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​HSHS Central Illinois Hospitals Host Japanese Medical Professionals

Japanese medical professionals recently visited hospitals in the HSHS Central Illinois Division which includes HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. They also visited the Hospital Sisters Health System office in Springfield.
This annual event began in 2007 and is organized by the Japan Province of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to engage their medical professionals in an understanding of the Franciscan spirit, an awareness of American health care services, and aspects of American culture. This year, Sister Gratia Maihara and Sister Philippa Sato led a team of 15 medical professionals from Nagasaki and Himeji.
The Japanese medical team included several nurses, an orthopedic surgeon, radiologist, engineer, operations manager and several medical interns. They toured each facility and had informational lunch/dinner meetings with administrative teams from each hospital.
At St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, senior team members hosted the group and showed them the hospital’s patient care floor, new Cancer Care Center, surgery and maternity departments. Several members of the hospital’s senior leadership team including Erica Bruns, director of operations; John Peipert, interim President/CEO and chief nursing officer; and Jerry Cruthis. St. Francis gave the group polo shirts embellished with the HSHS St. Francis Litchfield logo. Becky Bishop, marketing manager at St. Francis said, “They were so pleased to get a shirt and to be in a photo with colleagues from Litchfield as we share the same hospital name. It was a pleasure to host this team and to show them the types of health care services we offer in the United States.” Bishop also said they were very interested in things like the communication boards in the patient rooms. “They also were amazed at how large our hallways were compared to those in Japan,” she stated.
While at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, the visitors were greeted by hospital administration in the Assisi Room, a recently renovated forum. After introductions were made, the group split into two for tours of the hospital. They visited different departments around the hospital including the obstetrics unit, advanced rehabilitation, cardiac catherization lab as well as the emergency department and ICU. More than half of the team members were from St. Mary's Hospital in Himeji, Japan. They were thrilled to see their sister hospital here in the states.

When arriving in Springfield they were welcomed and given a history of HSHS St. John’s Hospital by Dr. Charles Lucore, president and CEO. They enjoyed a grand tour where they visited the cath lab, pavilion survey, pediatrics, NICU, chapel and gift shop.
During their time in the states they also experienced American culture by taking in a baseball game at Busch Stadium.
The history of the Hospital Sisters presence in China dates back to 1948. At that time, two Hospital Sisters of St. Francis from the American Province who had served in the Province’s mission in Jinan, China arrived in Japan in response to a request for health care services. The American Province then established a mission in Nagasaki and Himeji and in 1977 the Sisters in Japan established the Japan Province. Presently, the Japan Province sponsors two hospitals: St. Francis Hospital (Nagasaki – since 1949), a 208-bed facility with emergency medicine, long-term care, hospice and palliative care; and St. Mary’s Hospital (Himeji – since 1950), a 360-bed facility with emergency medicine, acute medicine, perinatal care, and palliative care along with an 80-bed facility for handicapped children. The Province also sponsors Francisco Villa (Tokyo – since 1976), a life-care facility for the elderly, and Maria Villa (Himeji – since 1992), a temporary care facility for the elderly. Two Korean Sisters provide pastoral care in non-Catholic hospitals in South Korea.
As of January, there are 54 Sisters, two novices and two pre-novices in the Japan Province.
About HSHS St. Francis Hospital
HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Illinois offers a full range of health care services including an advanced surgery center; cancer care center; imaging for diagnostic purposes; and physical, cardiac, and pulmonary rehabilitation. In addition, St. Francis is the only hospital in the two county area providing maternity services. The hospital is a member of Hospital Sisters Health System and is located halfway between St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield, Illinois. For more information, visit www.stfrancis-litchfield.org.
About HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital
Founded in 1878 by three Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is a 244-bed, all private room health care facility that combines modern technology with the caring spirit of the original founders. St. Mary’s is situated on an attractive 21-acre campus overlooking Lake Decatur and offers a broad spectrum of comprehensive health services, including the latest diagnostic equipment, interventional cardiology, surgical and medical intervention, emergency medical care, outpatient radiation therapy, pain management and a sleep center. St. Mary’s also offers a wide range of community education and wellness programs. The hospital also has both a unique intergenerational day services program and the community’s only provider of hospital-based behavioral health services for all ages. Learn more by visiting www.stmarysdecatur.com.
About HSHS St. John’s Hospital
HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois is a regional medical center offering a comprehensive array of health care services to central and southern Illinois. Founded in 1875, St. John’s is the flagship hospital of Hospital Sisters Health System and is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, St. John’s Women’s Services, St. John’s Neurosciences Institute, St. John’s Cancer Institute, orthopedic services and AthletiCare. St. John’s now has one of the most advanced surgery centers in the nation and a renovated patient tower with all private rooms. St. John’s is designated as a level I trauma center, has its own college of nursing and is a teaching hospital for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. For more information about St. John’s Hospital, visit www.st-johns.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org

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