bought the land and an old mansion from James Lucas.

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Permission from Archbishop Kendrick

Communiciation from Archbiship Peter Kendrick giving permission to establish an Alexian ministry in St. Louis.

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Brother Bonaventure Thelen (1825 -1828)

Brother Bonaventure Thelen, Founder of the American Province, arrived from Germany in 1866. He opened the first Alexian Brothers Hospital in Chicago that same year and the second hospital in St. Louis in 1869. The first hospital in St. Louis was Lutheran Hospital in 1859 which today is located at 2639 Miami St.

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The Simons Mansion

On September 21, 1869, a week after the Brothers arrived, the Simons Mansion was purchased for $25,000. It was located on 5 acres at the corner of Carondelet (South Broadway) and Osage Streets.

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Hospital Building, 1874

The number of admissions into the original hospital became so numerous that the Brothers found it necessary to build a new, spacious, modern facility. Independence Day (July4), the same day that the Eads Bridge connecting St. Louis to Illinois was opened, the Alexian Brothers dedicated the new hospital.

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New East Wing, 1890

During the first month of operation of the New East Wing, the number of patients approached 1000 annually, which included unskilled laborers and every type of skilled workmen, with cigar makers, brewers and bakers comprising the largest number.

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Alexian Brothers St. Louis Community, 1907

The Brothers ran the day-to-day operations of the hospital, working as carpenters, nurses, bakers, druggists, bookkeepers, and whenever their services were needed.

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Pharmacy, circa 1907

Brother Remigius Kochaneck proudly shows the well-stocked hospital pharmacy.

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50th Anniversary Celebration, 1919

On October 2nd, Archbishop John J. Glennon celebrated Mass in the Chapel of the Hospital for the Golden Jubilee. The community of 25 Brothers credited the success of their work to the support of their friends, benefactors and Medical Staff.

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Operating Room

Brother Phillip (first on left) assists the surgeons in the Operating Room while several students (on the right) observe the procedure.

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Nursing Ward, 1923

This surgical ward received many accident cases from industries surrounding the hospital.

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Free Dispensary, 1910

A nearby residence, purchased from Dr. Louis Padberg, was remodelded and used as a dispensary. In October, the Brothers opened it’s door to anyone who needed medical care and could not afford it. A white lettered sign “Alexian Brothers Free Dispensary” stood over the door.

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Alexian Brothers School of Nursing for Men, Freshman Class of 1940

The Brothers had on-the-job training in nursing techniques. As time went on they saw the need for more systematic training and opened Nursing Schools in Chicago and St. Louis for Brothers and laymen.

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1943 – 1951


Accounting Department, 1943

The cost of free care at the dispensary caused constantly increasing deficits. Brother Ernest Milch (center) keeps a watchful eye over expenses.

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The Statue of St. Michael the Archangel

During the Rite of Exorcism, on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1949, a statue of St. Michael the Archangel was placed in the boy’s room. One of the most effective prayers of the Exorcism was the one dedicated to St. Michael.

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Father Bowdern’s Letter Regarding The Exorcism, 1949.

In keeping with the Brothers’ mission of caring for the most unwanted, the Alexian Brothers admitted a 14-years old boy to the psychiatric department. They cared for him while the Rite of Exorcism was performed by Father Bowdern, a Jesuit priest. The book and the movie “The Exorcist” were based on this case.

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Ladies Auxiliary circa 1965

Brother Leo (Roy) Godwin, a native of St. Louis, is shown with members of the Auxillary: Mrs. Genevieve Shannon (one of the first female employees of Alexian Brothers Hospital), Mrs. R. Nye and Mrs. Donna Unterberg.

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Maintenance Department, 1951

Brother Jerome Revak (far back) and Brother Corbinian Bellert (right) spent many years in the Engine Room and Maintenance Department.

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1959 – 1979


Aerial Photo of Hospital, 1959

In 1959, a new wing was dedicated which included the Chapel, Radiology, the Kitchen and Cafeteria, Laboratory, Psychiatry, Surgery and Meeting Rooms. This wing with it beautiful terrazzo floors, is still in use today.

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Christmas Display, 1960

Brother Valentino Bianco, Supervisor of Central Supply, won many honors throughout the city of St. Louis in the “Church Division” of the annual Christmas Lighting Contest, winning 9 years out of 10. He also taught art at St. Thomas.

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First Female Patient, 1962

On June 4, 1962, the first female patient, Mrs. Gilbert Jarvis, was presented with a bouquet of flowers from Brother Athanasus Savary, Hospital Administrator. Miss Ann Bauer, Head Nurse, looks on. Up until that time Alexian Brothers Hospital only ministered to male patients.

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Centennial Employee Celebration, 1969

As part of the 100 year celebration, a price roll-back was offered in the Cafeteria.

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Formal Centennial Celebration, 1969.

“A Century of Service to God and Man” was the theme for the Centennial Dinner which was held on December 7, 1969 to celebrate 100 years of the Alexian Brothers’ presence in St. Louis.

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Groundbreaking for New Hospital, 1976

On May 27, 1976 Brother Athanasius Savary, Administrator, breaks ground for a new Hospital. After much deliberation and prayer, the Brothers decided to build on the same site where Brother Bonaventure Thelen founded the original hospital in south St. Louis.

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New Building, 1979

On September 3, 1979, all the patients from the old building were moved into the new hospital. A few weeks later on September 30th the hospital was dedicated by Bishop George Gottwald.

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Resolution from the City of St. Louis, 1979

The President of the Board of Alderman, Paul Simon, presents a plaque to Brother Phillip Kennedy, newly appointed Administrator, to express the citizens ’ appreciation of the Alexian Brothers’ decision to remain in the city.

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100 Years of Service 1869 – 1969

Brother Athanasius Savary, Hospital Administrator, and Carteret Alsop, Assistant Administrator, point to a banner at the hospital’s front entrance commemorating this special year.

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Dignitaries Gather at Alexian Court, 1993

Alexian Court, low income housing for the elderly was constructed in 1988 with HUD moneys. Secretary of HUD, Henry Cisneros (2nd from right) visited to recognize the success of partnership between a private organization and a federal program. As shown (left to right) are Virvus Jones, City Comptoller; Geraldine Osborne, Alderwoman and ABH Board Chairperson; Deno Fabbre, first lay Hospital Administrator; Brother Warren Longo, Patient Representative; Mike Lally, Director of Cardinal Ritter Private Housing; Congressman Richard Gephardt; Mayor Freeman Bosley; Sister Debby Marino, resident of Alexian Court.

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125th Anniversary, 1994

With the able assistance of Brother Ronald Ruberg (left), Community Director; and Brother Warren Longo (right), Patient Representative; Deno Fabbre, Hospital President slices into the 125th Birthday Cake – a detailed replica of the Hospital.

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Expansion of Services, 1995

To better serve the community, the Emergency Department and Patient Registration areas were expanded to accommodate more patients and to function more efficiently. Because of the Hospital’s emphasis on care of the elderly a dedicated Senior Services Department, providing outpatient care to residentsof nursing homes was also added.

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Transition to Unity Health, 1997

July 1, 1997 sponsorship of the Hospital changed from the Alexian Brothers to the Sisters of Mercy, as Alexian Brothers Hospital joined Unity Health. A series of events marked the transition. At the annual “Spirit Days” for employees a skit entitled “A Match Made in Heaven” portrayed a meeting in heaven between Brother Bonaventure Thelen (played by Brother Warren Longo) and Sister Catherine McAuley (played by Sister Ellen Greeley, a Sister of Mercy) where they discuss their delight in this arrangement.

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Celebration of Ministry Procession, 1998

To officially recognize the changes of sponsorship, a Celebration of Ministry was held on February 24, 1998. A bagpiper leads the procession from the Chapel to Peterson Auditorium. Following behind are (left to right); Glen Appelbaum, Hospital Senior Vice President; David P. Seifert, President of St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Alexian Brothers Hospital and St. Clement Health Services, James R. Hardman, President and CEO of Unity Health; and Brother Edward Walsh, Provincial of the Alexian Brothers of America.

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Celebration of Ministry of Prayer Service, 1998

Dr. Donal Richardson (far right), President of the Medical Staff and Sister Mary Roch (2nd from right), President of Sisters of Mercy Health System, participate in the program making the transition.

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Celebration of Ministry Values Presentation, 1998

James R. Hardman (right), President and CEO of Unity Health, receives from Glenn Appelbaum, Hospital Senior Vice President, the core values of the Alexian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy during the Celebration of Ministry.

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Alexian Brothers St. Louis Community, 1998

Pictured from left to right (top row) Brother John Grider, Brother Dan Pisano, Brother Warren Longo, Brother Richard Dube, Brother Richard Lowe, Brother Thomas Keusenkothen. Bottom Row: Brother Albert Luchterhand, Brother Bernard Riley, and Brother Edward Yochim.

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1999 – 2012


Physician Recognition Dinner, 2003

St. Alexius physician Recognition Dinner held annually. Doug Doris, CEO of St. Alexius, presents Dr. Madrid, general surgeon, with plaque honoring his Medical Executive service.

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St. Alexius Celebration of Transition to Success Healthcare, 2009

Bob Adcock, CEO of St. Alexius, listens intently to Jay Mahadevan, M.D. at Cardwells on February 19, 2009 St. Alexius Hospital sponsorship transitioned to Success Healthcare.

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St. Alexius Auxiliary’s Diamond Anniversary, 2011

Brother Warren Longo and Auxiliary President Trudy Jung hosted the 60th anniversary of the Auxiliary on September 13, 2011.  St. Alexius employees gather behind and offer a warm “thank you” to all those volunteers that have volunteered for the hospital.

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Physician’s Winter Gala, 2012

St. Alexius management takes time to pose at the 2012 Physician’s Gala on January 20, 2012. That night a sudden frost hit St. Louis but it did not stop our physician’s and St. Alexius’ management team from dancing to Everyday People, a local band. Seated left to right is Lisa Moylan, Cheryl Johnson, Susan Bruns, Caroline McHaney, Kathy Chkautovich, Carol Manderschied, Rose Crimi, Kerrie Warne. Top row left to right are Cathy Cancienne, Don Ryan, Sheila Milam, Joyce Peronne, Brian Dunn, Carmela, Peter Baronoff, Michael Motte, Pam Cook, Delilah Wilkes, Bob Ellis, Matt Brandt.

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St. Alexius Gathers for Diversity, 2012

Staff, physicians, friends and families gathered on January 16th, 2012 to celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  James Knight, M.D. eloquently spoke during the ceremony.

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Apostolic Visit of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to St. Alexius Hospital, 2012

A Eucharistic Celebration, Mass of the Holy Spirit, was presided by his Excellency Robert J. Carlson on March 21, 2012. The Celebration was held in the Chapel of St. Alexius. Pictured (left to right) is Michael Motte, CEO; Brother Warren Longo, Board Member; Brother Richard Lowe; Archbishop Robert J. Carlson; Brian Dunn, CEO of Success Healthcare; Lisa Moylan, CNO; Greg Becker, M.D. , Chief of Staff; Kathy Chkautovich, Director of Quality & Risk Management; Matt Brandt, CFO.

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