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Meet the brave women who traveled across the country to take on the task of running a hospital, the challenges they encountered, and the people who worked to help them succeed in their mission to care for our community.


Celebrating 75 Years of Caring for our Community

In June of 1947, seven brave women, Sisters of the Adrian Dominican Order arrived in Southern Nevada to operate a small hospital in Henderson. They would forever change health care in southern Nevada.

Join us as we celebrate 75 years of our organization’s rich history begun by these seven dedicated women who so firmly established a tradition of care and compassion that their ministry is still carried out today by the thousands of caregivers who are part of Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals.

This is our history.

John L. Smith Essay:

St. Rose Dominican Hospitals forever in bloom in the desert after 75 years

John L. Smith is an accomplished author and longtime columnist whose family's Nevada roots go back to 1881. He was born at St. Rose de Lima Hospital.

"Only Hollywood’s dizziest dreamers could have conjured up the storyline of how seven Adrian Dominican Sisters dressed in angelic white traveled in the heat of the summer by a Union Pacific train from southern Michigan to notorious post-war Las Vegas; how they bought the struggling Basic Magnesium Hospital standing outside the gates of a fading magnesium plant for $1; and how they overcame withering financial challenges to carve out a legacy of compassion, care, and ethics. The faith-based mission of St. Rose has spread far and continues to reverberate after seventy-five years. In saving the hospital, the seven Adrian Dominican Sisters helped save a whole town. 

Sounds like the plot of a Frank Capra movie, doesn’t it? The best part is, it’s all true."

A look through our 75 years of History

The Early Years

  • An opportunity in Henderson
  • Father Moran, Bishop Gorman, and Mother Gerald
  • The original Seven Sisters 
  • Our first Administrator
  • Sister Marie Daniel and the first St. Rose baby
  • Hospital desegregation 
  • The formal dedication of St. Rose de Lima Hospital

Growing Strong

  • Dealing with the demands of a busy hospital
  • Nevada's first Joint Commission accreditation
  • Support from a grateful community 
  • The Angel Bread Story
  • The Baby Boom
  • Move St. Rose to Las Vegas?

Modern Years

  • Dedicated Sisters remain on duty
  • A new tower at St Rose
  • A second hospital campus - Siena
  • The story of the Bell Tower Cross
  • Sister Robert Joseph and Buckaroo Days
  • St. Rose expands southwest - San Martin
  • Our continued commitment
  • Celebrating 75 years

Watch our history unfold

Messages from the Sisters

“Dearest Friends, As you gather to celebrate 75 years of blessings given and received by each and all of you, I hold you in grateful prayer and wonderful memories  - too many - however each holds a special memory in my heart. It was a special period in my life, for which I will always be grateful to those in leadership and those who served in one of many positions - all of which made us who we are. I am so proud to have had a chance to collaborate with you. Be assured of my continued prayer each day for the gift of healing you offer to others. Whenever I think of St. Rose, whether it’s an individual or a group of you, I “see” Saints Rose, Catherine and Martín smiling and I smile also. May God continue to bless each of you each day. In Peace, Sister Molly Nicholson, O.P.”

“What treasured memories I have of my nine years at St. Rose, memories that have proven to be blessings for me of over the 37 years since I left.  The 75 years of healing service of staff, volunteers, Board and Committee members to the people of Henderson and all of Clark County is a rich legacy.  Thanks be to God.  - Sister Maureen Comer, O.P.”

“Congratulations to St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. I had the privilege to serve on the St. Rose Board from 1997 thru 2004. There were many successes & several challenges too. It was wonderful to serve during special events including the creation of the Siena Campus. Sisters Rosemary Ferguson & Melba Beine and I partnered with insightful, experienced and dedicated men and women in the pursuit of high quality healthcare for all who entered the doors of St. Rose. Mr. Rod Davis was an exceptional leader who offered service and leadership ministry to the Board and all the employees. Be assured of my prayers of gratitude and Peace as you embark on a future committed to Making Peace, Respecting all life and pursuing Justice for all. Sincerely, Sr. Rosemary Abramovich O.P., Adrian, Michigan.”

“Thank you so much, and Congratulations on your 75th Anniversary celebration for your unparalleled ministry at our St. Rose Dominican Hospital. I have not been able to visit and view your facility all these years, but I know we all have benefited from your wonderful and valuable services. Thank you.”

“One can only imagine the many people in Henderson who have benefitted from the services of St. Rose of Lima Hospital throughout the past 75 years. As a Dominican Sister of Adrian, I had the privilege of serving at St. Rose Dominican Hospital as Chaplain from 2005-2010. I fondly remember the remarkable caregivers with whom I served and the many patients and families who were offered hope through quality, compassionate care during my few years there. Congratulations, St. Rose, as you celebrate 75 years of dedication to the people of Nevada!”

“I had 17 wonderful years at St Rose De Lima as a painter. I worked with great guys. We were a good team and worked well together. Our team was there to help install the statue at Rose de Lima. We were also there when the cross was placed at San Martin. I have wonderful memories of all the Sisters I served there with. I ask for God's blessing on St. Rose and many more years of service to the community. - S. Carol Elya, O.P.”

“Thank you for allowing me to reflect on my experience as a St. Rose Dominican Board member.  At each of our Board meetings, I witnessed the Gospel Values as an integral underpinning of every decision.  I was proud to be part of an organization that valued outreach to the community—especially to the marginalized.  The many and varied programs to reach the needy reflected true concern—far beyond a simple attempt to garner good will or polish the reputation of the Hospitals. At every level, transparency and compassion were an evident and vital part of the ethos. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to a fine institution of healing!  May our God continue to walk with you all as you continue to minister to the sick, injured, and weary.”

“Congratulations to St. Rose Dominican Hospitals!  I treasure my memories of serving on the St. Rose Dominican Hospital Board when I was a member of the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters (1986-1992).  Ministering as a Board member provided me with many opportunities to interact with the incredibly dedicated and professional co-workers in the hospital’s various services and with local community members who supported St. Rose from its founding in 1947. I have fond memories of the 40th anniversary celebration in 1987 and the groundbreaking ceremony in Green Valley.  I am thrilled that the Rose continues to bloom in the desert! Congratulations and continued blessings! - Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD

President Emerita and Founding Director of the Adrian Dominican Institute for Mission and Leadership at Barry University.”

“My experiences in serving as a Board Member for Dignity Health 2013-2020 in Nevada were enriching and informative in multiple ways. I experienced the wholeness of care, concern, respect, service, and interest of all employees for the needs of the individuals who came for treatment, care, and healing of the head, heart, mind, body, and spirit. The interactions with other board members and those who serve Dignity Health with their skills, talents, and educational training evidenced the worth and dignity of all people. The growth and benefit I derived from this experience have been transformative in my work in ways beyond measure. Continued success and healing will continue throughout Dignity Health in the fine tradition that has been established over these years and carried out by so many. I am honored to have served. Thank you.”

“Dear Administrators, Board Members, Co-workers and Friends at St. Rose Dominican Hospital. It is with great joy that we celebrate St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s 75th anniversary! It has a historical legacy of caring for those who ill, and of building on relationships of care and collaboration with its physicians, nurses, caregivers, board members and neighbors.  We Adrian Dominican Sisters are proud to have worked with so many of you, our partners in mission, as you continue to carry out the mission of St. Rose Dominican Hospital. I had the honor of serving on the Catholic Healthcare West Board, and later Dignity Health, as a corporate member and sponsor. My visits to St. Rose’s multiple campuses were always an inspiration of seeing its mission alive and vibrant. On behalf of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, I wish you continued abundant blessings of St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena as you continue to carry forth its legacy and service to those who are most vulnerable. Lovingly, Sr. Pat Siemen, OP, Prioress, Adrian Dominican Sisters.”

“On this 75th Anniversary, I am profoundly grateful to and inspired by the Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican employees past and present, especially those who have ministered so compassionately, courageously, consistently, and professionally during these last two years of the Coronavirus pandemic. I truly appreciate that you continue to demonstrate the lasting values of St. Rose that have endured since 1947. I also continue to be grateful to all those who supported me in our ministry since 1992. I always felt like we were family, even though I realize we worked more as a team. “ 

"It has been my privilege and JOY to minister alongside the amazing employees, volunteers, physicians, and all who serve at St. Rose Dominican.  I have known you to be people of deep compassion, grounded in faith, who come each day to serve others in need. THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS on 75 years of bringing the healing ministry of Jesus to the Vegas Valley."

"Congratulations to the employees and volunteers of the St. Rose Hospitals on 75 years of exemplifying Humankindness in serving the people who come to the hospitals for care. 

May God bless you."

Historical photos