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History

Serving the Greater St. Louis Area Since 1866

St. Luke's history of patient care excellence reaches back more than 150 years when a group of concerned Episcopalians and physicians looked to further the work of the church and help meet the healthcare needs of the people of St. Louis.

St. Luke's Hospital admitted its first patient on February 28, 1866 in its original location near present-day Interstate 55 and Russell Boulevard. The 25-room infirmary consisted of eight medical staff members.

Joined in ministry by the Presbyterians in 1948, St. Luke's is part of the healing ministry of the Episcopal and Presbyterian (USA) churches.

St. Luke's celebrates Founders' Day each February 28 by remembering its heritage and honoring its founders. To commemorate the day, St. Luke's reaffirms its mission of healing, which grounds all the services it provides.

The hospital celebrates its rich history every day by continuing to expand its healing presence in an effort to improve the health of the community in body, mind and spirit.
From a Single Hospital Location to an Advanced Network of Care
In 1881, St. Louis philanthropist Henry Shaw donated $5,000 and land at the corner of 19th and Washington Streets for St. Luke's second location. The new hospital operated for about 21 years before moving locations and opening its doors on Delmar Boulevard in 1904, the same year as the World's Fair in St. Louis.

In 1975, St. Luke's West opened in Chesterfield, and in 1985, all operations were moved to the Chesterfield campus.

In 2018, St. Luke's acquired St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital to create an even stronger healthcare network prepared to improve the quality of life for its patients and the community far into the future.

Today, St. Luke's provides healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its main hospital campus in Chesterfield, St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital and more than 30 other locations throughout the greater St. Louis area.
Innovation and Milestones
Through the decades, St. Luke's has remained a healthcare leader. Some highlights of St. Luke's innovative care include:
  • St. Luke's admitted its first patient on February 28, 1866 at its original location near present-day Interstate 55 and Russell Boulevard. The 25-room infirmary consisted of eight medical staff members, while family and friends provided nursing care.
  • In August 1866, St. Luke's began providing free treatment to patients during a cholera epidemic. In its first 12 years, St. Luke's treated more than 7,000 patients free of charge.
  • In 1973, the St. Louis area's first hyperbaric chamber was installed at St. Luke's. It is a type of therapy in which patients are placed under increased atmospheric pressure while breathing 100 percent oxygen.
  • The first St. Luke's Urgent Care Center opened in 1982.
  • In 1889, the St. Luke's School of Nursing was established. Until it closed in 1988, it had been the oldest nursing school in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River.
  • The Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Desloge, Jr. Outpatient Center opened offering convenient, expanded outpatient services.
  • Open Upright MRI of Missouri opened in 2014 with first-of-its-kind imaging technology in the state.
  • St. Luke's opened its eighth urgent care center in 2015.
  • In 2016, the St. Luke's Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute announced its alliance with Cleveland Clinic's Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.
  • In 2018, St. Luke's acquired St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital.
Today, St. Luke's is nationally-recognized for quality care, patient satisfaction and more. Learn more about St. Luke's awards, honors and distinctions
150 Years of Excellence
In 2016, St. Luke's Hospital celebrated its past accomplishments while it looked ahead to the future. The historic year provided the opportunity for St. Luke's to commemorate 150 years of medical innovation and exceptional care for its patients and their families. Thanks to the hospital's talented colleagues and generous family of supporters, St. Luke's has set the standard for medical excellence not only in St. Louis but nationally. The hallmark of St. Luke's has always been its ability to deliver quality, personalized healthcare with compassion. View the 150th history display.

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