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Organizational and Hospital History: Advocate Health Care History

Discover digitized historical materials including books, pamphlets, photographs and other items from Advocate Aurora Health and its predecessor hospitals

Advocate Health - Midwest History Collection


Advocate Health Care was created by a merger of Evangelical Health Systems Corporation (EHS) and Lutheran General Health System (LGHS), two faith-based, values-driven organizations, in January 1995. 

Evangelical Health Care traced its history to the formation of German Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. Founded in 1906, Evangelical Health Systems Corporation (EHS) originally was formed by the Evangelical Synod of North America to operate the German Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Chicago. In 1934, the Evangelical Synod and the Reformed Church in the United States merged to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. This union nurtured the further development of the organization. Then a merger on June 25, 1957, between the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches, formed the United Church of Christ (UCC), and the health care organization became a UCC affiliate. The formation of the organization was a direct response of the church to the Christian imperative to include healing as part of its ministry. 

In the late 1950's the Deaconess hospital was relocated to Oak Lawn as Christ Medical Center. The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches formed the United Church of Christ in 1957 and EHS became a UCC affiliate. Subsequent to this event, EHS began its period of greatest growth, emerging as one of the largest health care providers in metropolitan Chicago, after acquiring Trinity and Bethany Hospitals in Chicago, and beginning Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove and Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

Founded in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood in 1897 by Norwegian Lutheran congregations who invited Deaconesses to initiate a hospital, Lutheran General Health System originally was known as the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital. In 1904, the organization came under the auspices of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America, which later evolved into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Like EHS, LGHS experienced tremendous growth beginning in the late 1950's with the establishment of Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. LGHS grew into an organization committed to providing a continuum of care for its communities. In 1987, LGHS acquired Augustana Hospital and Health Care Center. That site later closed in 1989. 

Since the 1995 Advocate Health Care merger, South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, and Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, have become part of the Advocate system.

Advocate Health Care. (n.d.). History. Retrieved June 1, 2022 from
Advocate Health Care. (n.d.). Partnerships & Mergers. Retrieved June 1, 2022 from