SSM Health pledges $500 million for new Saint Louis University Hospital

October 1, 2015

Saint Louis University Hospital's Desloge Tower is being renovated, but its long-term use is uncertain after the new hospital is completed.

SSM Health has committed $500 million to build a hospital and outpatient care facility that will replace SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.

The facility will be located in the immediate vicinity of the current hospital in midtown St. Louis and is expected to be completed in five years, though an exact site has not been announced and the design and footprint have not been finalized. The existing hospital is immediately adjacent to the campus of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Medical school faculty, fellows and medical students staff the quaternary care teaching and research hospital.

SSM also said that it will make immediate upgrades to the existing hospital, which was updated most recently in 1988. The system did not provide details and did not discuss its plans for the existing hospital after the new hospital is completed.

Construction of the hospital is part of a renewed partnership between Saint Louis University and SSM Health announced in September. The Sisters of St. Mary, founders of SSM Health and now known as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, first welcomed the university's medical students into their hospitals in 1903, then founded the university's school of nursing in 1928. In 1933, the sisters and the Jesuit university opened Firmin Desloge Hospital. SLU and the sisters operated the hospital together until 1959, when the sisters donated their share to the university. That year, the hospital and other health care buildings were renamed Saint Louis University Hospital. The hospital's showcase Desloge Tower contains a landmark chapel and is topped by a French gothic roof of copper-covered lead.

SLU sold the hospital to Tenet Healthcare in 1998 and reacquired it from Tenet in August, then contributed the facility to SSM Health.


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