Published in the Southern Cross on February 2, 2017.
New expansion opens at Saint Joseph's/Candler Hospital in Savannah
SAVANNAH--The ongoing Catholic mission of compassionate medical care surrounds and pervades the new entry and atrium at Saint Joseph’s/Candler Hospital in Savannah. A life-sized statue of Christ stands with open arms as visitors and patients approach the new hospital entrance. Back lit stained glass windows placed high in the wide open foyer overlook the registry desk and waiting area. A rose window 10 feet in diameter stands to the left of the entrance. Its center is the rose window previously in the Mercy Chapel on the grounds.
The 17,000 square foot expansion includes a new addition to the Emergency Department (ED) by 14,815 square feet. The number of rooms, once renovation of the existing ED is complete, will increase from 24 to 33. There is a crucifix hanging prominently in the new larger ED rooms.
Paul P. Hinchey, CEO/president of the Saint Joseph’s/Candler hospital system in Savannah, said, “There are over 400 crucifixes hanging in the hospital.”
The hospital was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1845. Their mission continues today in the Saint/Joseph Candler hospital system. Hinchey said, “There are 15 sisters of Mercy on staff, paid active staff here at Saint Joseph’s. We have more religious working here than at any other hospital in the country."
Description of the rose window's panels (clockwise from its top):
—The Sisters of Mercy arrive in Savannah in 1845 establishing Saint Vincent’s Academy as an orphanage and a school.
—ln 1875, the Sisters are asked to assist with the care of sick seaman at the Forest City Marine Hospital on East Broad and Gordon Streets.
— Later in 1875, the Sisters move hospital operations to the site of the Georgia Medical College building on Taylor and Habersham Street renaming it Saint Joseph’s Infirmary.
— Shortly after beginning operations as Saint Joseph’s Hospital, the Sisters of Mercy cared for the city’s sick and dying during the Yellow Fever Epidemics of the mid to late 1870s.
—Generations were educated by the Sisters of Mercy, who founded and staffed several local parochial schools, as well as an orphanage at Saint Mary’s Home on Victory Drive.
—Limited and landlocked in downtown Savannah, Saint Joseph’s Hospital moved to its current location on Mercy Boulevard in 1970.
—In 1997, Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital signed a joint operating agreement and formed the region’s largest health system: Saint Joseph’s/Candler.
—The indelible spirit and works of Mercy are represented by the organization’s foundress Catherine McAuley, while the ties that bind the Sisters to our community are depicted by the endless interwoven bands of the Celtic knot, also an homage to their Irish lineage.