Devils Lake History

Our History

In 1895, the Reverend Mother M. Genevieve Sheridan came to Devils Lake to start a hospital. The old public school building on 5th Street was abandoned and then purchased for use as St. Vincent's Hospital.

It did not take long for the community to outgrow this small facility, and shortly after the hospital opened, plans to build a new hospital were put into place. In June 1902, the cornerstone was laid for the first wing of the present Mercy Hospital.

On September 17, 1936, construction on a second addition began in order to increase the bed capacity to 75 and improve the School of Nursing facilities. Yet another addition began in 1956, which included a second increase in the number of beds, plus modernization of the ancillary facilities.

In 1972, the time had come to completely replace the 1902 structure and renovate the 1957 wing. A certificate of need was issued to Mercy Hospital to build a 110-bed facility.

As time went on, the hospital continued to expand and add new departments to keep up with changing times and medical progress. In 1981, the radiology department was expanded to accommodate the nuclear medicine and ultrasound department.

With many changes occurring in health care, Mercy broke ground for a new 35-bed acute-care wing on August 13, 1992.

Significant events took place during the next year. In January 1995, Mercy Hospital became licensed by the state of North Dakota for operation of 50 beds.

In 1996, three national health care systems—Catholic Health Corporation (Omaha, NE); Franciscan Health System (Aston, PA); and Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems (Cincinnati, OH)—created a new and unprecedented health system: Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).

On July 1, 1996, Mercy Hospital became a part of CHI and adopted its mission of nurturing the healing ministry of the Church and promoting healthy communities.

In 2009, Mercy became a Critical Access Hospital, licensed for 25 beds.

In April 2016, Mercy was incorporated with CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake Hospital.

CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake Hospital remains dedicated to the tenets for which it was founded, including a focus on its community. From same-day surgery and radiology to physical therapy and 24-hour emergency care, CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake Hospital will always provide the best possible care to residents of Devils Lake and surrounding areas.