HCA Healthcare’s St. Mark’s Hospital celebrates 150 years of serving Utah
Caring that spans 150 years. St. Mark’s Hospital has a vibrant history as one of HCA Healthcare’s earliest facilities and is celebrating a significant milestone this year. As Utah’s first hospital built in 1872, St. Mark’s Hospital commemorates its 150th anniversary in 2022.
A brief history of St. Mark’s Hospital
Bishop Rev. Daniel S. Tuttle of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah founded St. Mark’s Hospital in the 1800s in the booming pioneer settlement of what is now Salt Lake City. Initially, the hospital consisted of a six-bed facility in a rented home with one physician and all male nurses.
The hospital in Utah’s capital was also home to the state’s first nursing school. Founded in 1894, St. Mark’s Hospital School of Nursing was created to help find qualified nurses to care for patients. In the modern era, HCA Healthcare nurses at St. Mark’s Hospital are offered a variety of educational programs and partnerships to ensure a strong pipeline of nurses and physicians to their facility – including Galen College of Nursing, one of the country’s largest private nursing colleges.
With a growing community alongside a growing need for healthcare, St. Mark’s Hospital opened its doors to patients at its current location in 1973 and was acquired by HCA Healthcare a few years later.
Now, St. Mark’s Hospital is adding a new patient tower to expand services and accommodate the service line growth while continuing to touch hundreds of lives each day and grow a diverse group of colleagues and medical staff.
Healthcare workers reflect on 150 years
Sandy Osmond, former Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), St. Mark’s Hospital
From candy striper to CNO: “St. Mark’s will always be my place.”
In the summer of 1976, Sandy Osmond’s mother held up a striped pinafore, white socks and white shoes and told her she’d serve as a candy striper in St. Mark’s Hospital’s brand-new location. She frowned at the announcement.
“I was not thrilled, but I was a good girl and went, and then I fell in love with the nurses. It’s the first time I thought about being a nurse,” Sandy explained.
After graduating high school, Sandy found herself at St. Mark’s Hospital again; though not as a candy striper, but as a worried daughter of a beloved open-heart patient.
“My mom initially did well, but one night she suffered from cardiac arrest three times,” Sandy said. “They told us they didn’t think she’d survive.”
Sandy’s mom pulled through that night, and as the sun rose the following day, Sandy walked through the hospital doors and made a decision about her life.
Based on that pivotal moment, Sandy set her sights on Westminster College. “As a nursing student at Westminster, I’d park outside St. Mark’s and think, ‘I’m going to work in those walls. I have just got to do that! That’s my place, and someday I’ll be a part of it.’ And I was – for 31 years,” Sandy said.
Sandy’s official career as a nurse with HCA Healthcare and St. Mark’s Hospital began in 1987 as a nurse in the Medical Surgical Unit (Med/Surg). She later joined Labor and Delivery before serving in the hospital’s brand-new reproductive care center. Focused on providing cutting-edge technology and advanced women’s services, the hospital then pioneered the state’s first dedicated women’s health center.
Roughly 25 years later, Sandy stepped into an interim position as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at St. Mark’s Hospital. The role then transitioned into a permanent position she held for approximately five years.
“When I was CNO, I’d walk the halls and listen to nurses taking care of patients, and I’d be so proud,” recalls Sandy. “They’d give comfort to people in physical or emotional pain, and they weren’t afraid to put their arms around somebody to provide the comfort only a touch can give. That pride still comes over me when I walk on campus,” Sandy said.
Today, Sandy serves as a hospital consultant and travels nationwide to provide insight and interim leadership. Though she’s served from coast to coast, she says St. Mark Hospital’s influence remains ever present.
“No matter where I go, I compare everything to St. Mark’s,” Sandy said. “That hospital still holds my heart. It’s home to me, and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities given and relationships fostered there.”
John Jones, Safety Officer at St. Mark’s Hospital, HCA Healthcare Mountain Division Security Director & Emergency Management Coordinator
Serving as the Safety Officer for St. Mark’s Hospital and the Security Director and Emergency Management Coordinator for HCA Healthcare’s Mountain Division, John Jones knows preparation for anything and everything is vital for any hospital.
In his role, John designs and implements realistic and elaborate drills that utilize community emergency teams to prepare hospitals for potential emergencies or natural disasters. While the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) require two large emergency drills each year, St. Mark’s Hospital completes approximately seven drills annually under John’s leadership.
“We’ve done insane drills here – ones that involve orchestrating 400-500 people without disrupting patient care,” John said. “We’ve had intense earthquake drills, active shooter drills, chemical spill drills and more. We go way above and beyond what is required, thinking outside the box and pushing our limits. It keeps us on our toes and keeps our community safe.”
In 1999, a powerful tornado touched down in Salt Lake City. This was not a drill. The most destructive tornado in the state’s history lasted about 10 minutes, caused dozens of injuries, killed one person and racked up $170 million worth of damage. St. Mark’s Hospital colleagues called upon previous drills to help save lives. It is a day John remembers like it was yesterday.
“I was on the orthopedic floor and saw the tornado hit. Shortly after, we got a call advising us to anticipate 100 patients. I wasn’t sure we’d really get that many, but the first vehicle that pulled up to our ER was a Greyhound bus filled with 80 victims,” John said. “The ER and whole hospital came together and worked as one unit. In that moment, everything we practiced as a team came together. I was extremely proud. We skillfully triaged and prioritized patients, and we shut down operating rooms to care for those with big lacerations who needed sutures. No one panicked. It felt good to see all the time and effort of our emergency drills pay off.”
With 39 years of service at St. Mark’s Hospital under his belt, John has witnessed many traumatic events unfold. According to John, the No. 1 rule, regardless of the emergency, is to remain calm.
Doing the right thing at St. Mark’s Hospital stands as a family tradition for John. His mother, Elaine Hampshire Jones, began her 27-year St. Mark’s Hospital career in 1957, immediately after graduating from nursing school. She spent the lion’s share of her service in the post-operative orthopedic unit, where she regularly cared for polio patients after they received rod implants during spinal corrective surgery. At the time, individual patient rooms were not used for post-op patients, so Elaine’s patients’ beds lined the wards.
John grew up hearing about the care at St. Mark’s Hospital from his mother, and she must have had good things to say because he committed to keeping the hospital in the family. Over time, John realized he was forming an even larger family.
John has nothing but positive wishes for the future generations of St. Mark’s Hospital.
“I’d love to see them progress in the next 150 years as much as they did in the last. I always hope they stay on the forefront of technology and always get to be the hospital people want to go to,” John said. “Happy 150th anniversary, St. Mark’s!”
Dr. Brian Shiozawa, former ER Department Chair, St. Mark’s Hospital
There is no greater reward than making a difference in the lives of others. That’s what Dr. Brian Shiozawa believes – and it’s not just an inspiring expression, it’s his driving force.
Dr. Shiozawa impacted patients’ lives within St. Mark’s Hospital’s Emergency Department for 27 years.
During his tenure, Dr. Shiozawa served on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark’s Hospital and the statewide Emergency Physicians Integrated Care, or EPIC, organization. Plus, he gave significant and lengthy service as President of the Utah Medical Association and served on the Board of Governors for the Utah Medical Insurance Association.
While serving as ER Department Chair at St. Mark’s Hospital for 15 years, Dr. Shiozawa became known for his dedication, honesty, dynamism and leadership within the medical community. Thanks to his reputation, Dr. Shiozawa was able to successfully connect ER physicians along the Wasatch Front and create a powerful group.
“Joining together fostered collaboration on important issues like quality and patient satisfaction. It also increased efficiency and boosted HCA Healthcare’s reputation in the region,” Dr. Shiozawa said.
In 2017, Dr. Shiozawa retired from St. Mark’s Hospital, completed his senate tenure and began an 18-month assignment from the White House. As a Presidential appointee, he served as the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Today, Dr. Shiozawa’s influence continues as Associate Vice President of Health Policy at the University of Utah, assisting with legislation on federal and state levels. He also inspires the rising generation of ER physicians as a professor of emergency medicine at the university, where he exemplifies and teaches the values he became known for at St. Mark’s Hospital.
“Long a well-regarded emergency services physician at St. Mark’s, Dr. Shiozawa contributed stability, an even-handed perspective, and sincere concern for individual physicians and hospital employees,” said Steve Bateman, St. Mark’s Hospital’s former CEO. “Dr. Shiozawa is one of the finest physicians I have ever worked with.”
Rev. Nancy J. Cormack-Hughes, Director of Spiritual Care at St. Mark’s Hospital and Episcopal Community Services
As St. Mark’s Hospital celebrates its 150th anniversary, it simultaneously celebrates 150 years of spiritual support for patients and their family members. Since its inception, the hospital has provided diverse chaplains and a full spectrum of compassionate emotional and spiritual support to patients and their loved ones. Sometimes that support comes in the form of blessings and prayers. Sometimes it shows up as conversations or assistance with advanced directives. Often, it means listening and being present in a difficult moment.
Reverend Nancy Cormack-Hughes, Director of Spiritual Care at St. Mark’s Hospital and Episcopal Community Services, remembers one difficult day when she played an important role in the end-of-life care of an ICU patient. Even more complex, the patient’s only family member battled their own health issues across the country.
“I sat alone with this patient in the ICU while on the phone with her sister. I watched the monitor as the patient’s heart rate slowed, and through every breath,” Rev. Cormack-Hughes recalled. “I held the patient’s hand as the surrogate for the sister, and the patient passed peacefully. Moments like that are sacred and a privilege to experience.”
The history that Rev. Cormack-Hughes now continues to build upon was created with the help of Utah’s first clinical pastoral education (CPE) program. Since 1984, the Pastoral Care Center at St. Mark’s Hospital has provided CPE from The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education – the standard spiritual care accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
“I feel proud of that,” Rev. Cormack-Hughes said.
Yvette Smith, Registered Nurse, St. Mark’s Hospital
Yvette Smith served in Afghanistan during Desert Storm as a field medic trained in respiratory therapy and specialized in cardiac ultrasound. Two days after returning home to American soil, she applied for a job at St. Mark’s Hospital. Little did she know that during the next 30 years, Yvette would continue growing and serving within the St. Mark’s Hospital family.
Yvette began her career at St. Mark’s Hospital in the Heart Center. She remembers it as a time of exciting advancements in cardiac ultrasounds.
“Everything was changing, and everything was new,” Yvette recalls. “We were receiving these ginormous cardiac ultrasound machines that were the size of the wall … and we were basically test pilots for transesophageal echocardiograms (TEEs) for valve replacements.”
The healthcare team pulled close together, with healthcare technology advancements moving full speed ahead. To keep up the pace, Dr. Keith Richie suggested that Yvette obtain the latest cardiac ultrasound certification. Even more impressive, Dr. Richie helped Yvette accomplish the goal.
“He took me under his wing and treated me like a daughter,” Yvette said. “He would sit with me for an hour a day after our shift, helping me so I could pass that test.”
The family-like culture continued over several years of working together.
“One day, I told Dr. Richie that I was getting married, and he said, ‘Hey, I can do that for you guys!’ So, Dr. Richie actually married my husband and me,” Yvette said.
Eventually, Yvette spent a few years away from St. Mark’s Hospital to raise her two daughters, but she returned to the hospital when the work-life balance felt right. This time, she joined the kidney dialysis team.
With consistent compassion at the core of care, Yvette wishes St. Mark’s Hospital many more years of the same guiding principles.
“Stay consoling, stay compassionate. Keep being the hospital that cares and treats our community so well,” Yvette said. “And Happy 150th anniversary, St. Mark’s Hospital!”
Learn more about the vibrant history of St. Mark’s Hospital at www.stmarks150.com.
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