Mother Xavier Ross led the Sisters of Charity into the Indian Territory of Kansas in 1858. In 1869, the Sisters extended their charitable works into Montana Territory at the request of Father Pierre Jean DeSmet. Saint Vincent Hospital in Billings was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1898.
The hospital officially opened on February 1, 1899. The city and region grew quickly and demand for healthcare increased dramatically. By 1915, the Sisters and area medical personnel had cared for more than 20,000 patients. The hospital expanded its services and staff, but the need for more space could not be ignored.
In 1917, after raising $250,000, the community broke ground on the northern edge of the city for construction of a larger, more modern hospital. However, material and labor shortages caused by World War I delayed completion of the hospital for five years. It was 1923 when the "new" Saint Vincent Hospital opened at its present location.
During the next thirty years, rapid medical advancements, and the area's growing population, kept the hospital in a constant state of change and growth, but true to its mission, compassion and charity remained at the forefront of the hospital's endeavors. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Sisters at Saint Vincent Hospital helped feed the hungry. With the advent of World War II, volunteer services became essential to the operation of the hospital.
Change and growth continued to be the rule into the 1990s, and Saint Vincent Hospital continued to lead the way into medical advancements. The hospital provided the first emergency room in Montana, staffed with physicians 24 hours a day. It was the first hospital in the state to institute an Ethics Committee. The hospital opened a comprehensive Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (now rated a Level 3 Neonatal Care Unit) and began offering fixed wing and helicopter transport for seriously ill or injured patients.
Adapting to the changes in healthcare meant a new name for Saint Vincent Hospital. In November 2000, we became St. Vincent Healthcare. From its modest beginnings over 100 years ago, St. Vincent Healthcare has grown into one of Montana's largest comprehensive hospitals, serving the healthcare needs of over 400,000 people in a four-state area. Renowned for a Mission of compassionate care and service to the poor, the St. Vincent Healthcare team is continually recognized as a technological leader in the healthcare industry.