The people of Little Company of Mary Hospital—including the sisters, physicians, nurses, staff, and patients—would likely agree that the Hospital is a place “where everybody knows your name.” By the 1990s, the number of babies born at the Hospital was upwards of 190,000. In 1997 the Hospital celebrated with a Baby Alumni Reunion, attended by Beverly native George Wendt of “Cheers” fame, son of loyal Auxilian Loret Wendt. Through July of 2000, the hospital had delivered:
- Sets of Quadruplets: 2
- Sets of Triplets: 14
- Sets of Twins: 1,379
- Total babies born: 198,056
- Smallest Baby: 1 lb, 7 oz
- Largest Baby: 14 lb, 10 oz
Aside from keeping up its tradition as the “baby hospital,” the Hospital continued to progress and move forward in the 1990s. According to the mission, the Hospital seeks to provide for the “health and wellness needs of all.” The Hospital is known for meeting people’s medical, emotional and spiritual needs. And so it’s no surprise that the 1990s showed a great focus on community wellness and outreach.
In 1994, a community’s needs assessment was done to determine where Little Company of Mary could provide assistance. With the help of Sister Margaret Christina Hoban, L.C.M., a “Healthier Evergreen” committee was formed based on the findings from the assessment. The partnership was supported by the mayor of Evergreen Park, police and fire departments, and physicians, nurse educators and business leaders. The group forms goals to make Evergreen a healthy community. The group’s initiatives led to the opening of the first Education Center in the Chicago Ridge Mall and a second in Evergreen Plaza. The Health Education Centers provide educational programs and screenings to the community.
The Little Company of Mary Foundation was established in the mid 1990s and pledged to support the Hospital’s mission through fund raising to enhance services, purchase needed equipment and provide for mission-driven and community-based services. The Crystal Heart Ball was established in 1991—this event is coming up again this year on February 5, 2011.
The first capital campaign, “Our Work of Love: The Campaign for Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers,” raised funds that allowed for the groundbreaking of Little Company’s Cancer Center in 1999. The 33,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art outpatient facility offers a holistic approach to cancer treatment. It was built after an assessment of the community’s health status revealed cancer to be one of the top two leading causes of death in Evergreen Park. The Center brings together all the cancer resources, specialists and equipment into one convenient location for our patients.
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Information and photo from A Healing Presence: The story of Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Journey of Unconditional Love, by Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers, Maurice Possley, Editor