In 1947, Dr. Claire Louise Caudill, with her nurse, Susie Halbleib, set up a physician practice in her native Morehead. Visiting patients in their homes and delivering babies occupied much of her time. It has been estimated that during her life, Dr. Louise (as she was called) delivered over 8,000 babies. Because there was no hospital, persons with more than minor ailments were sent to Lexington, Ashland or Cincinnati. To assure good medical care for the people of the area, Dr. Louise began her crusade to build a hospital in Morehead. Through Dr. Caudill's leadership and determination, she gained sponsorship from the Sisters of Notre Dame - Covington Province. Along with the aid of the Northeast Kentucky Hospital Foundation and other farsighted citizens, the hospital concept became a reality.
St. Claire opened its doors on July 1, 1963. The hospital, named for Dr. Claire Louise Caudill, is sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame and is a Catholic, not-for-profit hospital.
Since day one, St. Claire HealthCare and the University of Kentucky (UK) have had a strong relationship. Dr. Warren Proudfoot was instrumental in forming the affiliation with UK which has provided and continues to provide much-needed specialty practices. A spirit of collaboration continues to exist among St. Claire HealthCare and other medical facilities. A dedication to the teaching and education of health professionals began during these early years.
Expansions in 1972, 1980 and 1994 added beds and services. From 1973 to 1991, primary care centers were established in Rowan, Menifee, Bath, Carter and Elliott counties. In 1971 home health services began to meet the needs of homebound patients in eight surrounding counties. With each expansion and added service, the staff at St. Claire HealthCare strengthens its commitment to provide quality healthcare in a caring environment through the living of its mission:
"To proclaim God's goodness through a healing ministry to the people of Eastern Kentucky."