TYLER, TX – In 1937, as America was struggling through the Great
Depression, a small group of dedicated women from the Catholic order of
the Sisters of The Holy Family of Nazareth committed to bring a modern
hospital to Tyler. Mother Frances Hospital was scheduled to open on
March 19. The opening day dedication that was planned never happened.
Mother Frances was called on to open one day early to care for victims
of the New London school disaster.
Nearby, the staff of the Bryant Clinic, which later became Trinity
Clinic, also responded to treat the injured. Almost 300 children,
teachers and townspeople were killed by the blast and hundreds of the
wounded were brought to Mother Frances Hospital for treatment.
Trinity Mother Frances and representatives of the New London Museum
collaborated on a video story in observance of the anniversary. The
video can be viewed at www.tmfhc.org/newlondonstory.
Numerous expansions and additions over the last seven and one-half
decades have turned the once modest hospital and small clinic into Smith
County’s largest employer and one of the highest rated integrated
health systems in the United States.
Mother Frances Hospital and Trinity Clinic are part of Trinity Mother
Frances Hospitals and Clinics, which employs over 4,000 and includes six
hospitals and 36 clinics with over 300 physicians and mid-level
providers located throughout the region.
In observance of the anniversary, Trinity Mother Frances will host
events on March 18, 19 and 24. On March 18, a special Mass will be held
at 9 a.m. in the chapel on the campus of Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.
On March 19, David M. Brown, co-author of the recently published Gone
at 3:17 (The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American
History), a book that chronicles the New London School explosion and
Mother Frances Hospital’s role in treating the injured, will hold a
public book signing in the lobby of Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.
Jimmie Jordan Robinson, a survivor of the blast, is scheduled to
On March 24, a public celebration is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. at Trinity
Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Health information, games and giveaways are
included for all age groups.
Additional private events are scheduled for employees, staff and New
London citizens and survivors.
“Mother Frances Hospital opened its doors a day ahead of schedule to
care for the victims of the explosion,” said Lindsey Bradley, FACHE,
president of Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. “There is
an unbreakable bond that will forever be shared by the people of New
London and everyone at Trinity Mother Frances. We are honored that
survivors and representatives of the New London Museum will be with us
to observe the 75th anniversary.”
“The staff of the Bryant Clinic also responded to the needs of those
devastated by the New London blast, and today the physicians and
clinicians of Trinity Clinic are still serving the needs of East Texans.
We are blessed to be 75 years strong,” said Steven P. Keuer, MD,
president and chief medical officer, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals
A Polish noblewoman, Frances Siedliska, who became the namesake of the
hospital, founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth in
1875. Born to a cultured and wealthy family near Warsaw in 1842, she
felt called to dedicate her life to God in the service of others. Known
in religious life as Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Mother
Frances gathered together other young women to found an order, which
spread quickly throughout the world. In 1885, Mother Frances traveled
with 11 other Polish Sisters to Chicago, founding a hospital and schools
in the Polish community there. The Sisters came to Texas in 1927 to
teach in schools and care for the sick. It was in 1937 that the Sisters
of the Holy Family of Nazareth came to Tyler from the Sacred Heart
Province in Chicago to open Mother Frances Hospital.
HISTORIC DATES IN THE HISTORY OF MOTHER FRANCES HOSPITAL
Community leaders and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth create
Tyler’s first and only hospital. Doors open a day early on March 18 to
treat hundreds of seriously wounded teachers and children after an
explosion destroys New London School about 25 miles southeast of Tyler.
During World War II, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth at
Mother Frances Hospital provide care to the community, welcome home
returning soldiers and plan for the future.
A new $500,000 four-story wing was dedicated, more than doubling the
size of Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler from 60 to 150 beds. $200,000 in
new equipment is also installed.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler is designated a regional polio treatment
center. A special isolation ward was established, with iron lung
therapy. Victims of infantile paralysis from a 100-mile radius were
treated at the hospital’s special unit.
The only electro-encephalograph in East Texas is installed at Mother
Frances Hospital-Tyler. An advanced diagnostic aid, the new technology
measures brain waves in response to stimuli.
The Ford Foundation awards Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler a grant to add
a laboratory, diagnostic and treatment services, new delivery rooms and
provides air conditioning for the first floor of the hospital.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler receives JCAHO full accreditation. A
total of 55,580 patients have been admitted since the hospital’s
opening in 1937. The hospital adds new departments and services
including a pharmacy, psychiatry and improved diagnostic and treatment
1,376 children in Smith County receive their first Salk vaccine polio
Mother Frances Hospital Auxiliary and the Mother Frances Hospital
School of Vocational Nursing are founded.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler launches the Junior Volunteer Program,
called “Sweethearts and Beaux,” for students 14 to 16 years old.
October 5-12, Tyler celebrates Mother Frances Hospital Week in honor of
the dedication of a new 140,000 square-foot wing added on the north side
of the hospital. The $4.5 million project includes renovation of
existing facilities and increases the number of hospital beds to 240.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler develops an ICU/Cardiac Care Unit to meet
the needs of the growing region. The Cardiac Care Unit is one of the
first of its kind in the U.S.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler installs nuclear X-ray equipment,
becoming the first in the area to utilize nuclear medicine in the
Telemetry is added to monitor heart patients at Mother Frances
Hospital-Tyler and ultrasound capability is added to the special
procedures and X-ray areas.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler expands obstetric facilities and
education and allows husbands in delivery rooms for the first time.
Arthroscopic knee surgery was first offered at Mother Frances
Hospital-Tyler, using a new $30,000 camera and equipment to assist
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler is granted approval by the Texas Health
Facilities Commission to provide open-heart surgery.
First catheterization is performed in the new cardiac cath lab. The
first open-heart surgery in Tyler is performed at Mother Frances
Hospital-Tyler on a 63-year-old patient who undergoes quadruple bypass
Mother Frances Hospital Maternal Child Service Center opens, adding a
20,000 square-foot Alternative Birthing Center with a home-like
environment for low-risk patients; newborn nursery; and new labor and
delivery rooms for normal and high-risk obstetrics.
Dedication of a new 175,000 square-foot patient tower brings Mother
Frances Hospital’s capacity to 358 beds. Renovations and additions
include an 8,000 square-foot expansion to the emergency center and new
regional cardiovascular center.
One hundred open heart surgeries are performed at Mother Frances
Hospital-Tyler in the first six months the procedure is available.
Trinity Mother Frances Foundation is organized to create an opportunity
to share its programs, services and activities with the community.
Flight For Life emergency air transport services begin, bringing
emergency helicopter service to parts of the region.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) advanced diagnostic equipment is added
at Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.
Tyler Square Day Surgery Unit opens. The 13,000 square-foot facility is
the only one of its kind in the area and one of only 300 similar
facilities in the U.S.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler is named one of the Children’s Miracle
Network hospitals and participates in its first CMN telethon.
Trinity Mother Frances opens its first regional medical clinic in
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler is named 1989 Business of the Year by the
Texas Association of Businesses.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler is recognized by The Wall Street Journal
as one of the Top Ten Hospitals in the country, with the lowest
mortality rate for open heart surgery – less than one percent.
The Trinity Mother Frances Heart Institute opens a new outpatient
cardiac cath lab facility.
Groundbreaking takes place for the new physician’s clinic site on
East Douglas Street. The $6.3 million facility is now known as Trinity
Clinic - Douglas.
The Children’s Center, a new 21-bed pediatric unit, opens on the
third floor of Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.
The Royce E. Wisenbaker Conference Center and Wisenbaker Diabetes
Center are dedicated.
Trinity Mother Frances creates the FamilyCARE Center to meet the needs
of medically underserved women and children in Tyler and Smith County,
providing obstetric and pediatric services to patients. The Center is
recognized in 1997 by the Texas Hospital Association with the Excellence
in Community Service award for its dramatic impact on obstetrical care
in Smith County.
The historic merger of Trinity Clinic with Mother Frances Hospital
creates Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, uniting the
region’s largest group of primary care physicians with the area’s
leading hospital. The new integrated healthcare system, only the third
of its kind in Texas, has led to expanded service and value to patients
throughout the region, more access to services and to a greater focus on
wellness and prevention.
Trinity Mother Frances opens the first of six Ross Breast Center
facilities, providing the first and only comprehensive breast cancer
facility in the region.
Trinity Mother Frances, Good Shepherd Medical Center and Memorial
Health System of East Texas partner to form Champion EMS, which provides
emergency transport services to an expanded area in East Texas.
Trinity Mother Frances is named one of the “Best in the US” for
Trinity Mother Frances is named a “Top 100 Health System” in the US
Trinity Mother Frances is named a “Top 100 Hospital for Stroke
Management,” one of only seven hospitals in Texas and the only one in
East Texas to receive this honor.
Trinity Mother Frances-Jacksonville opens. The facility serves Cherokee
County and the surrounding area with a 101,000 square-foot medical
complex, housing spacious private patient rooms where highly skilled
healthcare providers utilize the latest technology in both inpatient and
Trinity Clinic - Athens, a new $1.8 million, 14,725 square-foot
facility, opens to better serve Athens and Henderson County.
Trinity Mother Frances combines sports and orthopedic services under
one roof at HealthPark Plaza, located at 1327 Troup Highway in Tyler,
offering a convenient location for patients to access services.
The Ornelas Tower opens. The facility adds 152 new private patient
rooms and 16 new surgical suites with the latest technology for cardiac
Trinity Mother Frances breaks ground on a multi-physician medical
complex north of Interstate 20 on Highway 69 in Lindale offering primary
care, urgent care, fitness facilities, laboratory, imaging, mammography,
cardiac stress testing, cardiac and physical rehabilitation and sleep
Trinity Mother Frances-Canton moves to an expanded new facility to
better serve patients in the region through primary care, urgent care,
fitness facilities, laboratory, imaging, mammography, cardiac stress
testing, cardiac and physical rehabilitation and sleep studies.
Trinity Mother Frances is the first in the region to launch the
life-saving heart attack protocol, Code STEMI (ST-segment Elevation
Myocardial Infarction), to reduce time between transport and treatment
of acute heart attack victims.
Thomson Reuters names Mother Frances one of the U.S.’s 100 Top
Trinity Mother Frances opens the first of six sleep centers to address
Trinity Mother Frances opens the first and only Level IIIA Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Tyler, offering close-to-home advanced
life-saving medical care to at-risk infants.
Trinity Mother Frances-Lake Palestine opens, offering primary care,
urgent care, fitness facilities, laboratory, imaging, mammography,
cardiac stress testing, cardiac and physical rehabilitation and sleep
The Texas Department of State Health Services designates Mother Frances
Hospital-Tyler as a Primary (Level II) Stroke Facility.
Trinity Mother Frances welcomes Winnsboro into the family of community
hospitals by opening a new Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro campus.
Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler receives Chest Pain Center
Mother Frances is named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by
Trinity Mother Frances opens Phase One of the Louis and Peaches Owen
Heart Hospital, the first and only freestanding heart hospital in the
Trinity Mother Frances opens the Epilepsy Center as the region’s only
continuous inpatient monitoring unit, to provide comprehensive care for
patients with seizure disorders.
Trinity Mother Frances breaks ground on the region’s first
freestanding heart hospital, Phase Two of The Louis and Peaches Owen
Trinity Mother Frances opens the Outpatient Imaging Center at
Mother Frances is named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by
The Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital receives a three-star rating in
cardiac surgical care from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Trinity Mother Frances begins implementing a new system-wide Electronic
Health Record System, ConnectCARE, which offers seamless access to
information, enhancing efficiency as well as patient safety and
IMS ranks Trinity Mother Frances 16th in the US and 1st in Texas on the
list of Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks.
About Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes The Louis &
Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother
Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro,
Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with
HealthSouth, Tyler ContinueCARE Hospital, a long-term acute care
facility, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred
multispecialty medical group, with over 300 physicians and mid- level
providers representing 38 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving
East Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity
Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit tmfhc.org.