Hospital History


The story of Passavant Hospital really began in 1868 when Mrs. Eliza Ayers, a widow from Jacksonville, wrote to Reverend William Passavant, a Lutheran minister that had a national reputation for creating hospitals and orphanages, about donating a most valuable block of five acres on the city’s leading street. Although it took seven years of searching to find the right solution, Eliza gave the property to Reverend Passavant in 1875, and Jacksonville Hospital (now known as Passavant Hospital) was built on East State Street. It was the 149th hospital in the United States.

The transformation of Passavant from a small-town hospital to a modern state-of-the-art medical facility happened slowly at first, then three major decisions took place that insured the future success of the hospital. First was the formation of the Ladies Aid Society (now called Passavant Auxiliary) in January 1896. The organization’s role proved to be ever-changing as Passavant grew and it worked to accommodate the trends of medicine and hospital care. Whenever money was needed, whether it be for an expansion, equipment, services, or patient care, the Auxiliary responded. Second was the establishment of the Nursing School in 1902. Its bright, young faces did much to tell the community that Passavant was here for the long run and working for the future. And the third major decision that insured Passavant’s success was when local sources obtained complete control and it became truly a locally owned facility in 1916. In 1953, Passavant opened the doors to its new 140-bed facility at its current location on West Walnut Street.

Throughout the years, Passavant has continued to grow, and thanks to the support of many in the local and area communities, has expanded medical technology and services to evolve into a modern, state-of-the-art healthcare facility.

Today, Passavant serves the residents of Morgan, Cass, Greene, Scott, and Macoupin counties in West Central Illinois, is staffed by 900 full and part-time employees, and is licensed for 93 patient beds. Passavant is accredited by The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JACHO). Passavant achieved the status of a Magnet® Hospital from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2009.

Passavant Area Hospital History Timeline

Mrs. Eliza Ayers donated property to the Rev. W.A. Passavant’s Lutheran Association for Works of Mercy for use as hospital.
Two Lutheran deaconesses assigned to Jacksonville to care for patients.

Public campaign to modernize building.

Seven Sisters of the Holy Cross arrived to found Our Saviour’s Hospital on East State Street with bequest from Charles Routt.

Our Savior’s building addition completed.

Passavant School of Nursing opened.
Two unused floors of Passavant remodeled into patient rooms and new surgery.
Our Saviour’s kitchen and laundry enlarged.

Local citizen corporation assumed control of Passavant. Trustees appointed by 12 Protestant churches in Jacksonville, the Aid Society, the Association for Works of Mercy, and the medical profession.

X-ray departments added at both hospitals.

Nichols Nursing home built at Passavant.

Passavant Memorial Hospital Association received title to the hospital property from Lutheran Association.

Pavilion Wing constructed at Passavant.

Ground broken for addition to Our Saviour’s.

Isolation building opened at Passavant.

$319,000 raised in community campaign to modernize Passavant. Project postponed by material shortages and high costs.

Second funds drive raised balance of $700,000 required to secure government grants of nearly one and one-half million dollars to build new hospital.

Passavant ownership extended to Protestant churches of five-county area.

New 140-bed Passavant opened on West Walnut Street.

Construction started on Our Saviour’s building addition, financed by gifts, grants and loans. Oldest parts of plant leveled. New School of Nursing built at Passavant. Sixteen patient rooms added at Passavant.

Our Saviour’s renamed Holy Cross Hospital.

Building expansion at Passavant enlarged emergency and patient service areas.

Unified community hospital system created by union of Holy Cross and Passavant; ownership held by all churches of five-county area through membership in Passavant Memorial Area Hospital Association.
Holy Cross building became Frank A. Norris Unit.

Patient rooms remodeled at Norris and physical plant modernized.

Major addition to Passavant completed, housing enlarged outpatient, emergency, and diagnostic and treatment departments; financed by gifts and loans.
Passavant celebrated its 100th Anniversary.

Ground broken for $10.2 million addition to Passavant.

South Addition at Passavant dedicated, housing new surgical suite, intensive and coronary care units, and two new nursing units. Patient care at Norris Unit discontinued.

Closed School of Nursing in conjunction with MacMurray College’s establishment of BAN program.

Norris facility sold to MacMurray College.
Renovated Radiology Department and acquired leased CT scanner.
Remodeled Pediatrics with funds provided by Auxiliary.

Remodeled OB unit; developed birthing room.
Revised corporation bylaws; reduced number of Trustees from 24 to 16.

Installed hospital information system.
Development of cardiac rehabilitation program.

MRI service began.
New telephone system installed.
Strategic Planning Process completed.

Radiology expansion completed.

Vending Room, Medical Records, Outpatient, Emergency Room, Same Day Surgery remodeled; Auxiliary assisted with funding of remodeling in the Vending Room.
Dytel automated attendant feature added to phone system.

Medical Office Building erected.

Cardiopulmonary, Labor-Delivery-Room, Central Sterile remodeled.
New PCS computer system installed.
New Patient Registration Department opens.

Cardiac Rehab enlarged.
Work conditioning room added to Physical Therapy.
Physician sleep room completed.
Gift Shop remodeled.
Oncology Clinic renovated.
Obstetrics renovated.
Scatterbed Telemetry system added to First Floor.
ICCU renovated.
New televisions installed in patient rooms.
Nurses stations remodeled.

East wing renovated.
Chiller plant built.
VNA building completed.
New parking lot added.
Board room moved to third floor.
New Mammography unit purchased.
New sterilization unit added in Central Sterile.

Passavant celebrated it’s 120th Anniversary
Helical CT Scanner installed in Imaging Services Department
Main Lobby renovated with meeting room addition.

New Vision Program started for alcohol/drug abuse.
Sleep Apnea Study Clinic opened in Cardiopulmonary.

Transitional Care Unit opened on first floor.
Rural Health Center-relocated to first floor.
Pacemaker program introduced.

A 30-month HVAC renovation projects begins.
Bone Densitometer added to Imaging Services.
Pharmacologic stress thallium testing starts.
Team Rehab debuts.
Passavant scores highest mark ever on Joint Commission survey.
Passavant HomeCare opens.
Thin Prep pap smear test introduced. Women’s Connection begins.

Men’s Connection starts.
Passavant web site,, opens.
Occupational therapy services added.
Stereotactic breast biopsy added.
New computer system goes on-line.

Passavant celebrates its 125th Anniversary.
Women’s Health Series Luncheon begins.

Passavant partners with LLCC on nursing scholarship program.
New M.R.I. unit begins operations.
Rehabilitation Services/Orthopaedic Surgeons building opens.
Passavant Tribute Garden opens.

Passavant and John Wood Community College partner on surgery technician program.
Health Information Services, Dietary, and Information Systems receive department upgrades.
Passavant’s “intranet” starts.

New generators installed.
HIPAA regulations instituted at hospital.
HealthGrades gives Passavant a Five Star rating for total hip replacement.
New time and attendance system for employees implemented.

Extensive renovation of the Laboratory Department begins
Nursing Service implements new patient documentation system.
Construction of Same Day Surgery Addition starts.
HealthGrades gives Passavant a Five Star rating for total hip and knee replacement.
Additional mammography procedure room added.

Passavant celebrates its 130th Anniversary.
HealthGrades gives Passavant a Five Star rating for total hip and knee replacement.
Hospital purchases a 64-slice CT scanner.
HMR Program for Weight Management starts.
Hospital goes smoke-free.
New Mission Statement adopted.

New Ambulatory Surgery opens.
Passavant receives HealthGrades’ Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety.
Picture Acrhiving and Communication System (PACS) installed in Imaging Services.

Passavant is awarded The Lincoln Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence
Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation selects Passavant as Harold Cox Industry of the Year.
Passavant receives VHA Leadership Award for providing excellent care to surgical patients.

Groundbreaking for Emergency Department Expansion Project.
Passavant Industrial Rehabilitation and Aquatic Therapy opens.
The electronic medical record starts.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Program begins.
Passavant achieves status as a Magnet Hospital.
Imaging Services begins using digital mammography.
Hospital partners with the Daisy Foundation to begin the Daisy Award Program.

Passavant celebrates its 135th Anniversary.
The new, expanded Emergency Department opens.
“What the Blazes,” the Passavant Follies, raises nearly $50,000 for the Passavant Auxiliary.

Passavant enters social media with Facebook and You Tube pages.
Electronic Medication Administration Record starts.
Gift Shop, Main Lobby, and Meeting Rooms renovated.

Medical Office Building constructions begins.
Passavant Area Hospital Foundation established.
New tagline, “Patient Focused. Quality Driven,” adopted.
Telepsychiatry Program begins with the Center for Psychiatric Health and Blessing Hospital in Quincy.
20th Annual Passavant-Powerade 5K and 10K.
The Passavant Area Hospital Foundation established.

HealthGrades gives Passavant a 5-Star Rating for Joint Replacement and for Cholecystectomy surgeries.
New exterior signage developed to identify entrances and direct traffic.
The Passavant Hospitalist Program established.
New Passavant website launched.
Memorial Physician Services and Springfield Clinic Medical Office Building opens.

Passavant earns Magnet redesignation.
Passavant becomes affiliate of Memorial Health System.
Online patient portal opens.

Prasad Vasireddy, MD, donates his home to the Passavant Foundation.
Passavant OB/GYN Outreach Clinic opens in Beardstown.
Lymphedema Clinic and Center for Pain Management added to service line.
Howard and Vera Million give $4.5 million gift to Passavant Foundation.
3D mammography and open bore MRI added to Imaging Services Department.
Specialty Clinic opens.
Mia Ware Foundation donates $100,000 for mammograpy suite renovations.

Visitors Should Take Precautions to Prevent Spread of Influenza

Posted on: December 18, 2017

Illinois is experiencing a severe flu season, with many people experiencing flu-like symptoms throughout Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) For the safety of patients and their families, Memorial Health System is recommending visitors to its four hospitals – Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville and Taylorville Memorial Hospital – help prevent the spread of respiratory infections by requesting that: Inpatient hospital visits be limited to two visitors per patient at one time All visitors be 18 or older and show no signs of illness The health system also encourages those accompanying outpatients at Memorial facilities to consider these same recommendations. “Passavant Area Hospital is currently not experiencing a high rate of hospitalizations due to influenza,” Erica Hunt, infection prevention and control manager for Passavant Area Hospital, said. “People who are ill shouldn’t visit someone in the hospital. This is true any time of year, but especially during flu season.” Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January and February, beginning as early as October and ending as late as May, according to the CDC website. As many as 20 percent of all Americans get the flu each year. To prevent spread of the flu, the CDC recommends individuals take precautions to avoid spreading germs, such as washing your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and getting your annual flu vaccination (available to those 6 months and older). Most people who get the flu recover completely in one to two weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia, according to the IDPH. Over the past decade, influenza and pneumonia have been associated with an average of 3,500 deaths a year in Illinois. For additional information about the flu, including symptoms and prevention, visit the CDC website, More information about the flu can be found on Memorial’s Live Well blog,, including frequently asked questions.

Copyright © 2015. Passavant Area Hospital. All Rights Reserved

Back to Top