Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital celebrates 150th birthday on St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick Hospital part of health system with over 52 hospitals in seven states
St. Pats Green
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-20 10:50:26-04

MISSOULA - It's a happy St. Patrick's Day for St. Patrick Hospital as they are celebrating 150 years of serving the Missoula community.

In 1873, four nuns, including Mother Caron, from Montreal came down to Missoula with the idea to help those in need by starting a hospital.

The beginnings were humble, but the building would soon become a three-story hospital that continued to grow with the community around it.

That includes major expansion efforts in the 1980s and a brand new Broadway Building in the early 2000s.

St. Pats Green
Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital turned its fountain green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and to mark the medical center's 150th anniversary on March 17, 2023.

For hospital administrators, the look has changed but the journey is the same.

"Technology has changed, how we do our work has changed. But what has remained constant is that we have a desire to make sure people know that they matter. That we are here to help them heal and we are with them on their health journey," St. Patrick Hospital Chief Mission Officer Karen Myers, shared with MTN.

And for those who use the hospital, including Bud Cheff, a descendant of one of the founders, the past is still very much part of the present.

Bud and Laurel Cheff
Bud and Laurel are family of Mother Caron who started St. Patrick Hospital

Bud Cheff has done construction on the hospital, building a wing and the helicopter pad.

His wife, Laurel Cheff, worked in the kitchen at the hospital while she was attending high school in Missoula.

In January, Bud had a stroke. The couple lives on a ranch in Ronan so Laurel rushed him to the nearby St. Luke Hospital.

The doctors at St. Luke wanted to transfer Bud up to Logan Health in Kalispell but Laurel insisted he go to St. Patrick in Missoula.

While getting wheeled into St. Patrick, Bud felt connected to his ancestor.

"I just had a good feeling. I had a feeling that Mother Caron's spirit was coming in with me," he shared.

Bud's health has improved and he and his wife were honored to be at the 150th-anniversary gathering.