In 1887, Reverend Eugene Weibel requested the Benedictine sisters from the convent of Maria Rickenbach, in the Swiss Alps, to come to Arkansas. This marked the start of healthcare in Craighead County, Arkansas. The sisters transformed an estate into a hospital and opened its doors on July 5, 1900. The hospital was named Bernards Hospital and the first patient admitted was D.
In 1905, a brick hospital was erected with forty beds and a chapel connecting the convent to the original hospital building. Throughout the years, Bernards Hospital faced financial difficulties but still managed to expand its services and buildings. It weathered floods and tornadoes that caused destruction in the area and cared for the sick and injured. In 1974, after living near the hospital since its founding, the sisters began to move their convent to a place north of the city limits. The hospital's growth had paralleled the growth of Jonesboro itself, and in 1974, it was renamed St.
Bernards to reflect its role as a referral center for patients in twenty-three counties in northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri. This project is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) called Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan. The CALS Foundation is a 501 (c) () organization. Donations made to the CALS Foundation are tax-deductible for U. S.
federal income tax purposes. St. Bernards Healthcare is now the largest employer in Northeast Arkansas, with more than 2,200 employees. According to Shane Speights, Craighead County's health outcomes are mostly good and you can tell the difference compared to other counties. Judge Chris Thyer of the second judicial circuit also addressed the judges in connection with the expansion of the Craighead County courtroom and the secure rooms project that is being carried out. Most people in Craighead County died from health problems such as heart disease, cancers, and respiratory diseases, which was no different from most other counties in the state.
Speights noted that Craighead County is doing very well when it comes to clinical care, with a large number of primary care doctors, dental professionals and mental health professionals available. He also mentioned that NYIT trained about 120 new doctors a year and some of them are studying family medicine and internal medicine in Craighead County. On Monday night at the Craighead County Courthouse annex in Jonesboro, Shane Speights presented his annual Craighead County health report. He highlighted how far healthcare has come since its beginnings with Bernards Hospital over a century ago.