Fifty years before the founding of the Diocese of San Bernardino, Catholic social teaching was already well established in San Bernardino. In 1928, Father Patrick Dunne from St. Bernardine Catholic Church and local surgeon Dr. Philip Savage had convinced the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to fill a much needed gap in the city, and St. Bernardine Medical Center opened its doors in 1931.
The Sisters of Charity already operated several hospitals where care for body, mind and spirit of patients, visitors and staff were integral to operations and now San Bernardino was the beneficiary of their charism.
The mission and function of St. Bernardine Medical Center have evolved over the past 87 years through a strengthened alignment between the Diocese of San Bernardino and the Sisters of Charity, demonstrated by a concerted dedication and commitment to the poor and underserved communities. St. Bernardine Medical Center has been an active community partner in San Bernardino County, serving the needs and wellbeing of the surrounding populations, as well as advising and involving the Diocese in events and matters that concern social justice, hope and healing.
The defining characteristics that the Diocese and St. Bernardine Medical Center share include a steadfast commitment to the indigent, a devotion to serving the community’s needs and the espousal of the founding Sisters’ mission and vision of cultivating strong relationships with the underserved. The Diocese and St. Bernardine Medical Center have aligned in their core values and have continued to “serve with gladness,” an overarching theme that the Sisters embodied to guide them in their community undertakings and to inspire them to demonstrate joy and love when serving others. Ultimately, St. Bernardine Medical Center has dedicated much of its resources to providing high-quality health care, fostering an environment that maintains healthy lifestyle choice and practices, and making a profound difference in the lives of the San Bernardino region.