OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center marked its 50-year anniversary Friday by unearthing a time capsule buried when the hospital was being built.
“Oh my gosh,” exclaimed Sister Judith Ann Duvall, chairperson of OSF Healthcare, as she pulled artifacts from a copper case that was about the size of a large textbook.
The capsule included dozens of artifacts, including newsletters, newspaper clippings and black-and-white photos from the time of construction at the East Washington Street site which was in the middle of a cornfield at the time.
“It’s so neat to be able to reflect back, to re-remember and to thank God for that history and share it so we never lose connectedness to our roots,” Duvall said.
Duvall attended the hospital groundbreaking in 1968. She was in nurses training at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb at the time.
Duvall marveled at a newspaper clipping from 1907 which indicated OSF St. Joseph Medical Center at its previous location on South Morris Avenue provided care for 177 patients over the previous year, 17 of which were paid cases from the county, which she read “would have otherwise had to go to the poor farm.”
OSF St. Joseph President Lynn Fulton said she sees the look into the past as a way to see anticipate what the future holds.
“This is a gift from your previous leaders, our previous sisters, a gift into being able to see through their eyes their vision for healthcare here in Bloomington-Normal by being able to go through this time capsule,” Fulton said.
The capsule also contained a chunk of carpet from the hospital’s opening and what Duvall described as religious medals which were small medallions with religious imagery.
“It just reinforces that sense of isn’t it amazing what we were and what we have become, and these beautiful women and employees that helped make that all happen,” Duvall said.
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