St. Joseph Mercy Livingston celebrates 90th anniversary

Only full-service hospital in the county has long history

Health care at St. Joseph Mercy Livingston has evolved tremendously from lab work conducted in 1954 (left) to modern-day surgical techniques (right).

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St. Joseph Mercy Livingston hospital is marking its 90th anniversary with colleague and community events to take place in the coming months.

John O’Malley

“Ninety years have passed, and our dedication to the Livingston County community still thrives, thanks to our leaders, caregivers and volunteers,” said John O’Malley, president of St. Joseph Mercy Livingston and Brighton. “Our history as a pioneering health care provider that responds to evolving needs is a testament to our mission to be a compassionate and transforming healing presence to those we serve, and I thank the community for entrusting their care to us.”

The hospital’s healing ministry began in 1928, with a generous donation from one of Howell’s most prominent residents — the McPherson family — which allowed the city to convert a three-story home into a community hospital. Until then, people were typically treated in their homes while a growing number of travelers were treated in the only place suitable — the Livingston County Jail.

By the 1950s, the hospital was over capacity, and The Hospital Authority — a nonprofit organization formed to raise funds and construct a new facility — purchased 10 acres of land on Byron Road for $10,000 from the McPherson family. The McPherson Community Health Center opened in 1958, and became the first hospital in the state to staff both medical and osteopathic physicians. The hospital’s pioneering spirit was also evident in its foray into “progressive patient care.”  McPherson was the first hospital in the country to fully implement the phases of intensive, continuing, intermediate, self, outpatient and home care.

By the late 1980s, the hospital board of trustees decided to pursue an affiliation with a health system to ensure continued success and access to more diverse health services. In 1990, McPherson Hospital merged with Catherine McAuley Health Center in Ann Arbor, which was founded in 1911 by a group of women who belonged to the Sisters of Mercy, and would later change its name to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.

Today, St. Joe’s Livingston remains the county’s only full-service hospital, and together with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and St. Mary Mercy Livonia, comprises Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, a member of Trinity Health.

Continued growth in the community

Over the last 15 years, St. Joe’s Livingston has undergone multiple extensive renovations and expansions to meet the evolving needs of the times and the area’s growing population, including a 2004 renewal campaign that funded the Cancer Center addition to St. Joe’s Brighton.

The two-year Transformation Livingston project, launched in 2015, invested $41.1 million into numerous care delivery and facility enhancements at St. Joe’s Livingston and Brighton. The capital project funded the construction of a new state-of-the-art surgical suite at St. Joe’s Livingston, and the addition of a da Vinci robotic system that enabled minimally-invasive advanced general surgery, hernia surgery, bariatric surgery, gynecological, colon and urological procedures.

St. Joe’s Livingston also opened a new Sleep Disorders Center, Michigan Bariatric Institute clinic, a renovated Probility Physical Therapy clinic and a new café, marketplace and gift shop as part of the transformation campaign.

Across town, St. Joe’s Brighton opened the state’s first short stay center in 2017, which provides overnight stays for patients who don’t require inpatient hospital admission.

And in early 2018, the health center celebrated the opening of its comprehensive breast imaging center, making advanced imaging services, including 3D screening and diagnostic mammography, locally available.

Dedication to excellence

With an award-winning 24-hour emergency department that sees more than 47,000 visits a year; a state-of-the-art operating suite equipped for advanced surgical procedures, a wide array of diagnostic and outpatient services, and a medical staff of nearly 500 physicians, St. Joe’s Livingston continues to be recognized for its dedication to patient safety, quality and excellence.

In 2017, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston was named to Truven’s elite list of Everest Award winners for achieving the highest levels of sustained performance over five years.

The hospital was also just one of just eight Michigan hospitals in 2017 to receive the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) Hospital Patient Safety Award, for consistently receiving high marks in patient safety and quality of care. It was recognized again in 2018 with the EAM Improvement Award.

Rich Perlberg

“We moved to the Livingston community in the 1970s and raised two boys here — between stitches, broken arms and surgeries, we definitely have been frequent users of the hospital over the years,” said Rich Perlberg,  former general manager of The Livingston Daily, and previous board member and chair of St. Joseph Mercy Livingston and Ann Arbor hospitals.

“The value of having a high quality hospital in the neighborhood is enormous. St. Joe’s has been an anchor in our local community, serving as a large employer and supporter of community events. The hospital is such an asset with its world class cancer center, robotic surgery, telemedicine, and continued push to keep bringing more services and physicians to the local area.”


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About The Livingston Post 1864 Articles
The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.