The Birth of a Maternity Hospital

St. Ann Maternity Hospital

In a previous post I provided the history of my childhood home. I was able to trace the property back to the Connecticut Land company through to today’s current vacant lot. My next online excursion is to explore the history of where I was born, St. Ann Maternity Hospital. As with my home, both the building and St. Ann’s is no longer in existence. A special thank you to the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for the images and the articles from the Catholic Universe Bulletin.

Thirty-seven years after the first public hospital opened in Cleveland (City Hospital, today part of Metro) St. Ann’s opened in 1873 as a maternity hospital and infant care for predominantly unmarried mothers and orphaned children. Here is a photo of the original St. Ann’s at 3409 Woodland Ave.

Original St. Anns
Credit: Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections. Postcards from Cleveland. Donor Walter C. Leedy.

After 75 years the Infant Home was established in the old Leisy Estate on East Blvd and Fairhill. The Infant home provided health and counseling services to unwed mothers with many giving up their newborn for adoption through the Catholic Social Services.

After the opening of The Infant Home there was massive fundraising to build a new Maternity Hospital. Ground was broken in September 1948 for a $1.2 Million facility.

The construction experienced delays of about 10 months (short by today’s standards) with the opening in September 1950 by Bishop Hoban.

St. Ann’s was in service from late 1950 until 1973 when both the Infant Home and the hospital were sold to Kaiser Permanente with the proceeds going to the St. Ann Foundation, the first health care conversion and the first foundation formed by a congregation of Catholic sisters in the United States. In 2006, the Sisters of Charity Health Foundation of Cleveland merged with the St. Ann Foundation. (source: Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland)

St. Ann Maternity Hospital
St. Ann’s Maternity Hospital 1950

1 thought on “The Birth of a Maternity Hospital”

  1. Brenda Carter

    Two of my daughters was born at Kaiser off of East Boulevard. Thank you for the history.

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