Ascension Via Christi celebrates 120 years of compassionate care


On Apr. 14, 1903, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg began its healing mission as Mt. Carmel Hospital,with just 20 rooms lit by oil lamps in which to provide care.

In the late 1800s, coal mining camps developed throughout Crawford County as Southeast Kansas experienced a period of rapid growth. Health conditions were poor and the city hospital in Pittsburg was unable to serve the influx of residents, so local doctors consulted the Rt. Rev. John J. Hennessy, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, for help in building a new hospital. The bishop called Mother Mary Bernard Sheridan, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita, for help.

In 1989, Charles J. Devlin, owner of the Mt. Carmel Coal Company, presented the Sisters with a monetary donation and 40-acre tract of land between Frontenac and Pittsburg upon which  to build the hospital. As a gesture of appreciation, the new facility was named Mt. Carmel Hospital and was the first to be operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita.

“We are blessed to be part of a health organization that has provided care to our local community for 120 years,” says Drew Talbott, hospital president. “Our Mission began to provide care to the underserved and continues so today.”

In 1971 and after a highly successful community fundraising drive, the current hospital building was constructed to accommodate its ever-growing patient count.

Now, 120 years later with 110 rooms and a staff of more than 450, the hospital provides specialized orthopedic, cardiology, emergency, obstetric and gynecology, surgical, pediatric, cancer care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, sleep medicine and other health services.

It also features a Women’s Center with a Level II nursery and central fetal monitoring system; Heart Center with a $2.6 million Cardiac Stepdown Unit, catheterization lab and pediatric echocardiogram program; Emergency departments in both Pittsburg and Fort Scott recognized as Level III trauma Centers with Level 3 geriatric care accreditations; a 40,000-square-foot Surgery Center equipped with state-of-the-art robotic-assisted technology, 3D mammography capabilities and a recently-renovated Cancer Center equipped with a $1.5 million state-of-the-art TrueBeam linear accelerator.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the work of our incredible associates and medical staff,” says Talbott. “They make our Mission possible.”

Since 1903, Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg has been blessed to provide compassionate care, close to home and will continue to do so well into the future.

To learn more about Ascension Via Christi, go to


About Ascension Via Christi


In Kansas, Ascension Via Christi operates seven hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs nearly 6,400 associates. Across the state, Ascension Via Christi provided nearly $89 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2021. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the leading non-profit and Catholic health system in the U.S., operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 145 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit

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