St. Francis Hospital was the first hospital in Colorado Springs. Founded in 1887 by Dr. B.P. Anderson, a physician and surgeon for the Midland Railroad Company, the hospital began as a treatment clinic for injured railroad workers.
Assisting Dr. Anderson were four Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Through door-to-door solicitation throughout the community, the Sisters raised $20,000 to build the city's first hospital. The new St. Francis Hospital opened in 1888 and began treating the critically injured as well as those suffering from cholera, diphtheria, typhoid, tuberculosis and polio.
Penrose Hospital was founded in 1890 as the Glockner Tuberculosis Sanatorium by Mrs. Albert Glockner shortly after her husband's death from tuberculosis. In 1893, she asked the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio to assume ownership of the Sanatorium.
In 1939, the Glockner Medical Facility was chosen as the site of the Penrose Tumor Institute. The Institute was sponsored by Spencer Penrose, who had earned his fortune in copper mining and real estate development, and saw a need for cancer treatment in Colorado Springs. Mr. Penrose died before his wife, Julie, officially dedicated the Penrose Cancer Center Pavilion in 1941.
In 1947, Mrs. Glockner suggested that the name of the hospital be changed to Penrose Hospital in tribute of Julie Penrose who had contributed $3.2 million toward the building project.
As the result of an agreement between the Sisters of St. Francis of Colorado Springs and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio, the two hospitals came together in 1990 to form Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.
The Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation began as a fundraising effort in 1982 for the Ambulatory Care Center building at Penrose Hospital. The Foundation was invoked to raise $8 million, and was successful through its first capital campaign because of the generosity of our caring community.
From this single direction of funding, the Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation emerged into a comprehensive organization supporting a variety of programs. To this day, the activities of our Foundation may vary, but the focus remains constant: responding to the individual needs of the community through the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.