Flaget Memorial Hospital

Posted by Kelly McDaniels

July 30, 2020

SCN Archivist Kathy Hertel-Baker shares the following about Flaget Memorial Hospital:

In 1945 efforts were begun to build a much needed hospital in Bardstown. A citizens group, including Msgr. James H. Willett and Dr. Keith Crume worked with Mother Ann Sebastian and her Council to plan a new facility. At that time, Bardstown residents had to travel 33 miles to Louisville for hospital services. After many delays, ground was broken on September 12, 1949, on property owned by the SCNs across from St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Construction was completed in January 1951, and the hospital was named after Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget.

The original Flaget Memorial Hospital building facing John Fitch Avenue which opened January 1951

The building was blessed on January 7th and officially opened on January 8th, although the first patients arrived the night before – 5 babies were born between 6:30pm on January 7th and 6:30am on January 8th. Mary Cecil was the first baby born in the hospital at 6:52pm on the 7th, and Benedict Joseph and John Sebastian Greenwell (named after Bishop Flaget and Mother Ann Sebastian) were the first twins born in the hospital at 11:40 and 11:45pm on the 7th. Sister Bridgid Garvey was the first administrator and along with five other SCNs formed the first staff of Sisters at the hospital. 

Mother Bertrand and Mother Ann Sabastian with Dr. Wheat and Dr. Crume

A new wing was completed in 1974, including space for a new surgical suite and other improvements. In 1985, Flaget Memorial Hospital became part of the new Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Health Corporation (SCNHS) and in 1991, a second addition and renovations were completed, including a new imagining services department, a new lab, and the county’s first ICU.

Sister Charlotte Maria Thompson in the nursery at Flaget Memorial Hospital in 1951

On September 1, 1997, Flaget Hospital joined Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) when SCNHS officially became part of CHI.

Responding to the needs of the times, the hospital opened a greatly expanded facility at its current location in 2005. Its newest medical building, completed in 2013, is named after the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who founded the hospital in 1951.

From left to right: Mother Bertrand Crimmins, Sister Mara Anastasia Cody, Sister Mary Aline Kearns, Sister Ansel McAvoy, Sister Mary Ramona Mattingly, Sister Samuel O’Bryan, Mother Ann Sebastian Sullivan. This was dated 1951 as the New Flaget Mother and Council. This was in the new operating room.


(Featured image at the top of the story shows Mother Bertrand Crimmins breaking ground for new hospital, September 12, 1949.)


  1. Elizabeth Field, SCNA

    I love seeing our history and the Sisters!

  2. Maria Brocato

    Kathy, thanks for helping us remember the courageous faith our SCN women had to respond to this and many other health care needs.

  3. Angie Shaughnessy SCN

    It is so amazing and humbling to see what these wonderful SCNs did.


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