Keeping the Legacy Alive

After 110 years in operation, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System continues to serve South Texas families, honoring its original mission of extending hope and healing to the community.

By: Steven Alford

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is proud to celebrate 110 years of serving the Coastal Bend. Recently, the health system held celebrations at each of its hospital campuses in South Texas featuring a commemorative cake, reflections and prayer.

On July 26, 1905, the first Spohn Hospital opened on North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Sisters of the Charity of the Incarnate Word were there to care for the very first patient, along with Dr. Arthur E. Spohn, who first had the dream of building a hospital where he could care for the then 7,000 residents of the Sparkling City by the Sea.

christus_100_CEO Pamela Robertson Cutting Anniversary Cake

During those early years, the sisters did it all – they cared for the sick and injured, cooked and cleaned and lived in the hospital. Working with Dr. Spohn, they persevered through the city’s yellow fever outbreak and the devastating hurricane of 1919.

Through all of this, those early health care pioneers stuck by their mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to South Texas residents, including those who were poor or underserved. It is a mission that the associates of CHRISTUS Spohn are proud to maintain today.

“Their dedication and foresight helped shape the face of health care in our part of Texas for more than a century, and it is our honor to continue in the footsteps of our foundresses,” said CHRISTUS Spohn CEO Pamela Robertson.

christus_100_CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Team

After the original Spohn Hospital was destroyed in the historic hurricane, the community rallied together to build a new hospital on 5 acres of land overlooking Corpus Christi, which was donated by Henrietta M. King, the widow of King Ranch founder, Capt. Richard King. It is there that CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline now stands.

Today, the Spohn legacy has grown to include six hospitals, several cancer centers and numerous clinics in the CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, which serves more than half-a-million residents in Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Alice and Beeville. Through their partnership with CHRISTUS Health, the Spohn mission and tradition has extended even further throughout the United States and into South America.


christus_100_Original Spohn Hospital 1905

CHRISTUS Spohn remains on the cutting edge of technology to better serve the residents of South Texas, which includes the recent addition of the Dan A. Hughes Family Hybrid Suite, a multi-million-dollar investment enabling physicians to perform one of the most advanced heart procedures available – the only of its kind south of San Antonio. This technology has enabled CHRISTUS Spohn to offer the region’s only Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program.

And CHRISTUS Spohn continues to train the doctors of tomorrow with the area’s only Resident Physician Program. These investments are just a few ways CHRISTUS Spohn works to ensure the growing health care needs of Corpus Christi and surrounding communities are met, as South Texas remains a hub for high-quality medical care close to home.

This year, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System has undertaken its biggest investment in the community yet – a nearly $325 million transformation of the CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi Shoreline and Memorial campuses, made possible by an unprecedented $275 million investment from CHRISTUS Health and an additional $50 million from the generosity of community philanthropy.

With design phases underway and ground breaking to begin soon, the project will see the expansion of the CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline campus, and the creation of the new Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center at the site of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial. When completed, the single-story, 43,000-square-foot Family Health Center will be a community destination for integrated non-acute health services.

christus_100_110 Anniversary Graphic

“This project marks a commitment to the people of South Texas that honors the tradition of many amazing people who came before us – the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Bishop Dubuis, Dr. Arthur Spohn and local heroes like Dr. Hector P. Garcia,” Robertson added.

As CHRISTUS Spohn celebrates 110 years of serving our community, it is with great pride that they honor the health system’s founders and the thousands of clinicians, associates and volunteers who have cared for the people of South Texas and their families for more than a century.

“This is an exciting time for CHRISTUS Spohn,” Robertson said. “We look forward to continuing our mission to faithfully serve the Coastal Bend and to expand our legacy of hope and healing for future generations.”

For more information on CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, please visit

Photos courtesy of Christus Spohn

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