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Our History

A Century of Caring

St. Luke’s Medical Center has been caring for the people of the Valley of the Sun for more than a century. What stands today as a 200-bed tertiary medical center began as a 20-bed facility dedicated to serving patients with tuberculosis. Today, St. Luke’s specializes in heart care, orthopedics, surgical weight loss, emergency services, cardiopulmonary services, physical rehabilitation and wound care. The St. Luke’s campus includes the acute-care hospital, a behavioral health center with inpatient and outpatient services, and two medical office buildings.

The Early Years: 1907 – 1940

1907 –The Rev. Julius W. Atwood establishes St. Luke’s Home, in memory of his wife, to care for tuberculosis patients. St. Luke’s Home featured 12 tents with the capacity to house 20 patients.

1911 – A 10-bed infirmary for acutely ill patients is dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, and Arizona’s first bacteriological laboratory and brachytherapy laboratory are established.

1915 – The St. Luke’s Board of Visitors stages the first St. Luke’s Charity Ball netting $402.71.

1919 – St. Luke’s Home constructs space and beds to care for 80 patients, including a number of war veterans. St. Luke’s Home changes its name to St. Luke’s Sanatorium and expands to treat respiratory diseases.

The Expansion Years: 1941 – 1969

1950 – St. Luke’s Sanatorium changes its name to St. Luke’s Hospital and expands its capabilities to include the practice of general medicine. Sen. Barry Goldwater leads a successful community fund drive to establish a 60-bed addition to the hospital.

1956 – St. Luke’s Hospital opens Arizona’s first cardiac catherterization laboratory to diagnose and treat heart disease.

1957 – St. Luke’s celebrates its Golden Anniversary and opens a new diagnostic center for detection of heart and lung disorders.

1960 – The first open heart surgery in Phoenix is performed at St. Luke’s establishing the hospital as a leader in cardiology.

1963 – St. Luke’s expands to 128 beds.

1967 – St. Luke’s breaks ground for a nine-story tower.

1969 – With the addition of the 280-bed Medical Center Tower, St. Luke’s grows to 400 beds. Each private room features a balcony with panoramic views of the Valley.

1969 – Behavioral Health programs begin as a specialty at St. Luke’s.

The Progress Years: 1970 – 1999

1971 – St. Luke’s opens the first laminar flow (clean air) surgical suite in Arizona, making orthopedic surgery a new specialty area.

1973 – Arizona’s first cardiac pacemaker implant is performed at St. Luke’s.

1974 – Ophthalmology becomes a new specialty at St. Luke’s with the establishment of the Rockefeller and Abbie Prentice Eye Institute.

1978 – St. Luke’s begins a $30 million expansion that includes a new tower and the Behavioral Health Center.

1981 – Tempe Community Hospital is purchased by St. Luke’s and becomes Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.

1985 – St. Luke’s comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation facility opens.

1985 – A physician performs Arizona’s first cochlear implants at St. Luke’s.

1986 – St. Luke’s opens a skilled nursing center.

1989 – A physician performs Arizona’s first laparoscopic laser procedure for a gallbladder surgery.

1996 – St. Luke’s begins its surgical weight loss program.

1999 – IASIS Healthcare acquires St. Luke’s Medical Center.

The Recent Years: 2000 – 2012

2004 – A physician performs robotic heart bypass surgery at St. Luke’s using the da Vinci® Surgical system, which allows for minimally invasive surgery.

2005 – St. Luke’s finishes a $6 million expansion of its Emergency Department.

2006 – St. Luke’s Medical Center receives designation as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

2007 – St. Luke’s adds a new two-suite cardiac catheterization wing on the first floor.

2008 – St. Luke’s opens a new orthopaedic wing on the eighth floor.

2010 – A physician performs Arizona’s first partial knee replacement using robotic arm technology known as MAKOplasty®.

Exterior shot of the Entrance to St. Luke's Medical Center

1800 E. Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

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1800 E. Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

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