Hospital History - Elmbrook Memorial - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Our History

Wheaton Franciscan – Elmbrook Memorial Campus has a rich history, complete with humble beginnings, determination, and unwavering commitment. The Elmbrook Memorial Hospital we see today, located high on a hill in a quiet suburban neighborhood, is the result and foresight of many individuals with a common vision of service to the community.

Humble Beginnings, Sacred Mission

Our history begins with a small group of Canadian women helping the homeless and ill of Montreal. By the official order of Bishop Bourget in 1848, this group became the Sisters of Misericordia, and they later migrated to the United States. Coincidentally, in Milwaukee in 1908, several local physicians were making requests to the Archbishop for the establishment of a new hospital in the city. The Misericordia Sisters were the immediate choice. They arrived in 1910 and opened the Misericordia Hospital at 22nd and Juneau, later moving to 22nd and Kilbourn.

Increasing Health Care Needs

By the 1950s, as the city and the hospital grew, the Sisters began searching for larger quarters and an area where they could build a larger facility. An area known as Brittany Farms was available in the Brookfield area, with the sellers of the land requesting that the land be used to benefit the entire community. The Misericordia Sisters bought the 230-acre estate for $750,000.

Their Plan Comes to Fruition

After years of planning and building, on September 8, 1969, the Sisters opened their new hospital – Elmbrook Memorial. With an original medical staff of just 10, the hospital began serving a community that would see many changes. In 1976, to fulfill an earlier commitment to return much of the property to the city’s tax rolls, the Sisters sold 200 acres for subdividing. As businesses and homes sprang up throughout the area, residents could always rely on Elmbrook Memorial to care for their sick, treat the injured, and bring healthy new babies into the world.

As the years progressed, the Misericordia Sisters began to transfer ownership of their full-service hospital to other organizations. In 1984, Elmbrook Memorial began as a member of the Wheaton Franciscan System, which later merged into the Covenant Healthcare System in 1993 and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in 2006.

Today’s Health Care – Meeting the Needs of the Times

Today Elmbrook Memorial is a vibrant asset to the communities it serves, ranking as one of the country’s top hospitals according to HealthGrades®, the nation’s leading independent health ratings organization. As a faith-based organization, Elmbrook Memorial welcomes all faiths and strives to treat all individuals in accordance to our values of respect, integrity, development, excellence, and stewardship. With a heritage that’s rich and strong, Elmbrook Memorial is proud to be a health care partner and anchor for eastern Waukesha County, and we will continue to meet the health care needs of our neighbors for years to come.

To learn more about Elmbrook Memorial Campus, please call 262-785-2000.

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