On August 10, Cook County leaders joined community members, patients and past and current staff to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Provident Hospital being a part of Cook County Health.
“Over the past 30 years, Provident Hospital has evolved into a beacon of hope and a pillar of strength for the diverse communities we serve,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “Provident Hospital is a testament to human resilience and an emblem of community strength.”
Provident Hospital was founded in 1891 by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a prominent surgeon. Dr. Williams, who later went on to perform the nation’s first heart surgery at Provident Hospital, would raise funds through local leaders to open a hospital that was the first to be owned and operated by African Americans. The hospital was also a training ground for Black doctors and nurses at a time when access to the education was limited.
Due to financial issues, Provident Hospital closed in 1987. Cook County leaders would see the need for a hospital on the south side of Chicago and the Cook County Board of Commissioners purchased the property in 1991. After extensive renovations, the hospital reopened on August 17, 1993.
Today, as an affiliate of Cook County Health, Provident Hospital continues to stand as a symbol of Cook County’s commitment to health equity for residents and CCH’s mission to care for all.
“We are committed to building on the legacy of Provident Hospital and ensuring the hospital thrives and grows to meet the needs of our communities for generations to come,” Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said. “We have invested more than $9 million in modernizing the Provident campus and growing the hospital’s clinical services. This is the just start of our work revitalizing the hospital to meet the health needs of the communities we serve.”
Provident Hospital is proud to serve the south side residents, providing primary care, specialty services and emergency care. In recent years, investments at Provident have included increasing hospital beds from 10 to 38, reopening its Intensive Care Unit, adding a new MRI and 3D mammography unit, renovating the emergency department and welcoming back ambulances. The hospital also now boasts an increase in specialty services, including dermatology, neurology, gastroenterology, expanded surgical care and more.
At the 30th anniversary celebration, President Preckwinkle was joined by Cook County Board Commissioner Bill Lowery and representatives from the Sengstacke family. John H. Sengstacke was an influential civil rights advocate and publisher. He was a leading force in the community effort to reopen Provident Hospital.