In 1895, the All Saints Hospital was established as the first civilian hospital in the Indian Territory. Reverend Francis Key Brooke, an Episcopalian missionary, was sent to McAlester in 1892 to minister and render aid to miners injured in an explosion in Krebs. The accident, reportedly the most disastrous mining accident in Oklahoma history, killed 100 and injured another 100. Thus, motivation emerged to construct the first medical facility in the territory. Through Brooke’s efforts, the Episcopalian church sent funds to build a hospital. In a report to his Board of Missions in 1895, he records, “What we have wished for so much has been granted us, a hospital in the coal mining region in the Choctaw Nation. We may justly hope that by mid-autumn the hospital . . . will be doing its good work.”
All Saints Hospital provided for the McAlester and surrounding communities for 30 years. Originally a 25-bed hospital, by 1913 the hospital had grown to accommodate a capacity of 100 patients. By 1923, the hospital and its nurses’ training school were so large that the Episcopal Church made the decision to turn over the historic hospital to the Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of McAlester, and the name was changed to Albert Pike Hospital.
In 1928, Albert Pike moved its facilities to the Scottish Rite Dormitory, which had been remodeled and extended for hospital use. There, Albert Pike enjoyed continued growth until, once again, it became necessary to move its facilities to a larger location. A vacant building built by the state became the Albert Pike Hospital until it closed in 1950. Albert Pike then became an integrated part of a new and larger patient care facility, the McAlester General Hospital.
The other partner in what would become McAlester Regional Health Center is Mercy Hospital, established in 1902 by Dr. E.H. Troy. Years later, due to failing health, Dr. Troy traveled to San Antonio, Texas, where he negotiated with the Sisters of Charity, a Catholic order, to assume the hospital. In 1914, the order acquired the home and grounds of local attorney Melvin Cornish to become the new St. Mary’s Hospital.
After years of serving the community of McAlester, in 1972 the Sisters of Charity made the decision to close the doors of St. Mary’s and integrate with McAlester General to eventually combine both hospitals into one modern facility. During the next few years, what was St. Mary’s became known as McAlester General East.
As neither hospital facility had the capacity to fill the total health care needs of the region, the hospital’s foundation began plans to build for the future. Thus, the new McAlester Regional Health Center opened its doors in June of 1978.
Today, McAlester looks forward to experiencing continued growth that allows us to build and reinforce a comprehensive framework for health care excellence tomorrow. Improvements in facilities, technology and clinical performance—across all areas of the hospital—enable us to meet and exceed national health care standards and provide the highest level of care both now and in the future.