In January 1995, Evangelical Health Systems Corporation (EHS) and Lutheran General Health System (LGHS), two faith-based, values-driven organizations, joined forces to create Advocate Health Care. A common Mission, Values and Philosophy for Advocate was developed from the similar mission-oriented histories of both organizations.
EHS Health Care traces its history to the formation of German Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. 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.
The purpose of the MVP Heritage initiative is to preserve, celebrate, and learn from the history of Advocate Health Care as a corporate whole and as unique components. The component can be as broad as an entire site, or as specific as one individual. MVP Heritage is closely related to Advocate's Mission, Values and Philosophy, illustrating the need to employ the organization's history, not just as facts about the past, but as a source of information and inspiration for today.