The history of Roper St. Francis dates back more than 150 years. From smallpox epidemics to the Civil War to the world’s first successful valve surgery, history both small and dramatic has taken place within the walls of Roper St. Francis. Today, Roper St. Francis continues to make history, while maintaining our belief of making every moment matter for each and every one of our patients.
On Christmas Eve 1789, a group of Charleston physicians came together to create the Medical Society of South Carolina
(MSSC). Decades later, in 1852, the MSSC used a bequeath of $30,000 from the philanthropist and former mayor of Charleston, Colonel Thomas Roper to build a hospital to treat all sick and injured people "without regard to complexion, religion or nation." The original hospital was located on what is now the corner of Queen and Logan streets and was named it for its primary benefactor. The hospital began admitting patients on a regular basis in 1856 in time for the yellow fever, cholera, typhoid fever and smallpox epidemics that ravaged the city. On August 31, 1886, an earthquake followed by several aftershocks destroyed the original Roper Hospital. Work on another hospital on the corner of Barre and Calhoun streets was completed in February 1906, with the mayor of Charleston at the time reporting that "By arrangement with the Medical Society of South Carolina, a hospital has been built, costing something over $125,000, that is as perfect in its appointments as any in the South."
In 1882 St. Francis Xavier Hospital, then called the Saint Francis Xavier Infirmary, was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy
. The small infirmary located on the corner of Ashley and Calhoun Street, was added on to and rebuilt over the next several decades.
As the Charleston population grew, so did Roper and St. Francis hospitals. In 1946, the original part of what is now Roper Hospital was constructed. Over the years this site has been expanded and modernized to become the world-class facility you see today.
In July 1989, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy transferred the sponsorship of St. Francis Xavier Hospital to the Sisters of Bon Secours
, a congregation of the Sisters founded in France in 1824, and the hospital became part of the Bon Secours Health System. In 1996, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital made the move from the peninsula to West Ashley when it created the beautiful and architecturally iconic hospital we enjoy today.
On Christmas Eve 1997, the MSSC scheduled another historic meeting. It was held to vote on merging Roper and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospitals. Today, Roper St. Francis is a partnership of its founding members the Medical Society of South Carolina, Bon Secours Health System
and Carolinas HealthCare System
On November 1, 2010 the newest addition to the Roper St. Francis Hospitals opened in Mount Pleasant. Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, nestled amongst wood and wet lands, is a welcome addition for the communities east of the Cooper River.
Roper St. Francis is still vibrant and growing today. We have over 5,200 employees making us one of the area’s largest employers. Our medical staff is made up of over 800 doctors representing every medical specialty and includes more than 200 Roper St. Francis Physician Partners. We have also expanded across our area and now offer 90 facilities and services in seven counties.