At the end of the nineteenth century, epidemics were frequent (particularly in urban settings) and in the mines and logging camps, accidents were commonplace. The Jesuit priests were concerned not only about the health of the souls of their flock, but also the health of their bodies.
In 1896, a typhoid epidemic threatened the area. Father Toussaint Lussier, then priest of Sainte-Anne parish, addressed a petition (the fourth one) to the Soeurs Grises of Ottawa. He was prepared to sign a five-year lease for Sudbury Hospital, Dr. Goodfellow's small private hospital. He pledged to take care of the maintenance of the hospital, pay the sisters, and provide chaplains if they agreed to come and run the hospital. To everyone's delight, the sisters agreed and arrived in June of the same year. Even then, the hospital received all patients without regard to language or religion.
A few months later, Dr. Goodfellow's creditors seized the hospital and the five-year lease paid in advance was forfeited, but the priest did not become discouraged. Instead, he paid the rent to the new owners. He sold tickets to loggers and miners that entitled the bearer to free hospital care. These tickets were the hospital's main source of revenue until Ontario awarded it a grant.
A few months later, the Soeurs Grises de la Croix undertook construction of their own hospital on Mount St. Joseph. They would personally see to financing and managing the new St. Joseph's Hospital of Sudbury.
Material compiled from 75e anniversaire du diocèse du Sault Ste-Marie 1904-1979, Sept décennies de soins=Seven Years of Caring, Un demi-siècle d'activité à l'Hôpital Saint-Joseph=Fifty Years Activity at St. Joseph's Hospital, and Document historique no 9 SHNO.