A small exhibition space is now open at St. Joseph’s Hospital to showcase a medical artifact and memorabilia collection that takes us back in time at the hospital and the St. Joseph’s Nursing School.
There will be several themed exhibits a year in the space, which will of interest to history buffs. The first exhibit, “Faith and Caring”, which officially opened June 21, reflects the health care vision that was unique to the founding Sisters of St. Joseph and their devotion to the values of respect, excellence and compassion in the tradition of faith and caring. Along with some of the diagnostic, surgical and pharmaceutical devices on display, there are also items of comfort for body, mind and spirit. These reflect a vision that endures at St. Joseph today.
“History is fascinating, and when you work within walls that hold and still emanate that history it’s particularly special,” says Karen Perkin, Vice President Patient Care and Chief Nurse Executive. “Here at St. Joseph’s Hospital, we can feel it. Our walls speak to us. Our past is intricately woven in the present, and in our future.”
Several Sisters attended the exhibit opening and reminisced as they viewed the collection.
“Our strength lies in our legacy,” says Karen. “It is our touch stone and it propels us forward to follow the Sisters lead, which has always been to address the challenges of an ever -hanging world and meet the needs of those who come to us for care. This has not changed.”
In the heritage corner, visitors can slip back in time, see how far health care has come, “and find awe in the achievements” of all those who provided care at a very different time, said Karen.
The exhibits and the collection itself are being coordinated and maintained by a St. Joseph’s Historical Committee. Plans are to continue adding to the collection – a fascinating treasury of items and photos spanning the 128-year history of the hospital. Items in the collection were donated by former students, staff, physicians and the Sisters.
Funding for the display cabinets was provided by St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary, which itself is an important part of the hospital’s history, generously providing voluntary service and support since 1928.
For patients and visitors who wish to see the exhibit while at St. Joseph’s Hospital for a medical appointment, the heritage corner can be found in Zone A, Level 1, near the Richmond Street entrance.