Heritage: The Story of St. Mary's Hospital, 1880-1980
By Leo G. Bryne and Sister Alberta Cammack, C.S.J
Chapter II Modern Medical Complex
The North Wing
St. Mary's four-story Helen Raskob Corcoran Wing (the North Wing) became a reality in 1971. Preceding its completion were five years of planning and efforts by Sister Julia Mary and a dedicated Board chaired successively by Arthur Pack and D.M. Lovitt. To enlist the interest and support of the community leaders of Tucson, a special committee was formed, named the Second Century Committee, in honor of the 100 years of service given to the people of Tucson by the Sisters of St. Joseph who had arrived in the "Old Pueblo" in 1870.
The Centurions, a support group of business and civic leaders, came into being in December, 1968. Its membership was limited to 100 persons who were to promote public interest in the needs of the hospital. The group put emphasis on at least one major fund-raising event each year. On September 29,1 969, when ground was broken for the new North Wing, it was the culmination of a struggle and a confirmation of a belief of St. Mary's Board and Administration that, in a neglected underdeveloped west side barrio, St. Mary's had a future. Few businesses had been established west of the freeway, neighborhood improvements were lacking, and lending companies politely refused Sister Julia Mary their help and money. It was only the supportive response of the Knights of Columbus to St. Mary's appeal for a loan that enabled the project to be financially undertaken.
Paradoxically, the neighborhood began to improve. Homes were remodeled and new ones built with inner-city funds and roads were paved. Private enterprise put in a shopping center, and new housing developments began to spring up. St. Mary's Road was extended by the city, and Pima Community College was constructed. A new look and a new spirit was evident west of 1-10 Freeway. It was especially evident in the joy of those who attended the dedication ceremonies of the North Wing on September 17, 1971.
Continue with Chapter II Modern Medical Complex Pastoral Care