About Us

Welcome to St.Vincent Clay

Clay-FacilityThumbSt.Vincent Clay is a local health ministry of St.Vincent Health. A member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest not-for-profit and Catholic healthcare system, St.Vincent Health is among the state’s largest healthcare employer, with 16 health ministries serving 45 counties in central Indiana.

History of Clay County

Before Clay County Hospital

Prior to the construction of Clay County Hospital, the county had the services of three private locations, all in Brazil:

  • Lester Smith Hospital
  • Sourwine Hospital, housed above the Sourwine Opera House
  • Rawley Hospital, which was known for their use of radium


Clay County is organized from the territory that was originally Vigo, Owen and Sullivan Counties. The average physicians of the day are first farmers and woodsmen who later become “doctors” by having an extensive knowledge of roots and herbs, coupled with a good knowledge of caring for the sick.


A pioneer medical woman of the county and the state at large is Mrs. Lydia Moss, who practices mid-wifery and treats women and children for a period of 30 years. Mrs. Moss is probably the first woman in Clay County to deliver a woman in childbirth with instruments.


The first physicians in Clay County are Dr. Andrew Davis and Dr. Absolom Briley, neither of whom are Medical College men. Two women, Mrs. Mollie Cromwell and her daughter Sara Cromwell Mills, are pioneer mid-wives and physicians to children. Their services cover a period of 60 years from 1825 to 1885.


Dr. J.F. Smith enters the field of medicine.


Dr. Smith becomes the first surgeon in Indiana to successfully perform the bloodless amputation of the hip joint.


Dr. Smith has another "first" - the first successful operation for multiple perforations of the intestines by gunshot. This is later reported to the Indiana Medical Association in 1901.


The first successful laminectomy. This results in the cure of total paralysis of seven years' duration of a miners broken back. Surgery is performed in Brazil by Dr. G. W. Finley.


As of April, Clay County towns have the services of 40 physicians, down from 60 physicians in 1896.


Clay County Hospital admits its first patient in December.


Clay County Hospital continues to serve the people of Clay and surrounding counties, updating and adding additional services in this year.


The new emergency services wing opens.


In September, Clay County Hospital joins the St.Vincent Health family and experiences a renewed spirit of highly compassionate, high-level care. Although the hospital’s name changes, its location remains the same.


The hospital becomes a critical access hospital and continues to expand with the addition of new ambulatory surgery and diagnostic departments.


In the fall, the hospital expands the physical therapy services into a 3,000 square-foot facility that offers private physical therapy rooms and an area equipped specifically for children. In addition, the hospital experiences growth in outpatient services, including ambulatory surgery and emergency room visits.

The hospital receives the Press Ganey Compass Award. The award recognizes those facilities that show the most improvement in their overall satisfaction scores. The hospital also participates in the Indiana Hospital and Health Association’s Hospital Quality Initiative. This program focuses on improving patient outcomes while enhancing patient safety.


St.Vincent Clay Hospital celebrates 10 years in September.