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PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center to celebrate 100 years of service


February 15, 2023

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - February 22, 2023, will mark the 100th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace’s caring service to Ketchikan. On February 22, 1923, Bishop Joseph Crimont dedicated the Little Flower Hospital in Ketchikan to serve all members of the community, including Alaska Natives. "Little Flower" was the name of St. Terese, the patron saint of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, the order than "ran" the hospital for the Catholic Church. The hospital was dedicated in her honor but records are unclear if it was officially known as Little Flower Hospital. The hospital was also known as Ketchikan Hospital and General Hospital. The old building on Bawden Street deteriorated over the years and was demolished in 2013.

jpg PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center to celebrate 100 years of service

Little Flower Hospital, aka Ketchikan Hospital, built in 1923; replaced in 1963.
Photo courtesy KMC & Ketchikan Museums: Tongass Historical Society

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center stated in a news release, for 100 years, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace have brought compassionate care to the First City. Now known as PeaceHealth, the organization remains committed to serving southern Southeast Alaska with the same courageous compassion of our founding Sisters.

As PeaceHealth marks 100 years of excellence in healthcare in Ketchikan, the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center acknowledges the countless people and entities that have made this hospital and our community thrive. PeaceHealth Ketchikan caregivers are the backbone of PeaceHealth's work. Quoting a news release, the commitment each extends to caring for members of our community has made Ketchikan a better place to live.

jpg Early Days: Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

Early Days: Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
Photo courtesy PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

While the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace advocated for the latest technology and training, the Ketchikan community continually stepped up to raise the funds necessary. Philanthropic giving has consistently provided Ketchikan with some of the best technology and equipment available for a community of our size. Time after time, Ketchikan has been praised for is exceptional care, stated the news release.

The City of Ketchikan has been an instrumental partner in ensuring safe, compassionate care is available to the local population. The City of Ketchikan built and owns the current medical center facility operated by PeaceHealth, which first opened in 1963. Over the past 60 years, the City of Ketchikan has remained central to the provision of quality healthcare to Ketchikan through the maintenance and expansion of the hospital and clinics. In 2021, PeaceHealth and the City of Ketchikan signed a new lease outlining responsibilities between the entities and solidifying that continued relationship.

jpg Today's PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center's entrance

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center's entrance.
In its new location, the building was known as Ketchikan General Hospital. The name was later changed in 2011 to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. In  1963, the city of Ketchikan built this new hospital facility and leased the property to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center (KMC), is owned by the City of Ketchikan, and currently operated by PeaceHealth through a twenty (20) year lease agreement signed September 2021 that will expire September 30, 2041.
Photo courtesy PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

jpg The latest expansion project added to the existing building was built in 2016.

The latest expansion project added to the existing building was built in 2016. The 72,000-square-foot addition, built at a cost of more than $60+ million, includes three new operating rooms to replace outdated ones, expanded room for pre- and postsurgical care, more clinical office space and additional parking. The hospital building is owned by the City of Ketchikan, which funded the majority of the expansion's $60+ million construction cost.

In celebration of the deep relationship between the community and PeaceHealth, the Ketchikan Medical Center invites the community to participate in several community-wide activities:

  • View the documentary premiering on February 22, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. on KPUtv channel 611 and later online on Ketchikan Medical Center's Facebook and YouTube.

  • Join PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center for Museum Midday on April 6, 2023 at the Tongass Historical Museum.

  • Stop by the Ketchikan medical center to view our historic display to be installed later in the spring.

  • Mark your calendars for August 11, 2023 for a community BBQ co-hosted with the City of Ketchikan.

  • Follow PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center on for historic posts and activity updates.

About PeaceHealth:

PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

PeaceHealth has more than 15,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and states it continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center


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