Area hospitals, clinics unite under SSM Health Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Sep. 08, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

ssm hospital network
SSM Health leaders applaud as the new logo on St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison is unveiled August 31. (Catholic Herald photos/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- Almost 104 years ago, eight Sisters of St. Mary (now the Franciscan Sisters of Mary) helped to establish a 70-bed hospital in Madison called St. Mary’s Hospital.

It came about after the urging of several physicians and local clergy who saw a need for the health care facility back in 1912.

Throughout the next century, its mission of providing compassionate and expert health care to every patient who enters its doors lived on in the legacy of many doctors, nurses, and other staff.

As missions continue, times and names change.

Madison’s St. Mary’s Hospital is now part of SSM Health -- a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation.

Along with St. Mary’s Hospital, the other entities that make up SSM Health in Wisconsin are: St. Mary’s Hospital, Janesville; St. Clare Hospital, Baraboo; St. Mary’s Care Center, Madison; St. Clare Meadows Care Center, Baraboo; Dean Medical Group; and Dean Health Plan.

The new name and logo were unveiled at a ceremony at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison on August 31.

New name, same care

“What’s the same is our mission,” said Damond Boatwright, SSM Health regional president of hospital operations and member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison.

“We really believe through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God,” Boatwright added. “The care that we’ve been known for for many years -- more than 100 years of compassion, kindness, respect for the individual and their needs -- that all remains the same.”

Boatwright and other SSM Health leaders were on hand as the new SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital logo was revealed.

The logo features a symbol that resembles the infinity symbol.

Boatwright called it a “seal of approval, a symbol of everything we have stood for . . . signifying the range of services that are so comprehensive throughout the many communities that we serve.”

SSM Health Regional Director of Pastoral Care Austine Duru said while the name of the facilities are changing, “nothing changes in terms of the quality of care that we provide.”

Duru added, “One of the things we promise our patients is we’re going to take care of their physical needs, but we’re also going to look into taking care of their emotional and spiritual dimensions. We look at the whole picture, the whole person. We want to make sure we’re meeting the people’s needs wherever that might be.”

He cited an example of a woman, recently needing care at the hospital whose husband had recently passed away. St. Mary’s staff was able set up a FaceTime, so she could connect with her husband’s wake and funeral services.

“That was very meaningful for the patient and for the family,” Duru said. “That’s one way we set ourselves apart in that regard.”

Duru also spoke about the biblical references to name changes.

“It was generally done to establish a new identity that God wished for them to embody,” Duru said, citing the examples of Abram becoming Abraham, Simon becoming Peter, and Saul becoming Paul.

“A new name does not always mean that the old name was bad or unsuitable,” Duru added. “Rather it signifies a new or expanded role, duty, function, or mission.”

Other speakers at the event included Dr. John G. Rose Jr., interim president of SSM Health Dean Medical Group, and Jon Lewis, vice president of operations of St. Mary’s Hospital.

Lewis thanked everyone for coming to celebrate St. Mary’s and Dean having “officially come together under one unified brand.”

More about SSM Health

SSM Health has been providing health care services in Wisconsin for generations, opening St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison in 1912, followed by St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo in 1963, and St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital in 2012.

SSM Health hospitals partnered with Dean Clinic physicians for more than 100 years.

SSM Health formally acquired Dean Clinic in 2013.

The SSM Health name will now be used to better connect all of the facilities and services that make up its fully integrated health care delivery network in south-central Wisconsin.

Over the coming months, the signs on the outside and inside of each of the SSM Health clinics, hospitals, and care centers will be changing over to the new logo.

SSM Heath facilities are also present in Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

The mission of SSM Health is, “Through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God.”

For more information on SSM Health, go to

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