Saint Francis courtyard exterior

About Saint Francis

In 1875, Father Joseph Schmidt, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Cape Girardeau, invited three Franciscan Sisters to follow the call to serve those in need and start a hospital in Cape Girardeau. From its humble beginnings as a 12-patient hospital, Saint Francis Healthcare System has evolved in the 21st century from a local community Medical Center to the regional tertiary healthcare leader recognized nationally for quality and safety.

Service Area Map

Serving more than 715,000 people across a five-state region, the Healthcare System focuses on patient outcomes, experience and value. Anchored by Saint Francis Medical Center, a 306-bed nonprofit tertiary care institution, and supported by nearly 3,000 colleagues and more than 300 providers serving 29 counties, Saint Francis Healthcare System is a driving economic force in the region.

As the largest healthcare system between St. Louis and Memphis, Saint Francis offers more than 50 specialties, including southeast Missouri’s first Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the region’s only Level III Emergency and Trauma Center. Saint Francis Medical Partners, the employed physician group, employs 70 percent of primary care providers in the region and includes more than 40 outreach clinics.

Our Mission, Vision and Values

Saint Francis Healthcare System is a Catholic healthcare provider. Our belief in God’s love for us and our love for God and our neighbors are the guiding principles which affect who we are as a healthcare system and what we do in our healing ministry.

Saint Francis endeavors to follow Christ’s healing tradition, witnessing God’s loving presence among all people, safeguarding the sacredness and dignity of human life and providing care to all who seek it.

Saint Francis follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our commitment to these directives is carried out daily through our Mission and values which guide and direct our work.


The Mission of Saint Francis Healthcare System is to provide a ministry of healing, wellness, quality and love inspired by our faith in Jesus Christ.


A leading Catholic healthcare system that celebrates and protects the gift of life by providing exceptional patient outcomes in quality, safety, access and value.


  • Integrity – Doing what is right and just
  • Stewardship – Appropriately managing all resources
  • Faith – Trusting in something unseen
  • Hope – What we give to those in despair
  • Joy – Serving with a happy heart in reflection of Christ’s love
  • Compassion – Seeing others through Christ’s eyes
  • Excellence – Constantly striving for best-in-nation performance
  • Dignity – Respecting human life from beginning to end

Community Benefit

As a Catholic healthcare system, we believe offering the highest quality, patient-centered care is only part of the important work we are called to do. Saint Francis extends its healing ministry beyond the walls of the Healthcare System and into the communities we are called to serve through numerous community benefit activities each year.

2021 Community Benefit Cost pie chart