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History of St. Joseph’s Health

Paterson, America’s first planned industrial city, was a bustling fulfillment of Alexander Hamilton’s dream in 1867. The City by the Great Falls, harnessed to serve as its major power source, manufactured a wide range of products, from locomotives and Colt revolvers to fabrics. The Silk City was the recognized center of the nation’s textile industry.

Thousands of immigrants from many lands flocked to Paterson, crowding into the tiny city. Great fortunes were made, but for all too many, it was a city that didn’t care when illness, disease or hunger struck. There was no place for the sick until 1867 when St. Joseph’s Hospital was established.

Father William McNulty recognized the desperate need of the people for medical care and invited four Sisters of Charity to Paterson. The Sisters and Father McNulty established St. Joseph’s Hospital in a little frame house on Church Street. The 12 beds in the tiny hospital were never empty and, in just one year, community support helped to purchase the Fonda residence and farm on Main Street, the current location of our University Medical Center.

From its humble beginnings, a tradition of medical excellence and an unwavering commitment to the Mission, Vision and Values set forth by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s Hospital has grown in size and scope of service to become St. Joseph’s Health, a multifaceted integrated healthcare organization that provides a comprehensive spectrum of sophisticated services designed to heal the minds, bodies and spirits of those in need.

Recognized as one of New Jersey’s – and the New York metropolitan area’s – most respected healthcare providers, St. Joseph’s Health includes St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, a quaternary state-designated trauma center and state-designated St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital (651 adult and pediatric beds) on the Paterson campus; St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center (229 beds), an acute care community hospital on the Wayne campus; St. Joseph's Healthcare and Rehab Center (151 beds), Cedar Grove; Visiting Health Services of NJ, Totowa; and more than 30 North Jersey community-based facilities.

A major academic healthcare organization, St. Joseph’s is a regional clinical branch campus of New York Medical College, a member of the Touro College and University System and is also affiliated with Seton Hall School of Health and Medical Science and the University of New England School of Osteopathic Medicine. Three levels of medical education are available at St. Joseph’s: a pre-doctoral program for medical students in clinical clerkships, post-graduate residency programs and continuing medical education programs for medical staff and local physicians.

The growth of St. Joseph’s Health continues as it approaches its 150th anniversary, yet our unwavering commitment to quality patient care remains the same.

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