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Heritage & History

The healthcare ministry of St. Joseph Health embodies a powerful legacy of caring. Since 1936, we’ve cared for generations of residents of the Brazos Valley. As the major healthcare referral center for the region, St. Joseph Health has consistently responded to the community's needs by providing comprehensive, quality healthcare.

1930s The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio purchased the Bryan Hospital in 1936 was renamed the facility St. Joseph Hospital.

1950s By 1950, Administrator Sister Sebastian decided that more hospital beds were needed and an expansion discovery to meet those needs began with the newly formed Lay Advisory Board. On April 4, 1953, groundbreaking ceremonies were held and construction began on a new wing, which would provide 60 additional beds. The completed three-story addition was dedicated in the presence of Venerable Mother M. Adelaide on her eightieth birthday, October 10, 1954.

1960s St. Joseph Hospital received its first Accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals in 1961.The first full-time radiologist was added to the hospital staff in 1963. Until then, a part-time radiologist traveled from Austin to Bryan one afternoon each week to interpret x-rays. A full-time pathologist joined the medical staff in 1964, greatly enhancing the hospital's ability to serve the community's medical needs. The Sisters decided to relocate the hospital to the new “Medical Complex” being developed by local doctors on Villa Maria Road. This is the current location of the hospital. Studies indicated that the existing 106 beds would need to be nearly doubled by 1970 to meet the area's growing hospital needs. The study further found that an additional 100 beds would be needed by 1978. A three-phase plan was developed that would eventually yield a 300-bed hospital.

1970s In April 1971, St. Joseph Hospital moved from its home of nearly four decades to its present facility on Franciscan Drive. With three stories and 148 beds, the new St. Joseph Hospital represented a major step forward for the local medical community. For the next decade, this facility was able to meet the needs of our community.

1980s With changing medical and scientific technology and growth in the community, the hospital faced another expansion effort in the early 1980's.The first area of the hospital where expansion was needed was the nursery. Plans were drawn up in 1980 to expand obstetric services. On December 12, 1982, ground broke on an $8.4 million expansion to include 48 patient care beds and the enlargement of Radiology, Intensive Care Unit, Nursery, Labor & Delivery, Laboratory, Surgery and Emergency Services. In 1987, St. Joseph's growing role in overall healthcare in the Brazos Valley was recognized by updating the hospital's name to St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center. After extensive research, planning and an investment of $4.2 million, St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center became the first in the region to offer comprehensive cardiac services. Phase I of this specialized cardiac care program was the renovation of the cardiac intensive care unit. Phase II, completed in July 1987, was the construction of the only Dedicated Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory within a 90-mile radius. Phase III of the cardiac program was the addition of a cardiac surgical suite, staffed by highly trained nurses, technicians and four cardiovascular surgeons. This area included nearly $400,000 in the latest open-heart surgery.

1990s In 1995, Brazos Valley Cancer Center was purchased and the name changed to St. Joseph Regional Cancer Center. A $5.3 million expansion of the Cancer Center began and included a new linear accelerator and simulator. The Caldwell hospital was leased and the name changed to Burleson St. Joseph Health Center. Normangee St. Joseph Clinic was built in Normangee and Madison County Hospital was purchased and renamed St. Francis Health Center. In 1996, Navasota Hospital was purchased and renamed Grimes St. Joseph Health Center. St. Joseph Regional Rehabilitation Center opened in 1997. In 1998, St. Joseph Services Corporation became known as St. Joseph Health System and St. Francis Health Center in Madisonville changed its name to Madison St. Joseph Health Center. St. Joseph Health System opened both St. Joseph Manor and Burleson St. Joseph Manor in June of 1999. St. Joseph Manor offered Assisted Living, intermediate nursing unit and an Alzheimer's unit. Burleson St. Joseph Manor was a 96-bed intermediate nursing care facility.

2000s In 2002, St. Joseph Regional Health Center broke ground on a 4-story tower addition that added a 36-bed critical care unit, a 36-bed medical surgical unit, and an outpatient services area. Express Care opened its first location in South College Station in 2008 and the following year, the first freestanding Emergency Center in Bryan-College Station was opened. St. Joseph Physician Associates officially formed in 2009 as well as the first employed physician group in the Brazos Valley.

In 2013, Bellville General Hospital joined St. Joseph Health System. With the transition, Bellville St. Joseph became a Catholic-sponsored hospital. Later in 2013, St. Joseph Regional Health Center was verified as a Level II Trauma Center, the highest level in a nine-county region.

St. Joseph Health System signed a letter of agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives in 2014. In 2015, a partnership between St. Joseph Health System and Texas A&M Health Science Center formed with the Mature Well Senior Lifestyle Center project. In the spring of 2016, ground broke on that center. Additionally in 2016, a 24,500-square-foot brand new Emergency & Trauma Center opened the doors.


St. Joseph Health is part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2018, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of $29.2 billion and provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at

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