On June 19, 1902, the first four Sisters of Providence arrived in Alaska. The journey had taken them nine days and included a 72-hour smallpox quarantine before the sisters were allowed to come ashore. On July 15, Holy Cross Hospital opened its doors in Nome, and desperately needed health care became available to gold rush-era Alaskans. From these humble beginnings, Providence Alaska has grown to become the largest health care provider in the state, changing with the times to ensure we can provide care to those in need.
One year ago, many of us thought the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was behind us. People were lining up to be vaccinated, each filled with hope that we would soon be returning to pre-pandemic life. Unfortunately, a new variant of the virus emerged, and Alaska’s hospitals were overwhelmed. But our caregivers never wavered in their commitment to provide compassionate care to those in need, just as the Sisters of Providence had first done nearly 120 years ago.