When St. Paul Medical Foundation was launched in 1964, the Daughters of Charity were tending to the patients at the brand spanking new hospital — St. Paul Hospital — at the corner of Harry Hines and Inwood Road. The Daughters had had a long history in Dallas healthcare. They had been brought to Dallas back in the late 1800’s to help the growing young town. They opened the first St. Paul Hospital on June 15, 1898, with nine sisters. About five years later, Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium opened. It would eventually become Baylor University Medical Center. When the influenza epidemic of 1918 struck, “63 tents were placed on the St. Paul Hospital grounds to take care of the overflow of critically ill and convalescent patients.”
But after a century of tending to patients, the hospital was sold a couple of times and the last eight sisters were transferred to other assignments in 2004. Eventually St. Paul became part of the UT Southwestern Medical Center with the 52-year-old “brand spanking new hospital” not fitting in with the stellar 21st century Medical Center’s campus. Last November it literally bit the dust.
As for the Foundation, it grew in its mission with folks like Stanley Marcus, Ebby Halliday and such families as the Haggars and Neuhoffs at the helm.
But as the hospital was absorbed by other healthcare entities, so the Foundation followed the hospital and adjusted to the changes, eventually finding a home with UT Southwestern University “to serve a broader patient base at UT Southwestern University Hospitals, with special emphasis on the underserved and support of heart, lung, vascular and cerebrovascular programs.”
Now, the Foundation leadership has announced it will be making one last transition “to permanently extend our mission by winding down our activities and infusing UT Southwestern with the Foundation’s resources and talent.”
What does that mean? According to St. Paul Foundation President Sally Ridgway, “The staff are [sic] joining the Development Department staff in positions appropriate to their unique skills and abilities (except for me as I had already planned to retire before the decision to close was made).”
In a letter to the board members and friends, Sally and Foundation Chair Vin Perella wrote, “…a permanent endowment with St. Paul’s assets for the benefit of the Medical Center’s patients and program and a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that the funds are spend as directed.”
And while the Daughters, St. Paul Hospital and the Foundation are no longer on the scene, their mission for superior healthcare continues as part of UT Southwestern Medical Center.