In 1903, the founders of the original organization now serving as a partner in Froedtert South came together as a group of business leaders who were interested in attracting potential employees to the area, in part, by providing the best possible healthcare to the Kenosha Community. These leaders facilitated the building of the first hospital in Kenosha, which was located in what is now a house and, at the time, could accommodate 12 patients overnight. In 1911, a new building that could accommodate 50 inpatients was constructed on the downtown property where the Kenosha Medical Center exists today.
Since 1991, expansions to the property have allowed for enhancements to the services provided to the communities served. In 1992, the world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, led the development of the first Michael E. DeBakey Heart Institute. Under Dr. DeBakey’s direction, the comprehensive program provides diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care for cardiac disease, including, but not limited to, cardiac catheterizations, angioplasty, minimally invasive heart surgery, and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation.
In approximately 1917, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena opened a hospital facility that later transitioned into St. Catherine’s Memorial Hospital. That organization is now part of the Wheaton Franciscan System and serves as the other key partner in Froedtert South. The first St. Catherine’s facility, a rented home that had previously been used as a boarding house, opened with six of the Dominican Sisters and twenty physicians caring for the sick. Within approximately two years, the Sisters chose to relocate to a larger facility, previously known as the Pennoyer Sanatorium, when the home became too small. In 1927, a new hospital facility was built on a 15-acre site near Lake Michigan. This new medical center continued to meet the needs of the growing community throughout the remainder of the 20th century.
After becoming part of the Wheaton Franciscan System in 1997, the owners of the organization then known as St. Catherine’s Hospital partnered with the owners of the organization then known as Kenosha Hospital and Medical Center to create United Hospital System in 1998. With a desire to assure the continuance of the Catholic Healthcare Ministry in the growing county of Kenosha, a plan to relocate the services of St. Catherine’s was implemented. Construction of the new hospital facility on the western side of the community was completed and the facility opened in late summer of 2002. The new facility, the St. Catherine’s Medical Center is located on a 50-acre parcel of land in the Village of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, along the fastest growth corridor of the community.
After many years of professional affiliation with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, United Hospital System changed its legal name to Froedtert South and began providing health care services under the brand name of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network in 2017. Froedtert South continues to operate as a locally-led organization and retains its own health system departments and administrative services, medical group leadership, and credentialing.