About The Foundation

CHI St. Vincent Foundation is dedicated to impacting the health and well-being of Arkansans. We rely on philanthropic investments to carry out our 125+ year legacy of providing exceptional care that is both accessible and affordable to everyone who needs it. The Foundation is located in Little Rock, Arkansas and serves our growing network throughout Central Arkansas, including the Greater Little Rock area, Morrilton and Hot Springs.

Mission and Core Values

The mission of CHI St. Vincent Foundation is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church, supported by education and research. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we create healthier communities. We serve our generous investors with the utmost care, respect and confidentiality through Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence.

Legal Status

CHI St. Vincent Foundation is registered in Arkansas as a nonprofit organization. CHI St. Vincent Foundation is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


A Legacy of Giving

In the 1870s, a major yellow-fever epidemic struck the eastern United States and raged throughout the country. Little Rock residents Catherine and Alexander Hager prayed for God’s mercy and vowed that if Little Rock were spared, they would leave their estate to found a hospital. Mercifully, the outbreak never reached Little Rock, and the Hagers were true to their word, providing the funds to build St. Vincent Infirmary in 1888.

A History of Healing

In 1888, Mother General Cleophas, leader of the religious community, with five Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Ky., arrived at the Little Rock train station. Together with Edward Fitzgerald, bishop of the Little Rock Catholic Diocese, they founded the 10-bed Charity Hospital, as it was then called, on East Second Street. It was the first hospital the Sisters of Charity operated outside the boundaries of Kentucky. Seven physicians were involved in the initial planning of the hospital.

In 1889, Bishop Fitzgerald changed the name of the hospital to the Little Rock Infirmary. The original desire of Bishop Fitzgerald and the Sisters of Charity was to name the hospital St. Vincent Infirmary in honor of St. Vincent de Paul, a French priest who compassionately cared for the sick and the poor. Around 1900, the hospital was relocated to a three-story, 50-bed facility at 10th and High streets.

The expansion provided space for the long-awaited St. Vincent Infirmary School of Nursing, which opened in 1906 as Arkansas’ first nursing school. The first class of seven students graduated in 1909. Until then, the Sisters served as St. Vincent's only nurses. The school of nursing, which operated for 63 years, graduating 1,431 nurses, was re-established in 2001 as the School of Practical Nursing (LPN).

In 1920, St. Vincent became one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to install X-ray equipment, which paved the way for such current advances as Vertebroplasty, R2 Image Checker and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Fusion. That same year, the 16-physician medical staff was officially organized in accordance with the American College of Surgeons, and St. Vincent became the first hospital in the state to be certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.

In 1954, St. Vincent made its fourth move to a new nine-story building at the corner of Hayes (now University Avenue) and Markham – the westernmost edge of Little Rock. The new building had 312 beds and plans were made for additional expansions.

An Advanced Network of Care

Today, CHI St. Vincent Health System serves more than 800,000 people in eight central Arkansas counties. Arkansans have many points of access to the comprehensive care provided by St. Vincent, including three hospital facilities, 26 clinics and hundreds of physicians. St. Vincent excels today because we continue to be responsive to the needs of our patients and focused on better outcomes for them.

Over the years, CHI St. Vincent has earned a reputation for exceptional care in many medical specialties, including cardiac, orthopedic, spine, stroke and women’s services. New specialty centers include the Longevity Center at St. Vincent and the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute. Each of these Centers of Excellence is guided by the same central commitment to quality that is a St. Vincent hallmark.

A Notable Record of Firsts

CHI St. Vincent continues to lead the state in innovative medical treatments, procedures and technologies. Our staff of experienced and dedicated health care professionals, coupled with underwriting from altruistic contributors around the state and beyond, has positioned CHI St. Vincent at the forefront of Arkansas’ medical community. We proudly celebrate these notable accomplishments:

  • First to have multiplace hyperbaric chamber
  • First and only to receive Chest Pain Center accreditation for the Jack Stephens Heart Center
  • First to use the 3-D imaging system for orthopedic surgeries
  • First to perform lumbar disc replacement
  • First to open a comprehensive Memory Center
  • First to perform computer-assisted orthopedic surgery
  • First to offer PET Fusion
  • First acute-care facility in Sherwood
  • First to perform minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery
  • First to offer preschool immunization program
  • First to offer Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • First to create a Center for Health Education
  • First to open a Sleep Disorders Center
  • First to open an intensive-care nursery
  • First site of CARTI
  • First to perform arteriogram
  • First to open hospital-based nursing school
  • First hospital in central Arkansas


Laura Cook, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Suzanne Grobmyer, Director, Major Gifts

Kathy Taylor, Director, Development

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