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Posted on Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 10:48 a.m.

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor celebrates 100th birthday Sunday

By Lisa Carolin


The Sisters in 1917

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital

The changes at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor in the last century have transformed the facility from a small structure at the corner of State and Kingsley streets to a campus of buildings that covers more than 350 acres in Superior Township.

On Sunday, Oct. 2 from 1-3 p.m., St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a tour of its farm, indoor garden, chapel, heritage exhibit and more.

"It's the one time to come to the hospital and not have anything that hurts ," said Rob Casalou, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Livingston and Saline.

The original St. Joseph's Sanitarium was started by four sisters of Mercy from Dubuque, Iowa in 1911. A new hospital was opened in 1914 on Ingalls Street in Ann Arbor. It wasn't until 1977 that the hospital moved to Superior Township.

Casalou says that despite tough economic times, St. Joe's Health Care Systems created reserves that have allowed major expenditures in the last five years such as the new patient towers with new operating rooms, the St. Joe's Market Cafe, and the Inspirit Salon & Spa. The St. Joseph Health Care System is part of Trinity Health, which is based in Novi, and is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the U.S.


The current main entrance to the hospital.

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital

In addition to tours Sunday of many of the hospital's new areas, there will also be a classic and antique car show, free seated massages from Inspirit Salon & Spa, and food sampling at the new St. Joe's Market Cafe, which opened in early September. It's actually the hospital's cafeteria, and it now offers healthier foods.

The campus includes a working farm and hoop houses that grow year-round. Casalou said it's all part of the plan to improve the hospital's environment for patients, visitors and employees.

"In 1911, they could not have imagined what it would be like today, and we can't imagine what it will be like 100 years from now," he said.

Lisa Carolin is a freelance reporter for Reach the news desk at



Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:06 a.m.

Congrats Michigan, the largest catholic healthcare system in the US just signed an affiliation agreement with the UM healthcare system and will now have the right to limit the healthcare services for more people. The healthcare services/treatment of women and their families are now subject to to Catholic tenets which will denied fertility services, end-of-life decisions, contraception, abortion and sterilization. Some won't even perform treatment after a miscarriage or tubal ligation after a C-section. What about the people who work for St. Joe who are non-Catholic and people who are non-Catholics? I have seen zero comment from the UM Heath System about how this will be addressed. I doubt if the reporters at this newspaper even attempted to get answers. Read the NYTimes article about hospitals with religious affiliations and how services are compromised....scary stuff. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

I just read an article about a hospital, I think New York somewhere, that was run entirely by the Catholic nuns and some clergy. This one lady just retired and was the last to be a part of an ever changing medical system. If I remember correctly the hospital went from nuns to regular workers all within a hundred years. The last of her kind said it is not what she remembers. I hate to say it, but nurses are not what they use to be either. Now with UM hospital nurses demanding more money nursing care isn't what it use to be. Nurses should be nurses and not be greedy about pay and everything else. Sad state of affairs.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Could we see some pictures of the previous facilities? I'm aware of two but one of the commenters also mentioned an &quot;interim&quot; facility. Pictures, please!


Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Happy Birthday, St. Joes!


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

party, party, party

Bob Bethune

Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

I guess I'm being peevish, but describing this facility as an &quot;Ann Arbor&quot; hospital just bugs me. OK, it started here. It was here for a long time. That was then; this is now. It's no longer in Ann Arbor and hasn't been for thirty years. Enough is enough.


Sun, Oct 2, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

enjoy your peave


Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

How about the rotating parking structuer at the old hospital? I did not see a picture of that any where.......


Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

What about the &quot;interim&quot; (?) St. Joe's building erected in the late 1950s? Three of my children were born there. How about a picture of *that* - and also one of the charming old entrance at the State and Kingsley building, where my first child was born?


Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

Hate to say it, gone with the nuns and the health care system.