Health System History

In April of 1897, the Springfield Hospital and Training School was founded under the auspices of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church. Within two years, a wing was added, expanding from 12 to 45 beds and in 1904 a second wing was constructed. The by-laws of the institution were amended in 1931, changing the charter a general non-denominational hospital, with the community assuming operation and control of the hospital.

pic-early-classIn 1941 the corporate name was changed to Memorial Hospital of Springfield. In response to community need, and following a $1 million fundraising campaign, a 270-bed structure was completed at the corner of First and Miller Streets in 1943. In January, 1974, the hospital was renamed Memorial Medical Center.

A nursing education unit, containing classrooms and laboratories, was added in 1954. In 1958, the seven-story addition, known as the A building, was completed and opened for patient use and as a residence for student nurses. A separate nursing education building with classrooms and dormitories was completed in January, 1966. Anticipating future needs, the B building was completed in the early summer of 1968, making Memorial a modern, 600-bed hospital.

pic-archive_1921 In 1970, Memorial Hospital of Springfield signed an affiliation agreement with Southern Illinois University (SIU) to provide clinical training for the students of the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

In January, 1974, the hospital was renamed Memorial Medical Center. The new role as a clinical teaching center for medical students precipitated affiliations with Sangamon State University and Lincoln Land Community College to provide clinical training for various Nursing programs. While the last graduates of Memorial's School of Nursing received their diplomas in 1975, the medical center continues to provide teaching facilities for area colleges and universities.

The Memorial Medical Center Foundation was established in 1981 to promote charitable support for health care in the Springfield community. The Foundation sponsors community health education and screening programs and plays a pivotal role in contributing to technology and service improvements at the medical center.

pic-archive_1945 In 1984 a state-of-the-art cardiac surgery facility and expanded cardiology suites were completed.

To provide a continuum of care, the Memorial Health System was formed in 1981. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Central Illinois became a part of Memorial Health System in 1984, offering a complete range of nursing services, therapies and social services in the home. In 1986, Memorial Health System formed Memorial HomeCare to offer a resource for a variety of durable medical equipment and professional services for patients at home.

In 1991, Memorial completed a building replacement program housing the Regional Cancer Center, sixteen surgery suites, a general medical patient unit and a new main lobby and admitting area for the medical center.

In 1992, Memorial's ambulatory nephrology center was completed, consolidating ambulatory nephrology services into one building, providing added convenience for Memorial's dialysis patients.

To meet the community's growing need for outpatient services, Memorial and a group of private developers completed an ambulatory services development in January of 1993. Designed for easy access and convenience, the Baylis Medical Building houses Memorial's outpatient laboratory, x-ray and other diagnostic services, Day Surgery Center and Rehabilitation Center.

In 1994, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Illinois joined Memorial Health System. In addition, Memorial formed Healthcare Network Associates (HCNA), a network of physician practices throughout the region. In January 2009, our primary care network was renamed Memorial Physician Services (MPS). MPS includes over 40 physicians, 10 nurse practitioners and a physician assistant serving patients in 11 locations.

Memorial Health System became a co-sponsor of St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville in 1995, and the sole sponsor in 2007, when the hospital was renamed Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

In 1996, the Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois became an affiliate of Memorial Health System, later forming the Memorial Behavioral Health Group in 1997. In 1999, Memorial completed the Koke Mill Medical Center, an outpatient facility housing primary care physician practices, Memorial UrgentCare, Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Illinois and a number of ancillary services including laboratory, x-ray, mammography, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and SportsCare of Illinois.

In April 2014, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville joined the health system as a full affiliate.

For more information regarding the history of Memorial, please contact the Memorial Health System Archives at 217-788-4467, or contact us.