St. Francis Medical Center Celebrating 125 Years


St. Francis Medical Center celebrates their 125th anniversary with the Grand Island community, including some who credit the center for easing their lives.

Medical center officials invited the community to celebrate the anniversary with a picnic celebration. Among those attending, one former patient said she remembers her own history with the center.

Maria Ortega, a Grand Island resident and a former St. Francis Medical Center patient said she had some complications during her pregnancy. "I had to be in bed for one month," Ortega said. "Stayed in bed before they were born, but after they were born we had fun with them, but a lot of work."

The mother of triplets said the hospital staff helped ease the difficulties that come with delivering and raising triplets, and now after 12 years, she brings her children back to the place where her parenting journey began.

The family joined the 125 year celebration with a former nurse, who remains a part of their family.

Sister Ann Ference said the event brought back memories of the triplet's birth. "I shared my excitement with everybody about the babies because they were like my adopted grandchildren," said Ference.

The mother of three said, "We feel like this is where they were born and we can keep coming any time we need it."

Dan McElligott, St. Francis CEO, said St. Francis started as a place for the vulnerable and it's now become a place with a heritage. McElligott said "Over the 17 years I've been here it's expanded, a lot of new services… a lot of great specialists."

He said he's seen the medical center grow into a regional facility that draws patients from all around central Nebraska.