Since 1830 when Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s first predecessor, the Utica Orphan Asylum, opened to the Sisters of St. Francis starting St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1866 and the original St. Luke’s Home opening in 1869, our founders, employees and medical staff have a long tradition of caring for families in the Mohawk Valley.


Mother M. Bernardina is the founder of the Order of St. Francis, a religious community of sisters in Syracuse, New York. She was a teacher at St. Joseph School in Utica, but it was not unusual for the black-robed Franciscan to make her way through the streets of West Utica to visit the sick. She often found poverty and neglect and she resolved to find a place where the sick could be cared for by the Sisters.

With the aid and contributions of friends, Mother Bernardina founded St. Elizabeth Hospital in a small house on Columbia Street that was donated by St. Joseph Church. On December 12, 1866, the first patient was admitted.

Marianne Cope had joined the Sisters of St. Francis in 1862 and also helped establish St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse in 1869. In 1883, then called Mother Marianne as superior in Syracuse, she answered a desperate plea from the Hawaiian government for religious nursing sisters to care for leprosy patients. She and six sister companions arrived in Hawaii on Nov. 8, 1883. In 1884, Mother Marianne opened Malulani Hospital, Maui’s first general hospital, at the government’s request. On Oahu, she was given responsibility of the Kakaako Branch Hospital for leprosy patients. In November 1885, she established Kapiolani Home for the female children of leprosy patients. In 1918, she died of natural causes.

Her work with leprosy patients, later in Kalaupapa, a remote settlement on the island of Molokai, led to Mother Marianne being declared “venerable” in 2004 and in 2012 she was canonized at the Vatican.


St. Luke’s Hospital opens


Faxton Hospital is built


Utica Homeopathic Hospital formed


Present St. Elizabeth Hospital occupied


Utica Orphan Asylum is reorganized to become Children’s Hospital Home


Utica Homeopathic Hospital changes name to Utica Memorial Hospital and moves to new building


St. Luke’s Home and Hospital and the Utica Memorial Hospital merge to form St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital


St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital moves to current location


Faxton Hospital established by merger of The Faxton Hospital and Children’s Hospital


Mohawk Valley Network is formed through Faxton Hospital and St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital


St. Luke’s Home opens on the St. Luke’s Campus and replaces Broadacres Nursing Home


Mohawk Valley Heart Institute forms


Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare consolidation completed


St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare affiliate under the Mohawk Valley Health System