The history of Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc. begins in 1906 when it was part of the mission work of Holy Cross House.
Called Holy Cross Dispensary, the Health Center, was founded when treatment was offered to the city's alcoholics. It was located on North Fourteenth St. at Cass Ave. The doctors who administered "the cure" suggested that the community might be better served by a clinic, which could offer services to other needy individuals as well.
When Holy Cross mission merged with Grace Church Mission in 1910, the clinic relocated to the parish house next to Grace Church on the corner of Hadley and Benton (Above) and was continued as a project of the newly formed Holy Cross Corporation.
By 1912, the Holy Cross Dispensary staff started an outreach program to bring affordable health care to children and adults in their homes. Grace Church also offered programs, which included traditional church programs such as religious worship, Men's Clubs, Women's Clubs, Young Men's Associations, Girl's Clubs, and Mother's Guild. They also offered non-traditional programs such as the dispensary, a library, a kindergarten and milk station, savings department, summer school, a small resale store, and the only public bath in the neighborhood. By 1914, the dispensary had grown to include a baby-feeding clinic and a milk program.
Children enjoying their milk circa 1914.
In 1948, Holy Cross Corporation became Grace Hill House, Inc. The name Grace Hill refers to the area where the chapel of the present day Grace Hill Settlement House sets. At one time, the Mississippi River was clearly visible from this point. Since the neighbors commonly referred to the area as Grace Hill, the name seemed to naturally fit.
The Holy Cross Dispensary in 1951.
Grace Hill House in the 1950s.
Over the years, both Grace Hill agencies have continued to make changes to accommodate the neighborhoods they serve. In 1963, due to United Way funding requirements, Grace Hill became two separate agencies under the Grace Hill umbrella.
In the mid 1970’s, Grace Hill Health Centers received federal funding through the Urban Health Initiative grant administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). The funds received from HRSA and other government and private organizations and foundations over the years, have enabled Grace Hill to grow and enhance the services offered to meet the health needs of more than 41,000 individual patients per year.
Today, GHHC operates six community health centers strategically located to be accessible to low-income and uninsured residents in underserved neighborhoods in 45 census tracts of the City of St. Louis. All of our neighborhood health centers are staffed and equipped to provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care in addition to an array of community health programs and services. Primary Care services are offered on a sliding fee scale.
(Above) Grace Hill's new Water Tower Health Center at 4414 N. Florissant opened April 30, 2010.
(Below) Our newest location is our relocated Grace Hill South Health Center at 3930 S. Broadway. It was formerly located on Cherokee and Jefferson.
Grace Hill brings together a full range of resources. These resources include Centering Pregnancy and Parenting group health sessions; two Children’s Developmental Centers; an Integrated approach to providing Behavioral Health services; two pharmacies dispensing prescriptions at cost; Homeless Community Health Nursing, Respite Care, and a Mobile Dental Van; transportation services for our patients within St. Louis, and much more.
In addition, Community Health services provided include prenatal and pediatric case management provided by skilled community health nurses and nurse assistants to high risk pregnant mothers and babies; and an extensive Chronic Disease management program that utilizes trained Health Coaches to support patients in their efforts to better manage their chronic conditions. Through health outreach, neighbors are trained to help other neighbors access health services.