In January 1995, Evangelical Health Systems Corporation and Lutheran General HealthSystem merged to create Advocate Health Care. A common mission, values and philosophy Mission & Values was developed from the rich faith based and values-driven histories of both organizations.
Evangelical Health Systems Corporation (EHS)
Statement of Origin:
Founded in 1906, EHS originally was formed by the Evangelical Synod of North America to operate the German Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Chicago. In 1934, the Evangelical Synod and the Reformed Church in the United States merged to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. This union nurtured the further development of the organization. Then a merger on June 25, 1957, between the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches, formed the United Church of Christ (UCC), and the health care organization became a UCC affiliate. The formation of the organization was a direct response of the church to the Christian imperative to include healing as part of its ministry.
The greatest period of growth for EHS came after 1961. Since that date, EHS became one of the largest health care providers in metropolitan Chicago. Its operations included hospitals, day surgery and outpatient diagnostic services, home health care, extended care centers, physicians office buildings, retirement centers and a mental health counseling network for individuals and families.
Lutheran General HealthSystem (LGHS)
Statement of Origin:
Founded in 1897 by Norwegians who had settled on the Northwest Side of Chicago, LGHS originally was known as the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital. It carried on a broad community program of social work and care for court-adjudicated youths, as well as operating a hospital and a training school for nurses and deaconesses. In 1904, the organization came under the control of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America, which later evolved into the Evangelical Lutheran Church, The American Lutheran Church, and now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The greatest period of growth for LGHS began in 1959 when Lutheran General Hospital was opened in Park Ridge, Illinois. At the same time, the Lutheran Institute of Human Ecology was formed to establish ministries in alcoholism and substance abuse, senior services, parish nursing, bio-ethics and medical education. LGHS grew into a vertically integrated service organization committed to providing a continuum of health care for its communities.