History & Philosophy

St. Alexius HistoryCHI St. Alexius Health is a Roman Catholic, not-for-profit medical center, whose sponsors are the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation, B.M.V., Bismarck, ND. CHI St. Alexius Health has a unique tradition of healing and hospitality that dates back hundreds of years, to the beginnings of Christianity.

Our heritage is based on the Gospel values and has evolved as an extension of Christ's healing ministry. Whether we're enjoying the arrival of a newborn child or visiting the family of a terminally ill patient, Christ is our model for the overwhelming importance of healing others with our care and compassion.

It was more than a physical healing for Christ, as it is for us. He nurtured the spiritual and emotional well-being of his disciples, his friends and even complete strangers.

Over the years, many Christian disciples and believers have carried forth this ministry. One such follower was St. Benedict, an Italian Christian who lived in the sixth century during a time when the great Roman Empire was disintegrating.

St. Benedict established a monastery on a mountain about ten miles south of Rome. Known as a great miracle worker, he taught that "care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ."

Thus, the Benedictine tradition of caring for the sick was born. As a matter of fact, one of the first recorded hospitals was established in the ninth century at a monastery run by followers of St. Benedict.

Nearly a thousand years later, the tradition continues. A group of Benedictine sisters from St. Joseph, Minnesota, traveled to Bismarck in 1878 to start a girls' school. Not long after their arrival, they realized the need for health care as well.

In 1885, they purchased the Lamborn Hotel in downtown Bismarck, opening CHI St. Alexius Health as the first community hospital in Dakota Territory. The hotel was converted to a hospital for $30,000; it had 15 beds and a coal stove in each room. That first year, 65 people were admitted into the hospital at a cost of $1 per day … with river boatmen paying a special rate of just 90 cents per day.

In the early years, notable folks like President Teddy Roosevelt and the stepson of the famous Sioux chief Sitting Bull received the healing ministry of those working at the hospital. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and J.F. Kennedy visited as well.

In 1915, the hospital was moved to its present location. It has expanded and grown to the prominent regional medical center it is today. Many things have changed since the late 1800s, but one thing remains constant … Our Mission.

Founded in 1885, CHI St. Alexius Health is a regional, Catholic healthcare provider sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation, B.M.V. and dedicated to the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

  1. We believe in the values and principles inherent in the medical-moral teachings of the Church as promulgated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck, and we provide health care services in accord with these teachings.
  2. We believe that each person is unique, created and loved by God, and has a basic right to wholeness of life. We are committed to creating an environment that affirms the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
  3. We believe that all who come together to serve on behalf of CHI St. Alexius Health deserve to be treated with respect for their own self worth, dignity and potential for growth.
  4. We believe that all creation is a gift of God. As responsible stewards, we care for human, natural, physical and financial resources for the good of all. We particularly cherish, respect, support and defend human life from conception through its providential end.
  5. We believe the concept of total care embraces the physical, psychological, spiritual, social and economic needs of all individuals and families served, regardless of race, creed, gender, age, lifestyle, or economic status.
  6. We believe that our healing ministry promotes and upholds attitudes of respect, healing presence, stewardship, community, and personal and professional growth.

As a Catholic Healthcare Provider, CHI St. Alexius Health operates under the auspices of the Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck.