March 11, 2020

St. Mark's Hospital

Historical St. Mark's Hospital Historical St. Mark's Hospital

Administrator: Mark Robinson

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The history of St. Mark’s Hospital began in a small adobe building on the northeast corner of Fifth East and Fourth South when Salt Lake City was just 25 years old. This first hospital in the Utah Territory—in fact, the first institution of its kind between Denver and San Francisco—was founded by The Rt. Rev. Daniel S. Tuttle, Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Idaho, Montana and Utah, for the care of sick and injured miners and railroad workers. With six beds and one staff members, St. Mark’s admitted its first patients on April 30, 1872.

By 1879, more beds were clearly needed. Property was purchased at the northwest corner of Fifth East and Third South for $4,500. This larger building offered 12 beds; when these were not enough, patients were treated on the floor.

The move to 803 North Second West took place in 1893. With steady addition and change, these quarters housed St. Mark’s until 1973. Two important factors kept the hospital at this location—the trolley line conveniently brought passengers to the hospital’s door, and the mineral spring on the site were thought to be of great therapeutic value at the time.

In 1894, the St. Mark’s School of Nursing was opened and had the distinction of being the first nursing school in the Intermountain Region.

In 1925, St. Mark’s opened the Shriners Crippled Children’s Ward and it continued to be a part of the hospital for 26 years until a separate Shriners facility was built in Salt Lake City.

Seventy-four years at this location witnessed seven major expansions, resulting in a 258-bed hospital. By 1967, a decision had to be made. Growth and change were again necessary, but there was doubt as to whether or not the original structure could be remodeled to support additional facilities and future programs on available land.

The decision was made to move St. Mark’s. Situated on a 19-acre site and forty percent larger than its predecessor, the hospital moved to its current location in 1973. Patients were transferred by ambulance to the new hospital every five minutes.

In the mid-1980s, the Episcopal Church sold the hospital to Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), who continue to operate it today as part of the MountainStar network of hospitals. St. Mark’s continues to expand and adapt to fill the needs of the community and fulfill its ‘Not Bigger. Just Better.’ promise.

Source: UHA Archives, St. Mark’s Hospital website

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