History Overview

A Look Into Our Past

The story begins in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland when Mother Catherine McAuley and three of her companions set out to fulfill the objectives of the newly created Sisters of Mercy. They sought to care for the sick, educate the youth and protect young girls. 

The work of the Sisters of Mercy today extends not only throughout Ireland, England, Newfoundland and Australia, but also North and South America, New Zealand, South Africa and Jamaica.

In 1918, the Sisters of Mercy opened a hospital in Lima, Ohio.

St. Rita's was the fulfillment of a dream of the Right Reverend Monsignor A.E. Manning, the Reverend William Tobin and Mother Bernardine McMullen, R.S.M. At the time of its opening, the hospital was not completely finished, but was opened in order to administer care to victims of what was probably one of the first and most devastating epidemics to plague the Lima area, the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Through the coming years, St. Rita's expanded to add more beds and services to meet the health care needs of the community. In 1947, a seven-story addition to the original building was completed, housing modern operating, delivery and X-ray rooms, more office space and an additional 150 beds. Just nine years later, it again became apparent that in the not too distant future new facilities, additional beds and a School of Nursing building would be needed to keep St. Rita's Hospital on the move to providing quality medical care for the people of Allen and surrounding counties.

After 59 years as St. Rita's Hospital, on March 9, 1977 the hospital name was changed to St. Rita's Medical Center.

Again in the 1960s, a second addition was built to create space for additional patient beds. The 1960s brought the addition of the E wing with the main entrance off Market Street.

More growth in the 1980s when the AB Tower was built, known as the New Century Project. The main entrance was now on Collett Street.

In 2007, the Medical Center campus looks more like university campus stretching six, tree-lined blocks with easy access, convenienct parking, covered walkways, ponds, water fountains, gardens and a track for running and walking.

St. Rita's has, over the years, emphasized long range planning and keeping completely up-to-date not only with the most sophisticated pieces of equipment, but in medical procedures and services to the community.

Today, St. Rita's Medical Center is the largest hospital within a 70-mile radius of Lima and has additional treatment facilities in Lima on the East & West Side, in Glandorf, Delphos and Wapakoneta plus the Occupational Health Center in Lima. St. Rita's continues to be the region's leader in medical care.