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St. Rose Dominican Marks 75th Anniversary


LAS VEGAS, June 27, 2022 – Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican celebrates a historic milestone today as June 27, 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of seven brave women, Sisters of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, who would assume operations at Henderson’s only hospital scheduled for closure as part of the drawdown after World War II. 

Following their legacy and serving the community for more than seven decades, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has grown to become one of the most significant health care systems in southern Nevada. 

St. Rose Dominican remains Nevada’s only faith-based, non-profit hospital group, but the small Henderson hospital has met the needs of its community by expanding its original campus, Rose de Lima, and building two additional hospitals, Siena and San Martin Hospitals.  Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals now employs almost 4,000 compassionate health care professionals. 

75 YEARS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS - Over the past 75 years:

  • More than 100,000 babies have been born in St. Rose hospitals.
  • 84 Adrian Dominican Sisters have served at St. Rose facilities in southern Nevada, together contributing more than 500 years of service to our community.
  • St. Rose Dominican has grown to operate three acute care hospitals in southern Nevada, four neighborhood hospitals, five wellness centers, and more. 
  • St. Rose Dominican employs close to 4,000 health care professionals and compassionate caregivers. 

TREMENDOUS ADVANCES - “Health care has seen tremendous advances in the more than seven decades since the Sisters established this hospital,” said Thomas Burns, President and CEO of the Dignity Health Rose de Lima Campus, “but the foundation of all we do still springs from the compassionate care demonstrated by the Sisters so long ago. Today we celebrate and honor the seven brave women who left such a lasting legacy for us to follow.” 

CONSTANT PRESENCE - Following the example of the original seven Sisters, members of the Adrian Dominican Congregation have been a constant presence in St. Rose Dominican hospitals through the years, serving in many different positions from Nurses and Administrators, to Records Managers, Pharmacy positions and even Maintenance. 

“It is really an incredible tale,” said Sister Katie McGrail, O.P, an Adrian Dominican Sister who served as Vice President of Mission Integration and other capacities at St. Rose Dominican hospitals for more than 12 years.  “To think that seven women committed to a cause 75 years ago and what it has become today. It’s a wonderful thing to celebrate.”

FAITH-BASED MINISTRY - As part of the celebration, Most Reverend Gregory Gordon, Auxiliary Bishop of the Las Vegas Diocese, will preside over a Catholic Mass in the Rose de Lima Chapel on Monday. 

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS FOR 75 DAYS - For the 75 days leading up to the June 27 anniversary, St. Rose hospitals recounted the history of their hospitals in stories, photos, documents, and videos posted to Social Media channels and a special 75th anniversary website

Among the highlights:

  • Father Moran, Bishop Gorman, Mother Superior Mary Gerald Barry secured the keys to Basic Magnesium Hospital for $1. 
  • Seven Adrian Dominican Sisters in full habits traveling by train to the Nevada desert during a summer that still holds the record for 100-degree heat. 
  • Sister Felicia put an end to hospital segregation in 1947.
  • With the help of a casino Spin Doctor, Sister Angelita’s family bread recipe helped fund  the hospital’s first major expansion.
  • Why the cross atop the Siena Hospital bell tower is made of titanium.

CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY - Mr. Burns added, “I’ve found that most people who have lived here in the valley for any time at all have a connection to one of our hospitals. They may have been born here, welcomed one of their children here, or at some point we cared for a member of their family. It’s heartening to know that as our community has grown, St. Rose has grown, and we have become a part of so many families.” 

100,000 BABIES BORN AT ST. ROSE - To celebrate St. Rose Dominican’s role in the lives of southern Nevadans, the hospital is asking families of the more than 100,000 babies born in St. Rose hospitals over the past 75 years to join in a community tribute to the newborns, mothers, and fathers who are now a part of our community by sharing photos of St. Rose babies - newborn or grown-up, or both - on Social Media with the #BornAtStRose hashtag.

CONTINUOUS OPERATION - The Rose de Lima Campus has remained in continuous operation since the Sisters’ 1947 arrival. Mr. Burns works from an office in the original building built in 1943. Today much of the Rose de Lima Campus has been modernized. It now features a 24-hour Emergency Department, a small in-patient hospital, a Community Wellness Center, and the Dignity Health Nevada Education Center where medical staff receive ongoing training and maintain certifications. Rose de Lima is also home to more than 100 Dignity Health Nevada administration and support professionals.  

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1947 IN PERSPECTIVE: 

  • United States Postage Stamp 3 cents
  • Loaf of Bread 13 cents
  • Cost of a gallon of gas 15 cents
  • Average Cost New Car $1,300.00
  • Average wages per year $2,850.00
  • Average Cost of new house $6,600.00

MAJOR EVENTS IN 1947

  • April 15 -  Jackie Robinson starts at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.
  • May 2 – The Christmas movie classic Miracle on 34th Street is first shown in theaters.
  • June 25 – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is published for the first time, two years after the writer's death in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
  • July 8 – Roswell UFO incident: A supposedly downed extraterrestrial spacecraft is reportedly found near Roswell, New Mexico.
  • October 14 - U.S. Air Force test pilot Captain Chuck Yeager is first to break the sound barrier, flying the Bell X-1 rocket plane faster than the speed of sound.
  • November 2 – Howard Hughes pilots the Spruce Goose on its one and only flight. The flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules in Long Beach, CA, lasted only 8 minutes.
  • November 6 – The television program Meet the Press makes its debut on the NBC-TV network.

About Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican:

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican is celebrating 75 years in southern Nevada, marking the anniversary of the arrival of the seven Adrian Dominican Sisters who founded Rose de Lima Hospital on June 27, 1947. As the community’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in all its endeavors. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the St. Rose Dominican health system and its nearly 4,000 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. Dignity Health currently operates three acute care hospitals in southern Nevada and is a member of the multi-state Dignity Health network of nearly 10,000 physicians, 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, and primary care clinics. For more information, visit our website at www.strosehospitals.org.

Publish date: 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Media Contact


Gordon Absher, External Communications Manager

p: (702) 616-4840

[email protected]