Our History

Memorial Health was born on April 19, 1897, with the opening of the Springfield Hospital and Training School. The institution was founded by a group of German Lutherans who were committed to bringing compassionate, quality healthcare to the growing city of Springfield.

The first hospital was located in the former home of Dr. William Langdon at Fifth Street and North Grand Avenue. Although open to people of all faiths, the founders maintained a close relationship with Trinity Church and Concordia Seminary, and meeting minutes were often written in German.

By the Great Depression, local Lutheran congregations could no longer financially support the hospital and Springfield Hospital transitioned to a nondenominational institution led by a board of community members whose forward-thinking helped position the organization for future growth.

In the decades that followed, Springfield Hospital became Memorial Hospital of Springfield and then Memorial Medical Center. By the time the century drew to a close, “Memorial” no longer referred to a single hospital. Today, Memorial Health encompasses a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services including hospitals, primary care, behavioral health, home care and more.

Decatur Memorial Hospital

In 1896, Bethany resident Susan Hagaman and a group of local women began raising money to establish a new hospital in Decatur. Their mission was to create a safe place for babies to be born, spurred by a newspaper article about a woman who had given birth to a premature infant after being turned away from a local hospital. Respected surgeon Dr. William Barnes agreed to join the cause and spearhead the fundraising effort. Their dream finally became a reality in 1916, with the opening of what later became Decatur Memorial Hospital. DMH affiliated with Memorial Health in 2019.

Jacksonville Memorial Hospital

Jacksonville Memorial Hospital was founded in 1875 by Rev. William A. Passavant, who had a nationwide reputation for establishing hospitals and orphanages. The property on which the hospital was established was donated by a Jacksonville resident, Mrs. Eliza Ayers. When Rev. Passavant died in 1894, the hospital was renamed in his memory. Rapid growth followed, including a 1968 merger with Jacksonville’s Catholic hospital, Holy Cross. The hospital affiliated with Memorial Health in 2014.

Lincoln Memorial Hospital

Lincoln Memorial Hospital was founded as Deaconess Hospital in 1902 by members of the Evangelical St. John Church. Deaconesses pledged to care for the sick, the elderly and those living in poverty. In 1954, with the opening of a new facility, the hospital transitioned to the nondenominational Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. LMH affiliated with Memorial Health in 1994.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital

Taylorville Memorial Hospital was established as St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in 1906 by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, based in Ruma, Illinois. St. Vincent Memorial Hospital affiliated with Memorial Health System of Springfield in 1995 and was operated in co-sponsorship with the Adorers. In May 2007, sole sponsorship was transferred to Memorial Health and the official name of the hospital was changed to Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

Memorial Behavioral Health

In 1996, Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (MHCCI), which provided residential, outpatient and crisis care across six counties, became part of Memorial Health. Ten years later, the affiliate rebranded as Memorial Behavioral Health.

Memorial Care

In 1995, HealthCare Network Associates, or HCNA, an organization of established central Illinois primary care physicians, was founded. HCNA evolved into Memorial Physician Services, the forerunner of today’s Memorial Care clinics. Today, Memorial Care provides primary care, urgent care, laboratory and other services, allowing patients to access care in person or online via telehealth.

Memorial Home Health

In 1984, Memorial became sponsor of the ten-county Visiting Nurse Association of Central Illinois. In 2000, a new affiliation with Alternative Care Services, which provided home care and supplies to residents of the Memorial service area, opened up new opportunities. In 2007, VNA and ACS were consolidated into the affiliate later known as Memorial Home Services.