Bon Secours Health System
Our Ministry at a Glance
- not-for-profit Catholic health system sponsored by Bon Secours Ministries
- headquartered in Marriottsville, Maryland
- owns, manages, or joint-ventures facilities in six states, primarily on the East Coast
- 19 acute-care hospitals
- one psychiatric hospital
- five nursing care facilities
- four assisted living facilities
- 14 home care and hospice services
- more than 25,000 employees
History of Bon Secours
The Sisters of Bon Secours were founded in 1824 to respond to the needs of those who were sick and dying in Paris by providing health care to them in their homes. Through their care, they believed that they were bringing God’s healing, compassion and liberation to those in need by helping to alleviate their suffering and bringing a message of hope and assurance that there is a God who loves them.
The first three Sisters of Bon Secours arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1881, and established their first hospital in 1919. By 1980, the Sisters had established or assumed responsibility for several Catholic hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health care services. The Sisters formed Bon Secours Health System in 1983 to provide skilled, unified management and professional resources for all their health care operations while preserving their Catholic tradition of providing quality care to all, especially to those who are poor, sick and dying.
Since 1983, through acquisitions and joint ventures with other religious and non-sectarian organizations, the system has added facilities in several communities—Charleston and Greenville, South Carolina; Portsmouth, Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News, Virginia; Suffern, Riverdale, Warwick, and Port Jervis, New York; Ashland, Kentucky; and St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2016, Bon Secours Health System became Bon Secours.
According to the Catholic Health Association, “Sponsorship of a health care ministry is a formal relationship between an authorized Catholic organization and a legally formed system, hospital, clinic, nursing home (or other institution) entered into for the sake of promoting and sustaining Christ’s healing ministry to people in need.” The Catholic Church authorizes sponsors to minister, then holds them accountable for their ministry.
The Sisters of Bon Secours sponsored Bon Secours facilities since 1919 when the Bon Secours Hospital opened in Baltimore. Between 1983 and 2006, the sisters were the sole sponsoring entity for Bon Secours Health System.
In 2006, the Vatican approved the formation of Bon Secours Ministries as the sponsor of Bon Secours Health System. Although the Sisters of Bon Secours, USA, were the sponsors for the health system for 23 years, the new model enables them to share sponsorship of the health system with lay leaders. Bringing on leaders other than Sisters of Bon Secours into the role of sponsorship helps ensure the continuance of the sisters’ Catholic health ministry into the future.
Over the years, other congregations of women religious joined with the Sisters of Bon Secours to expand the healing ministry of Jesus and the Catholic Church. In these situations, Bon Secours Ministries and the other religious congregations are considered co-sponsors, sharing sponsorship responsibilities. Today, these co-sponsoring congregations are the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Newport News, Virginia, and the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey, Suffern, New York.