Healthcare Bibliography — Colorado

Roman Catholic Sisters' Contributions to Healthcare

This bibliography includes resources about the Sisters who brought healthcare to Colorado and the institutions they built and/or staffed — as well as a few more general resources about Sisters in healthcare. Corrections and suggestions for additions will help make this a more useful resource for everyone — book [at] coloradohealthcarehistory [dot] com

17 separate communities of Sisters brought healthcare services to Colorado statewide. These communities are particularly noteworthy:

Sister Mary Cecelia Barry, RSM: "Mercy Medical Center History, 1901-1978," unpublished manuscript, 18 pages, Sisters of Mercy Archives, Omaha, Nebraska.

Kenneth Briggs: Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church's Betrayal of American Nuns. NY: Doubleday, 2006. By a former New York Times religion editor. Covers the period during and after the Second Vatican Council, when many Sisters' communities began to discontinue their work in healthcare because they no longer had enough Sisters to continue that work.

Sister Marie Brinkman, SCL: Emerging Frontiers: Renewal in the Life of Women: Religious Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 1955-2005. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2008.

Sister Mary Buckner, SCL: History of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. Kansas City, Missouri: Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Company, 1898.

Anne M. Butler: Across God's Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. 416 pp.

Patricia A. Cahill, Esq., and Sister Maryanna Coyle, SC: Catholic Health Initiatives: A Spirit of Innovation, A Legacy of Care. Denver: Catholic Health Initiatives, 2006.

Catholic Health Association: "Mission-Driven Market Strategies: Lessons from the Field: A study of six successful Catholic systems finds mission and values clarity more relevant than ever," Health Progress 79 (1998): 50-53.
From the abstract: Convinced that Catholic organizations might have special strengths for succeeding in price-competitive markets, the Catholic Health Association, with the assistance of a national membership advisory committee and The Lewin Group, Fairfax, VA, studied six healthcare organizations that are successfully meeting the challenges of difficult environments. Based on more than 100 interviews and assessments of the environments in which these progressive mission-driven organizations operate, the researchers identified strategies that can assist other faith-based health organizations.
William Cavanaugh: The Hospital Activities of the Sisters during the Civil War and Their Influence on the Catholic Hospital System Movement up to 1875. MA thesis. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 1931.

Charisms. Denver: Catholic Health Initiatives, 2010. Second edition.

"The Chronological Development of the Catholic Hospital of the United States and Canada," Hospital Progress 21:122-133. April 1940.

Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith: Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. The source for detailed information about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who ran St. Joseph's Hospital in Georgetown.

Clarke E. Cochran: "Another Identity Crisis: Catholic Hospitals Face Hard Choices," Commonweal, February 25, 2000, pp. 12-16.

Clarke E. Cochran: "Institutional Identity; Sacramental Potential: Catholic Healthcare at Century's End," Christian Bioethics 5 (1999): 26-43.
Abstract: Government and market forces have fundamentally transformed the religious healthcare sector. Religious healthcare organizations are struggling to define their identities and determine what it is that makes them different and what implications the differences have for the delivery of social services and for public life. In response to these questions, the defenders of traditional Catholic healthcare make a variety of responses that first defend the continued relevance of the major institutions of Catholic healthcare, especially its hospitals, and second, specify reforms to make these institutions even more relevant to the new healthcare system. This essay argues that these defenses are inadequate to that challenge and that the reforms proposed are too timid. Catholic healthcare needs a better theoretical account of its mission and more creative institutional adaptations.
Clarke E. Cochran: "Keeping Hospitals Catholic," Commonweal (2000): 12-16.

Sister Mary Carol Conroy, SCL: The Historical Development of the Health Care Ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. PhD Dissertation, Kansas State University, 1984.
Before she became a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Sister Mary Carol worked as a technology assistant in the radiation department at Mercy Hospital in Denver. She then studied for her RN at the St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Denver. In 1956, she received a bachelor's degree in nursing education from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, and in 1976, a master's degree in nursing from Montana State University. Her dissertation is "Dedicated to Sister Joanna Bruner, S.C.L., A Truly Valiant Woman."
Melanie Evans: "Another Diocese Opts Out," Modern Healthcare June 18, 2007, pg. 16.
Abstract: The article reports the decision of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey to leave the acute-care hospital business. Executives announced that Catholic Health East signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire two of three Newark hospitals owned by the diocese's Cathedral Healthcare System. The author says that if the transaction is completed, it would reduce the U.S. health systems owned by Roman Catholic dioceses. Catholic Health East will not acquire the Columbus Hospital.
Mary Ewens, OP: "The Leadership of Nuns in Immigrant Catholicism," in Rosemary Radford Reuther and Rosemary Skinner Keller (eds.) Women and Religion in America, Vol. 1: The Nineteenth Century: A Documentary History. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 101-149. Document 7 is "The Sisters as Nurses: Turning the Tide of Bigotry," pp. 137-141.

Suzy Farren: A Call to Care: The Women Who Built Catholic Healthcare in America. St. Louis: The Catholic Health Association, 1996.

John Fialka: Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America. NY: Macmillan, 2004. An interesting overview by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

Dave Fishell: A Spirit of Charity 1896-1996: St. Mary's Hospital, Celebrating a Century of Caring. Grand Junction, Colorado: St. Mary's Hospital, 1996.

Dave Fishell: Towers of Healing: The First 125 Years of Denver's Saint Joseph Hospital. Denver: The Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, 1999.

Russell B. Freeman, MD: "History of St. Anthony's Hospital," Transactions of the Colorado State Medical Society 1901, p. 517. Reprinted in Colorado Medical Journal 7:479. 1901.

Sister Julia Gilmore, SCL: Come North! New York: McMullen Books, 1951. The biography of Mother Xavier Ross, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.

Sister Julia Gilmore, SCL: We Came North: Centennial Story of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. St. Meinrad, Indiana: Abbey Press, 1961. This volume takes the history of the Sisters up to 1958-1959.

J. Bryan Hehir: "Identity and Institutions: Catholic Healthcare Providers Must Refashion Their Identity as Actors and Advocates in the World," Health Progress 76 (1995): 17-23.

Ellen Ryan Jolly, LLD: Nuns of the Battlefield. Providence, RI: The Providence Visitor Press, 1927. 4th edition, 1930. About the more than 500 Sisters from approximately 21 religious communities who served as nurses during the Civil War.

Christopher J. Kauffman et al.: A Commitment to Healthcare: Celebrating 75 years of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. St. Louis: Catholic Health Association of the United States, 1990.

Christopher J. Kauffman: "Development of a service organization. CHA (Catholic Hospital Association) from post-World War II through Vatican II." Health Progress 71 (June 1990): 29-37.

Christopher J. Kauffman: Ministry and Meaning: A Religious History of Catholic Health Care in the United States. New York: Crossroad, 1995.

Christopher J. Kauffman: "The Modern Association: Preserving a Catholic Presence in the U.S. Healthcare System," Health Progress 71 (July-August 1990): 35-46.

Sister Jane Klimisch, OSB: Women Gathering: The Story of the Benedictine Federation of St. Gertrude. Toronto: Peregrina Publishing Co. 1993. Sisters from this federation ran hospitals in Cañon City and Sterling.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious: Women in Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America. Exhibit and DVD.

Sister Mary Isidore Lennen, RSM: Milestones of Mercy: Story of the Sisters of Mercy in St. Louis, 1856-1956. Milwaukee: Catholic Life Publications, Bruce Press, 1956.

Mary Peckham Magray: The Transforming Power of the Nuns: Women, Religion, and Cultural Change in Ireland, 1750-1900. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Sister Mary Denis Maher: To Bind Up the Wounds: Catholic Sister Nurses in the U.S. Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
Excellent background on nursing in the U.S. as well as the role Roman Catholic Sisters played during the Civil War. Several of the physicians who moved to Colorado after military service during the Civil War cited their observation of Sisters on the battlefield as the reason for their confidence in what Sister nurses could do.
Sister Benedicta Mahoney, SC: We Are Many: A History of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati 1898-1971. Mount St. Joseph, Ohio: Sisters of Charity, 1982.

Sister Mary Agnes McCann, SC, MA: The History of Mother Seton's Daughters: The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Ohio 1809-1917, 3 volumes. New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1917.
Volume 1:
Volume 2:
Volume 3:
Bernadette McCauley: Who Shall Take Care of Our Sick? Roman Catholic Sisters and the Development of Catholic Hospitals in New York City. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Hospital, 2005.

Richard A. McCormick, SJ: "The Catholic Hospital Today: Mission Impossible?" Origins 24 (1995): 648-53.

Margaret M. McGuinness: Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America. NY: New York University Press, 2013.

Sister Judith Metz, SC: "150 Years of Caring: The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati," The Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin 37: 151-174. Fall 1979.

Sister Mary Margaret Mooney, PBVM: "Reminiscence on a Path Taken: Catholic Health Corporation, The First Ten Years." Background on Catholic Health Initiatives that was published in the Catholic Health Corporation newsletter.

Sioban Nelson: Say Little, Do Much: Nurses, Nuns, and Hospitals in the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. Nelson focuses on nineteenth-century Sisters who were nurses in Australia, Britain, and the United States.

Thomas J. Noel: Colorado Catholicism and the Archdiocese of Denver, 1857-1989. Introduction by J. Francis Stafford. Niwot, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 1990.

Sister Kathleen O'Brien, RSM: Journeys: A Pre-Amalgamation History of the Sisters of Mercy Omaha Province. Omaha: Sisters of Mercy, 1987.

Sister Kathleen O'Brien, RSM: Our Journey Together: Sisters of Mercy of Omaha, 1929-1959. Omaha: Sisters of Mercy, 2013.

Sister Mary Nicholas Orr, RSM: "History of the Sisters of Mercy in Colorado," typewritten manuscript in the archives of the Sisters of Mercy in Omaha.

Anne-Claire Pache and Felipe Santos: "When Worlds Collide: The Internal Dynamics of Organizational Responses to Conflicting Institutional Demands," Academy of Management Review 35 (2010): 455-76.
From the abstract: Our key contribution is to explore the conflict dimension of institutional pressures and provide a more precise model of organizational responses, including the identification of situations in which conflicting institutional demands may lead to organizational paralysis or breakup.
Sister M. Claude Pitsenberger, OSF: "Organizational Development of Mercy Hospital, Denver, Colorado," unpublished manuscript, Xavier University College of Business Administration, Cincinnati, Ohio, 28 pages, 1967.

Thomas R. Prince: "Assessing Catholic Community Hospitals Versus Nonprofit Community Hospitals, 1989-1992." Health Care Management Review 19 (1994): 25-37.

Sister Eileen Quinlan, CSJ: Planted on the Plains: A History of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Wichita, Kansas. Wichita: Greg D. Jones & Associates, 1984. These are the Sisters who built and ran the first hospital in the San Luis Valley, St. Joseph's in Del Norte.

"Saint Vincent's: 'We take all who come,'" Leadville Herald Democrat, March 11, 2004.

Sister Blandina Segale, SC: At the End of the Santa Fe Trail. Columbus, Ohio: Columbian Press, 1932. The book had first been published serially in Santa Maria magazine. "Story of the missionary work of a Sister of Charity in the Southwest of territorial days [1872-1892]"

Robert Shanahan: The History of the Catholic Hospital Association, 1915-1965. St. Louis: Catholic Hospital Association of the United States and Canada, 1965.

Sister Ursula Stepsis and Sister Dolores Liptak (eds.): Pioneer Healers: The History of Women Religious in American Health Care. New York: Crossroad Continuum, 1989.

J. M. Sullivan: "An Opportunity for Positive Change: We Have the History, Experience, and Will to Preserve a Catholic Presence in Healthcare," Health Progress 7 (1993): 56-65.
From the abstract: The Catholic healthcare mission was rooted in concern for the poor. Should Catholic healthcare providers withdraw from this field in which they have had such a significant presence and have contributed so much, or be driven from healthcare by the fiscal consequences of fidelity to mission? Instead, through its reform proposal, the Catholic Health Association has recommended that Catholic providers become advocates of change. However, even if change, such as universal access to healthcare, is achieved, we shall still have a society in which there will be many poor people. The challenge will be to see that healthcare for the poor does not become poor healthcare.
Barbara Mann Wall: American Catholic Hospitals: A Century of Changing Markets and Missions. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011.

Barbara Mann Wall: Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2005. Her book focuses on the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (St. Paul, Minnesota), the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, Texas), and the Sisters of the Holy Cross (Notre Dame, Indiana).
"The book details sisters' establishment of hospitals during a key transitional period: from 1865, when Catholic hospitals first experienced significant growth as community-based, religious institutions, to 1925, when they transformed into expensive, modern hospitals of science and technology. Much of hospital history tends to focus on large eastern institutions in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, but this book centers on the more numerous small hospitals in the Midwest and Trans-Mississippi West where gender roles, religion, economics and local political independence and power were context issues with distinct histories from eastern hospitals. . . .

"They included general hospitals as well as facilities for mining, marine, and railroad patients who did not have women at home to take care of them. Sisters also established orphanages, often in the same building as the hospital; homes for the elderly; and specialized hospitals. They staffed military hospitals, hospital ships, and 'pesthouses' for people with diseases such as smallpox. The sisters took large financial risks, and their institutions were not always successful." (pp. 2-3)
Kenneth R. White: "Catholic Healthcare: Isomorphism or Differentiation?" PhD dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1996.

Kenneth R. White: "Hospitals Sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church: Separate, Equal, and Distinct?" Milbank Quarterly 78 (2000): 213-239.

Kenneth R. White: "When Institutions Collide — The Competing Forces of Hospitals Sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church," Religions 2013, 4(1):14-29.

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