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The St. Anthony North story starts in the autumn of 1858, with a sparkle of Colorado gold where Cherry Creek meets the South Platte River. Around the promise of treasure, the city of Denver rose and grew, and within a single generation it had become the second most populous city in the West.
As trains and tracks knit America together, Colorado's first Catholic bishop, the Most Rev. Joseph P. Machebeuf, turned to the Sisters at Lafayette, Indiana, for help in providing desperately needed health care to Denver railroad workers. In 1884, seven nuns arrived from the newly formed American branch of the Poor Sisters of Saint Francis Seraph of Perpetual Adoration and began serving patients in the 66-bed railway hospital.
Sister Mary's Dream
Denver's needs grew as fast as its population. Soon one of the seven nuns—a visionary named Sister Mary Huberta—believed the railroad hospital had become inadequate, and that the Order needed to build its own facility. In 1890, she broached the idea with Bishop Matz, Bishop Machebeuf's successor, who cautioned that her dream would prove expensive and difficult. "We will begin," Sister Mary famously replied, "and St. Anthony will help us."
The Sisters proved to be tireless and unflappable fundraisers, standing with their tin cups outside saloons and barbershops in rough-and-tumble mining camps. One meager donation at a time, mostly from railroad workers as they collected wages, the dollars multiplied and a new hospital took shape on the shore of Sloan Lake, now West 16th Avenue and Raleigh Street. The facility opened in May of 1892, bearing the name of its patron, St. Anthony of Padua.
A New Hospital for a New Century
Building on that legacy almost 70 years later, hospital leaders saw the importance of establishing a new facility to better serve Denver's north metro area. Like the Sisters before them, they brought the project to reality through sheer force of will, and St. Anthony North Hospital opened in 1971.
Since then, the hospital has enjoyed an inspiring and successful 40-year partnership with its communities, offering not only state-of-the-art health care services and countless community education and support programs, but also investing millions of dollars annually for community benefit.
With the opening of the $26 million St. Anthony North Medical Pavilion planned for the spring of 2012, the hospital is taking yet another bold step into the future. Located at the corner of I-25 and 144th Avenue, it will include a 24-hour emergency department, imaging center and physician offices, and will bring convenient health care services to underserved neighborhoods in the north metro area.