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People and organizations
Corporate body · 1930-1990

In 1930, the Sisters of St. Joseph opened Killam General Hospital, which remained open the longest of the four hospitals which they started in Alberta. Two years later, St. Paul's Hospital began in Rimbey. The hospital in Stettler had opened in 1926 and closed a year later, while the hospital in Galahad had opened in 1926.

In 1930, the F. E. Nichol home was purchased by the Sisters for the construction of the hospital in Killam. At this time, there were no grants from the provincial government for the construction or operation of the hospital. Killam General Hospital was given this name to demonstrate that all patients would be treated, no matter with which religion they were affiliated. Sister Jane Frances O'Rourke took charge of the hospital soon after opening. Sister Loyola Donovan followed as Superior and Administrator. In 1945, the hospital had 15 beds.

By 1946, the people in the community had observed for some time that a larger hospital was needed, and thus a wing was added to the hospital. In 1958, the Alberta Hospitalization Plan was put in place, and the Killam General Hospital was one of the first of Alberta's voluntary hospitals to adopt the idea of inviting lay persons of the community to help with hospital management.

In 1959, Sister Mary Lourdes Therens became the new administrator for the hospital. In 1963, during her time as administrator, a new hospital, chapel and residence for the Sisters was opened.

The Flagstaff Beaver Auxiliary Hospital was built and originally owned by the county, which had wanted a long-term care hospital. It was a separate corporation with its own board of directors.The county asked Sister Lourdes and Sister St. Bride if they would operate the hospital for the county. They agreed to do so, and it was administered along with Killam General Hospital as one facility but two separate corporations. There was an Administrator who was a Sister who oversaw a Director of Nurses position in each hospital. These positions were also filled by Sisters. The Auxiliary Hospital and General Hospital were connected by a corridor with double doors that were always left open. The Convent was also attached to the building. The Auxiliary Hospital shared the kitchen and boiler system with the General Hospital and the county paid a certain amount for this shared usage. The lab and x-ray departments were shared between the hospitals, and patients from the General Hospital went to the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments which were at the Auxiliary Hospital. The Auxiliary Hospital provided long-term care and was known as the geriatric wing. The Auxiliary Hospital had 50 beds, and the Killam General Hospital had a small nursery.

In 1970, Sister Mary Kevin Moran became the new administrator for the complex. There was some lobbying for the Killam General Hospital to be turned over to the county, but the Sisters resisted this for twelve years. In the end, the county turned the Auxiliary Hospital over to the Killam General hospital.

The Killam General Hospital was in operation from 1930-1990 under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1990, the Sisters withdrew from operation of the Killam General and Flagstaff Beaver Auxiliary Hospitals. In 1990, the hospitals were renamed the Killam Hospital Complex. At this point, the hospitals had 30 active beds and 150 chronic beds. In 2002, ownership was transferred to Alberta Catholic Health Corporation. The Convent was rented to home care for five years and is now also owned by the Alberta Catholic Hospital Corporation. The former Convent houses doctors' offices today. The hospital complex was later named Killam Health Care Centre.

Luney, Frederick Winnett
Person · 1892-1987

Frederick Winnett (F. W.) Luney was the oldest child of Isabella and James S. Luney, born in 1892 in Middlesex, Ontario. He had three younger brothers: Oswald S., Russell H., and Willford R. In 1914, Luney graduated from the medical program at the University of Western Ontario. On May 12, 1916, he enlisted with the Canadian military in the Army Medical Services division, where he held the position of Lieutenant. Dr. Luney served as an intern at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, where he was appointed Senior Pathologist in 1917, a position he held until 1927. He was also appointed to the Institute of Public Health (London, Ontario) in the Division of Pathology and Bacteriology. On June 29, 1918, he married Cora E. Spettigue in London, Ontario. In 1927, Dr. Luney began work at St. Joseph’s Hospital (London, Ontario) as Director of Laboratories. In 1928, he established the Clinical Pathology Laboratory, known later as the Department of Laboratory Medicine (from 1960 to 1986). Dr. Luney was Secretary of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Nominating Committee from 1928 to 1930. From 1929 to 1961, he held the position of Clinical Laboratory Chief. Through experimentation on animals, Dr. Luney made great advances in blood transfusion techniques, and even pioneered a new blood transfusion apparatus, a “two-person multiple syringe” that allowed blood to flow directly from donor to patient. On March 19, 1945, Dr. Luney directed the opening of the Blood Bank Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He placed Sr. Leonarda Kelly, R. T. in charge of the department. Between 1941 and 1942, Dr. Luney was appointed the fourth President of the Ontario Association of Pathologists, a non-profit medical society committed to representing patients and pathologists, and promoting excellence in the practice of pathology. During his tenure at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dr. Luney was a member of the First Library Committee (1931), Chief of Staff (1941-1943, 1952-1954), and a founding member of the Historical Committee (1950). He retired in 1961, after 34 years of medical service. In 1970, Dr. Luney established the Dr. F. W. Luney Fund, donating $5,000 for the purchase of supplies for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Library. In addition to his work at both Victoria and St. Joseph’s, Dr. Luney established private pathology consulting services to smaller medical centres in St. Thomas (Ont.), Tillsonburg (Ont.), Chatham (Ont.), Sarnia (Ont.), and Brantford (Ont.). He was also an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario for 44 years. Dr. Luney died on February, 1987.

McKeough, Katherine Joan
Person · August 21, 1920-April 13, 2006

Katherine Joan McKeough was born on August 21, 1920, in Stratford, Perth County, Ontario, the daughter of Christopher James McKeough and Katherine Mary Devlin. She received her habit on October 15, 1945, at Sacred Heart Convent and took her final vows on January 3, 1951. She was given the religious name Sister Angela Felix and after the Second Vatican Council in 1962, she reverted to her baptismal name.

Sister Angela Felix spent her life in hospital ministry. She then attended the University of Western Ontario in London and earned a diploma in psychiatric nursing and in 1952 was appointed to a supervisory position in psychiatry at St. Joseph’s Hospital, London. She was named an instructor at the School of Nursing in London for two years. In 1956 Sister Angela Felix received a diploma in nursing education and in 1965 completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Then in 1967 she earned a Masters of Science in Adult Psychology at Boston University in Massachusetts. She held other positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London besides clinical supervisor in psychiatry, such as assistant to the executive director and supervisor of patient services. She held memberships in the Ontario Group Psychotherapy Association; the Canadian College of Health Service Executives; the American Society for Hospital Nursing Service and Administration. She served as board member of the London Psychiatric Hospital, the Catholic Hospital Association of Canada, and St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Chatham and Sarnia. She was President of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada from 1985 to 1986, was a member of the Administrative Council of the Catholic Religious Conference and Vice-President of the Catholic Religious Conference of Ontario.

In 1971 Sister Katherine was elected to the General Council of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London and was named coordinator of health care for the Community and in 1979 she was elected General Superior. She died on April 13, 2006.

Moore, Julia
Person · November 30, 1911-October 5th, 1995

Julia Cecilia Moore was born on November 30, 1911, to Francis (Frank) Joseph Moore (d. 1938) and Julia Camilla Coughlin (d. 1965) in St. Thomas, Ontario. Active in the St. Thomas community growing up, Cecilia was a summer lifeguard at Alma College Pool, and served as recreational director at her alma mater, St. Joseph’s High School, during her college years in the 1930’s. Having obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and French from the University of Western Ontario, Cecilia went on to obtain a high school assistant certificate in English and History from the Ontario College of Education in Toronto. Cecilia entered the congregation in London, Ontario in 1935 at Sacred Heart Convent and received the habit and religious name of Sister Julia on August 25th, 1936. She professed her first vows on August 25th, 1938, and her final vows on August 25th, 1941 in the Chapel of Sacred Heart Convent. Sister Julia began teaching at St. Michael’s School in London, with teaching assignments at Roman Catholic high schools in St. Thomas and Sarnia, during which time she completed a Master of Arts Degree in French at Laval University. She eventually became the principal at Catholic Central High School in London. After two years as a principal, Sister Julia was elected General Superior in 1959. She held the position until 1971, then served four years as a General Councilor.

Her leadership had an impact on many aspects of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s involvement in education, health care, social work, retreat work and missions in Peru and Northern Canada. Mother Julia was also named Health Care Coordinator of the community, serving five hospitals and two chronic care hospitals. She was the Superior of the community of Sisters at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and a member of the pastoral care team, during which time she studied theology and scripture during a sabbatical year at Regina Mundi College in Rome. In 1979, Mother Julia returned to Mount St. Joseph where she directed retreats, and served as a spiritual director as well as a historian for the Congregation, and a consultant for the archives department. Mother Julia’s work, Beginnings in London Diocese 1868-1879, was presented to the Canadian Catholic Historical Society in 1978 and published by the London Roman Catholic School Board. Mother Julia died on October 5th, 1995.

Corporate body · July 6, 1993-

In London, the health care complex now known as St. Joseph’s Health Centre (originally St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Marian Villa), was administered by the Sisters until 1993. St. Stephen’s House, a transition home for alcoholics, was run by the Sisters until 2004. In Chatham, St. Joseph’s Hospital was administered by the Sisters until 1993, and since 1998 has been part of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

In January 1995, the Sisters donated their residence at 430 London Road to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Sarnia to be used as a hospice. St. Joseph’s Hospice in London came under the direction of the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society whose expertise in operating the ten-bed hospice in Sarnia was integral to their involvement. A residential facility was opened in 2014.

This shift in hospital control came about in 1987, following the election of a completely new General Council of the Sisters of Joseph, when hospital ownership and sponsorship were raised as key issues. The Society was formed in 1993 in response to a decision made by the Sisters to cease direct administration of the health care institutions founded by them by establishing each of their hospitals as separate corporations and having lay people take over the administration. Therefore, they formed the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society to take up the particular role of Sponsor to ensure the ongoing stewardship of the treasure of Catholic health care into the future. The Society is the overall governing body. It connects the hospitals back to the Church to maintain Catholic identity. It has both canonical and civil law obligations. It governs the hospitals and hospices formerly administered by the Sisters in London as well as hospices in Sarnia, and London. The Society also addresses social and health needs and serves as a catalyst to implement solutions.

St. Joseph’s Health Care Society now administers St. Joseph’s Health Care (London, Ont.), St. Joseph's Hospice of Sarnia and Lambton, and St. Joseph’s Hospice of London.

Some important dates in the history of the transfer of hospital administration:

July 6, 1993: St. Joseph’s Health Care Society formed in London.

1985: Bluewater Health Foundation formed.

January 29, 1998: Signing of Strategic Alliance Agreement between St. Joseph’s Health Care Society on behalf of St. Joseph’s Hospital Sarnia and Sarnia General Hospital. Ownership of hospital later transferred to Lambton Hospitals Group.

February 1, 2018: Chatham Kent Health Alliance formed, amalgamating Sydenham District Hospital, the Public General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham.

The St. Joseph’s Health Care Society is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Society approves the appointment of institutional board members, upper management, and auditors and annual audited financial statements.

The Society is responsible to:
• approve the appointment of board trustees who are committed to the mission and values of St. Joseph’s Health Care Society;
• ensure the provision by board members, staff, and administrators of health and pastoral care services to reflect Roman Catholic values; and
• foster the Catholic Church’s philosophy of health care through sponsorship of a health leadership program.

Corporate body · 1890-1993

In 1890 a meeting was held between Reverend Paul O.F.M of St. Joseph’s Parish Chatham, Reverend Mother Ignatia Campbell, and Mother Aloysia Nigh, along with some of the prominent doctors of Chatham. They decided that the community was in need of a hospital and the sisters agreed to run it. A boarding house, formerly the Salvation Army Barracks, was leased until funds could be secured for a new hospital to be built. The hospital was officially opened in its temporary quarters on October 15, 1890 with Mother Aloysia as its head, assisted by Sisters Francis and Martha. Construction began at the hospital’s long-time site of 519 King Street West on the Thames River with the laying of the cornerstone in 1891. Construction was completed in 1892. Over the years, wings were added onto the hospital to accommodate the growing community of Chatham and, therefore, the growing demand for hospital services.

In 1972, the amalgamation of services occurred between St. Joseph’s Hospital and Public General Hospital as ordered by the Ministry of Health for financial reasons. Legislative changes, increasing government control, and the decline of Sisters in the health care field led to the gradual withdrawal of the Sisters from the hospital. The last year that a sister was a hospital administrator was in 1984. In 1992, the Sisters withdrew from residence at the hospital, and in 1993 the ownership of the hospital was changed over to the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society. The hospital is now Riverview Gardens, a long-term care facility.

Corporate body · 1927-1978

In 1927, following the Congregation of St. Joseph’s exit from Stettler, Alberta, Archbishop Henry Joseph O’Leary decided that a hospital was greatly needed in Galahad, AB. His request for one was granted by the General Superior and her Council, and in 1927, the Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in Galahad, AB. At this time, the only building available to the Sisters was a small 2 story teacherage. The building, which had no plumbing, consisted of only 6 rooms and came with little to no equipment that could be used for medical purposes. The Sisters were thus frequently required to improvise and make-do with what was available. During these early years in Galahad, the government provided no financial aid to the Sisters; consequently, they depended on funding provided to them by the community and via bank loans.

Throughout 1927, increasing numbers of settlers arrived in Galahad, AB. At times, this led to crowding within the existing hospital and to a heavier workload for the Sisters. Sister Jane Frances O’Rourke and Mother Patricia Coughlin are said to have played crucial roles during this time. Due to the growing role of the hospital and because of space constraints, plans for a new hospital building were soon underway.

In 1927, Mr. Hugh Taylor, (the sole real estate agent in Galahad, AB), offered the Sisters four and a half acres of land on which to build their new hospital. Following this acquisition of land, bids were tendered and the C. Gordon Company of Vegreville won the construction job. The Wheatland Municipality contributed $2,500 to construction costs. The new building, which consisted of two stories, a brick interior and large grounds, was officially opened by His Grace Archbishop O’Leary on September 3rd, 1928.

In 1932, the average number of patients was 20, and most were from the towns of Galahad, Forestburg, and Alliance. The first doctors to work in the hospital were Dr. Maynes and Dr. A.J. Cook. In 1947 Sister Loyola Donovan became Administrator and Sister Genevieve Casey became Superior of the Galahad Community.

In 1953, having conferred with the community, the Sisters advised that a new building was once again needed. They requested that a new structure be built - one that could house 45 beds and a 10 bed bassinet nursery. In 1953, having won the contract, Burns and Dutton started work on the project with Mr. Alex Fellows in the role of Construction Superintendent. The cost of the new building was estimated at $250,000.00, and was funded through a long term loan from the Bank of Montreal in Forestburg. In September 1954, the new building was officially opened and blessed by Monsignor Carleton.

In 1955, renovations to the old hospital were undertaken. Upon completion of the renovations, the building became living accommodations for the Sisters. During this time, the Chapel was also relocated nearer to the new hospital and was later blessed by Archbishop MacDonald in May 1955.

In 1962, an Advisory Board was established that included local business men and district farmers. This Board was meant to advise and assist the Sisters with matters regarding the hospital as well as Provincial and Municipal affairs.

On August 4th, 1973, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Galahad was granted full accreditation.

Toward the end of the 1970s, many physicians were leaving rural practice and vacancies created by retirees were not being filled. In the meantime, the Sisters also faced staffing problems. Since Vatican II, more professions and apostolates had become available to Sisters, which resulted in a decline of Health Care apostolates. All of these changes led the Congregation of St. Joseph to re-evaluate their ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Galahad.

On August 31st, 1978, the Sisters of St. Joseph gave up their ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Galahad. Thereafter, ownership was transferred by the Department of the Ministry of Health to Flagstaff-Hughendan Hospital District #55.

Corporate body · 1944-1990

The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London had been invited by the Sarnia City Council in 1942 to open a hospital in Sarnia. Initially, the Sisters faced opposition on the part of the Ministerial Association, the Derry Orange Lodge, and some medical personnel. Construction of the hospital began in 1944, and after numerous delays due to shortage of materials and labour during WW II, one floor was finally opened in 1945 to meet the acute need for hospital beds. St. Joseph’s Hospital was fully operational with 150 beds on March 1, 1946. The formal opening ceremony for St. Joseph’s Hospital was held on October 18, 1946. The Honourable George A. Drew, Premier of Ontario cut the ribbon. Bishops J.T. Kidd and J.C. Cody (Coadjutor, Bishop), and priests from London and Detroit were present. Officials from other hospitals were also present.

The entire million-dollar project was funded by the Sisters of St. Joseph. They received no financial assistance from the government and only a $10,000 grant from the City of Sarnia. The units were filled with both Canadian and American patients from Port Huron and the state of Michigan.

The Sisters carried out active nursing roles and administrative duties, notably Sister Pascal Kenny who served as the first Administrator of the hospital. She had previous experience working in operating rooms and administration and was a member of the American College of Hospital Administrators and of the Board of Governors of the Ontario Hospital Association.

In the early days, nursing, technical, and domestic staff were difficult to find. Many of the staff were mothers of families who could only work occasionally. Students from St. Joseph’s Training School of Nursing in London helped fill the nursing rota, and were hired permanently after graduation. Because of the nursing shortage, innovations were made such as the central distribution of medicines and central surgical supply rooms.

By September 1948, St. Joseph’s Hospital was better able to provide for patients. A detoxification centre was opened and many alcoholics were treated at the hospital. A clinic for cancer patients was also held regularly at the hospital, overseen by a team from the London Cancer Clinic, who did follow-up checks and therapy. The Auxiliary Radiotherapy and Follow-up Cancer Clinic, the first of its kind in Ontario, was opened in conjunction with the Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.

The late 1950’s saw increased demand for hospital services, which led in 1959, with the advent of government sponsored coverage, a seven-storey, two million dollar addition and an increase of 150 active treatment beds. In 1960, a 45-bed paediatric wing was added. An Intensive Care Unit was opened in 1967, and an Employee Health program was established. The late 1960’s saw the addition of a Social Service Department, and in 1969, a diagnostic radioisotope service. This time period also saw the establishment of District Health Councils.

In the 1970s, the hospital needed to update its facilities to meet accreditation standards, as well as to comply with the Sisters’ own standards of care. Because government funding was decreased, Sisters needed to do more independent fundraising. This decade also saw the Ministry of Health deciding to amalgamate hospitals and rationalize services in Lambton County. This became a political issue which meant many hours were spent on discussions with the District Health Council, the Mustard Report, and other tasks. St. Joseph’s Hospital also became embroiled in a confrontation with the Ministry of Health on contentious issues regarding health services, which conflicted with the Catholic faith. The end of this tumultuous period saw the closure of the paediatrics unit and the doubling of obstetrical unit beds.

From 1979 onwards, diminishing numbers of Sisters able to take on the responsibilities of hospital management led to the hiring of qualified laypersons, beginning with Frank Bagatto as the Executive Director in June, 1979.

In the 1980s, quality assurance became a major focus, and new services such as the chiropody and palliative care were added. The new Chronic Care Facility was financed and completed. In November of 1983, A Memorandum of Understanding between St. Joseph’s Hospital, Sarnia and Sarnia General Hospital was drafted to form the basis for the future planning of each hospital.

St. Joseph’s Hospital was officially re-opened as St. Joseph’s Health Centre on October 12, 1990. This was the amalgamation of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Continuing Care Centre (formerly the Chronic Care Facility), Sarnia-Lambton Workers’ Treatment Centre, and a Day Hospital. The name change reflects a concomitant change in service provision and governance. St. Joseph’s Health Centre no longer served as exclusively as an in-patient treatment centre for the critically ill. It also provided long-term care beds and outpatient treatment. Assets were transferred from the Sisters of St. Joseph to the newly incorporated body of St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Sarnia. The board of directors of the corporation was now the hospital board, and six Sisters formed the General Administration as members of the corporation which was an un-shared capital corporation. Ownership lay with the corporation while the Sisters maintained final authority over decisions.

In January 1995, the Sisters donated their residence at 430 London Road to St. Joseph Health Centre to be used as a hospice. On January 29, 1998, the St. Joseph’s Health Centre joined in partnership with the Charlotte Eleanor Engleheart Hospital and the Sarnia General Hospital by signing the Strategic Alliance Agreement. In April 2003, ownership of St. Joseph’s Health Centre was given to the Lambton County Hospital Group.

Corporate body · 1901-1970

The St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Chatham dates back to 1901 when it was discovered that secular nurses would be needed to help out the Sisters of the Congregation in the hospitals. Doctors gave the lectures at the school. From 1903 onward, graduates could be given diplomas. Sister Monica Coyle became Directress of the School. The Alumnae Association of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which started in 1915, raised funds for the school. The last graduating class from the school was in 1970. After the closure of the nursing school, training was delivered by St. Clair College, and nurses did their practical training at both Chatham hospitals (St. Joseph's Hospital and Public General Hospital).

Corporate body · 1951-1985

The Sisters of St. Joseph built St. Mary’s Hospital at 200 Grosvenor Street in 1951. It received its first 35 patients on April 3, 1951 from the House of Providence. It was created to serve the special medical and nursing needs of the chronically ill. The Sisters assigned to St. Mary’s Hospital in 1951 were: Sr. Patrick Joseph as Superior; Sr. Leonora Doyle as Superintendent of the Hospital; Sisters: Irene Redmond, Austin Gurvine, Christina Dewan, Alberta Kenny, Lutgarde Stock, Bernandine Boyle, St. Matthew McMurray, Gervase Martin, Roseanne Sheehan, Ludmille (Isabel) Girard, Carmela Reedy, Justina Mahoney, Vincent de Paul Cronin, Genevieve Anne Cloutier, Dolores Sullivan. Its physiotherapy department was especially well-known for its efficiency, modern equipment, and well trained staff.

Many patients at St. Mary’s were there for long-term care and were encouraged to make the hospital their home. Some of the programs that facilitated this were the Patients’ Council, a patient newspaper called Between Friends, and fund-raising events for charities and the hospital. The hospital’s budget was often strained. In 1959, the Ontario Hospital Commission Insurance was created which provided welcome financial relief for many hospitals, including St. Mary’s. It was difficult for administrative and medical staff to adjust with extra patient evaluations and paperwork required to qualify for insurance.

In 1960, the hospital re-organized its staff in preparation for the Canadian Council Accreditation Survey which the hospital passed. The hospital maintained its accreditation over the years despite inadequate facilities which were addressed in 1979-1981 with a large building project. The old laundry and what remained of the Mount Hope Chapel were demolished to make way for a new chapel, laundry, and kitchen which connected the hospital with the neighbouring Marian Villa. In 1979, the Pastoral Department was created at the hospital. A Sister or priest worked part-time to co-ordinate the Sisters who volunteered for pastoral visits to patients.

In 1985, St. Mary’s Hospital merged with St.Joseph’s Hospital and Marian Villa to become St. Joseph’s Health Centre. In 1986, rehabilitation services were added at St. Mary’s Hospital for acute injuries, amputees, neurological, orthopaedic, and chronic pain. In 1997, it became part of the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.

Corporate body · 1932-1949

The hospital was called St. Paul's Hospital and was owned by the Archdiocese of Edmonton. The Order of Benedictines ran the hospital for the archdiocese until they had to return to the United States due to their declining numbers. Archbishop Henry Joseph O'Leary then asked the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London to take over operations. Sisters Loretto Traynor, Liguori O'Dwyer and Lenora Doyle were the first Sisters from the congregation to work at the hospital. They were all trained nurses and were known for their success managing the day-to-day operations despite financial difficulties. This was because there was no financial support from the provincial government for private hospitals at this time. By 1945, the hospital had 30 beds.

In the 1940s, it became evident that a new and larger hospital was needed. A district vote was held to decide whether the new hospital should remain a Catholic hospital or become a municipal hospital. The vote was in favour of a municipal hospital. The Archdiocese felt this was for the best because they were having trouble financing the hospital without provincial support and thought it was in the best interests of the community to ensure quality of healthcare by relinquishing ownership. Upon the transition of ownership and the withdrawal of the Sisters, they were thanked by the community for the work they had done. The Sisters returned to Edmonton or to London and were reassigned to other positions.

Corporate body · 1926-1927

In 1925, the Board of Trade passed a resolution that the leaders of Stettler should ask Archbishop Henry Joseph O'Leary to set up a "Sisters' Hospital" in Stettler, Alberta. In turn, the Archbishop sent for four sisters from the Sisters of St. Joseph in the Diocese of London to run the hospital: Sister Patricia Coughlin, Sister Virginia Lobban, Sister Austin Gurvine, and Sister Jane Francis O'Rourke. They arrived in March of 1926.

Due to religious factions in the community, soon after it was known that the Sisters would be running a hospital, another proposal was made to establish a public municipal hospital instead. Since the voting on this issue was dragged out, the Sisters went ahead and began work in a small existing hospital. Upon arrival, the Sisters cleaned the building and ordered new supplies because the hospital was in a poor state. The local parish was very supportive and a nearby cottage was rented for the purposes of storage and an oratory for the Sisters to celebrate mass and have community prayers.

Meanwhile, a vote was finally conducted but failed to pass. After the district boundaries were redrawn, another vote was held in favour of a municipal hospital. Also around this time, the hospital's cottage was burned down by opponents. Both these factors contributed to the Sisters closing the hospital and moving to Galahad where the Village of Galahad had asked them to establish a Sisters' Hospital.

Corporate body · 1893 -

The Women’s Auxiliary of Woodstock General Hospital was created in 1893 and headed by Mrs. H.J. Finkle, in order to raise money for hospital endeavors. Proceeds from a Ben Hur play at the Opera House was used to purchase a horse-drawn ambulance and in 1908, a Swastika Carnival raised money to build and equip the steam laundry. The following year, money was set aside for a nurses’ residence, which was built in 1914 after raising $20,000 for the building. In doing so, the Auxiliary sought to look after the welfare of student nurses and to encourage students by making their home “away from home” as attractive and comfortable as possible.

By the 1960s, new student nurses were welcomed each year with a wiener roast sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary, which also provided a graduation tea and dance. In 1964, the auxiliary raised $2,000 towards the cost of a swimming pool at the nurses’ residence. The auxiliary also furnished the auditorium in the Ethel M. Finkle School of Nursing, bought a piano as well as other modern day appliances, and even provided a microscope for the nurses’ training course. An annual scholarship was also awarded for nurses to take postgraduate study. Such assistance was no longer required, when the school of nursing closed in 1974.

Over the years, the Auxiliary’s interests have expanded to cover the welfare of the patients as well. For long term patients, the auxiliary established a recreational therapy program and a special committee gave instruction in various crafts. In addition, the Auxiliary bought televisions and radios for the use of patients. The Auxiliary also once provided a Christmas gift for each patient every year. The hospital chapel paid for by the auxiliary in 1959, was also maintained by their funds as well as a quiet room for use by patients and their families.

In addition, since its inception Auxiliary has raised funds in order to purchase equipment for the Hospital. Such purchases included incubators for the prenatal ward, a pulmonary function equipment for the Intensive Care Unit, bed scales, and a whirlpool as well as wheelchairs, heart monitors, and cribs. In the 1930s, the group even purchased a meat slicer and sewing machine for use in the hospital.

Funds were raised for projects largely through the hospital gift shop. However, other fundraising events such as dances, calendar sales, a yearly Penny Sale held every June and a house-to-house canvassing event known as Rose Day were also held to help raise funds.

The organization also helped raise money for other worthy causes through events such as Daisy Tea, which raised money for cancer research, in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society. During WWI, the Auxiliary furnished five beds for Shorncliffe Hospital in England.

Today, the Woodstock Hospital Foundation raises money to purchase new equipment and upgrade technology at the Woodstock Hospital.