Sisters of Charity Hospital Celebrates 175 Years

Oct 5, 2023In the News, News & PR

Buffalo, NY – In the heart of Buffalo, New York, an institution emerged in 1848 that would forever shape the city’s healthcare landscape – Sisters of Charity Hospital.

When the city of Buffalo was incorporated in 1832, it was on the cusp of transformation. The completion of the Erie Canal turned this once-quiet town into a hub of activity and prosperity. But with this prosperity came challenges. Living conditions and rapid urbanization led to a growing concern – the health of the city’s residents.

Bishop John Timon recognized the urgent need for a comprehensive healthcare system. Responding to this need, a group of dedicated women, the Sisters of Charity, answered the call. Led by the visionary Sister Ursula Mattingly, these Sisters breathed life into an unused school building at the corner of Pearl and Virginia Streets. Their aim was clear: to create a haven of healing and hope for Buffalo’s diverse community. In October 1848, Sisters of Charity Hospital officially opened its doors, becoming Buffalo’s first large healthcare facility

“The legacy of providing care and the commitment to meeting the needs of all of those in the community built the foundation for Sisters Hospital,” said Joyce Markiewicz, Catholic Health President and CEO. “It is what shaped and crafted a culture that stands true 175 years later.”

As the hospital’s legacy continued to evolve over the years, it was marked with many more ‘firsts.’ Sisters of Charity Hospital School of Nursing opened its doors in 1889, the first of its kind established by the Sisters of Charity in this country, a milestone in nursing education. The first Aortic Stent in Buffalo was placed at Sisters hospital and its Vascular program is part of many national studies on Aortic disease and Carotid disease.

The Sisters recognized the importance of providing exceptional care for mothers and their newborns. For generations, the hospital has been a cornerstone of maternity care in the community. The hospital also became a training ground for aspiring doctors and nurses, preparing the next generation of medical practitioners.

Today, as part of Catholic Health, Sisters Hospital remains a leader in Women’s Health Services and Vascular Care. Its St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga has become a specialized Ambulatory Care Center with a 24-7 Emergency Department, newly opened Substance Use Treatment Center, and one of the region’s largest orthopedic surgery programs.    

“We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the patients and that is truly a tribute to all of the work started by the Sisters,” said Martin Boryszak, Senior Vice President, Acute Care. “The compassion, the commitment, the caring and dedication are what has made Sisters a special place for the past 175 years, and for the generations to come, and we’re looking forward to celebrating and continuing this special legacy.”