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Aurora Health Care's history

Aurora Health Care's integration as a not-for-profit system began in 1984 when two Milwaukee hospitals, St. Luke's Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center, joined to become St. Luke's Samaritan Health Care. It was the first health care system in Milwaukee to be created through the affiliation of two formerly independent hospitals. St. Luke's Samaritan Health Care adopted the name Aurora Health Care in 1987 after a merger between Mount Sinai Medical Center and nearby Good Samaritan Medical Center.

In the years that followed, other health care organizations joined Aurora as their leaders sought better ways to provide care. Aurora's leaders eventually were able to assemble a health system that included primary and specialty care, clinics, hospitals, home care, social services, pharmacies and more -- as Aurora grew to serve patients throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Milestones

1984: Two Milwaukee hospitals, St. Luke's Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center, joined to become St. Luke's Samaritan Health Care.

1988: The Visiting Nurse Association of Milwaukee, the state's oldest and largest home care agency, joins Aurora.

1990: Aurora establishes its first primary care clinic. Today, Aurora Medical Group has more than 700 primary care physicians and specialists practicing at clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin.

1992: Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center in Sheboygan and Valley View Medical Center in Plymouth join Aurora, beginning a period of rapid growth that saw Aurora extend its service area across eastern Wisconsin.

1992: Aurora opens its first retail pharmacy and encourages pharmacists to play a key role in patient care. There are now more than 115 Aurora Pharmacy sites.

1993: Milwaukee Psychiatric Hospital, a leading provider of psychiatric and addiction treatment services in the Milwaukee area, joins Aurora as Aurora Psychiatric Hospital.

1993: The Burlington Clinic joins Aurora.

1993: Hartford Memorial Hospital joins Aurora. Today, the hospital is known as Aurora Medical Center in Hartford.

1993: Two Rivers Community Hospital joins Aurora.

1995: Aurora establishes its care management program, an ambitious effort to improve the quality of care. Today Aurora has been recognized nationally as being a leader in quality care.

1995: West Allis Memorial Hospital joins Aurora. In 2008, it is renamed Aurora West Allis Medical Center.

1995: Family Service of Milwaukee, the state's oldest and largest social service agency serving families, joins Aurora and becomes Aurora Family Service.

1995: Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn joins Aurora. Today, it is known as Aurora Lakeland Medical Center.

1995: Catholic Health Corp. transfers ownership of Trinity Memorial Hospital in Cudahy to Aurora's St. Luke's Medical Center. Today the hospital is known as St. Luke's South Shore.

1996: Memorial Hospital of Burlington joins Aurora. Today, the hospital is known as Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington.

1997: In 1997 the Wilkinson Clinic, with more than 40 doctors, decided to join AMG after exploring many options.

February 1999: Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha, the first hospital built by Aurora, opens on Kenosha's west side.

April 2000: Aurora and Advocate Health Care of suburban Chicago combine their laboratory operations under a single management team, and ACL Laboratories is formed.

June 2000: Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers, a new hospital on the shore of Lake Michigan, opens to replace the aging Two Rivers Community Hospital.

September 2000: Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee becomes home to the Regional Parkinson Center, providing outpatient care as well as education, referral and support related to Parkinson's disease. Aurora Sinai also opens Wisconsin's first Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit.

November 2000: Aurora takes over the health care delivery system of Family Health Plan Cooperative, adding the Family Health Plan clinics in the Milwaukee area to Aurora Medical Group.

September 2001: Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a new regional tertiary hospital, opens in Green Bay. The medical center is a joint venture of Aurora and BayCare Clinic, a group of Green Bay-based specialists.

April 2002: The Aurora Women's Pavilion, the first medical facility in Wisconsin built solely to meet the needs of women, opens on the campus of West Allis Memorial Hospital.

July 2002: Aurora and two partners announce a groundbreaking, large-scale application of genetic medicine to cardiovascular care. The program uses genetic data to develop unique, individualized patient care plans designed to prevent the occurrence or advancement of cardiovascular disease.

October 2003: Aurora opens the Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh, a new state-of-the-art digital hospital.

March 2004: Aurora announces a new approach for treating common family illnesses with the introduction of Aurora QuickCare clinics. Aurora is the first health system in the nation to open the convenience care clinics that offer fast, convenient and affordable services for basic health needs.

January 2005: Aurora launches a new life-saving approach for intensive care units that is the first of its kind in Wisconsin. Aurora eICU® Care uses telemedicine technology, including early warning software and advanced video and electronic monitoring, to connect off-site critical care specialists to ICU patients. Aurora eICU® allows intensive care specialists with advanced technology to work with bedside staff to offer an unprecedented level of care that saves lives and saves costs.

March 2005: The Aurora VNA Zilber Family Hospice is dedicated in Wauwatosa. The 18-bed hospice residence establishes a new era in end-of-life care. A $1 million gift from the Joseph Zilber Family helps to finance the unique hospice.

May 2007: Aurora breaks ground on a new medical center in the Town of Summit in western Waukesha County. Town leaders cite the 110-bed hospital and clinic as a tremendous addition for the gateway to the community. The medical center is scheduled to open in 2010.

June 2007: Aurora BayCare Medical Center announces plans to add a medical office building that will feature an athletic enhancement and lifestyle center.

July 2007: Aurora and Advanced Healthcare, one of the largest independent physician groups, announce an agreement where the 250 physicians of Advanced will affiliate with Aurora. It is an affiliation designed to enhance care for patients and better serve the community. Additionally, plans to build a new regional medical center in Ozaukee County are announced. The hospital and clinics are scheduled to open at the intersection of Highway 60 and Port Washington Road in Grafton in 2010.

July 2007: Aurora Health Care announces an affiliation agreement with EMPEC, a Milwaukee-based emergency physician group that staffs the emergency department at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Aurora's urgent care sites in Waterford, Oconomowoc, New Berlin, Franklin and downtown Milwaukee.

February 2008: Radiology Associates of Milwaukee joins Aurora Medical Group, adding 28 radiologists.

April 2008: Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center installs a new 52-foot-long, 66-ton hyperbaric chamber. The chamber, used primarily to treat difficult wounds and carbon monoxide poisoning, is the second largest in the U.S. and the largest in Wisconsin. It can treat up to 24 patients at one time.

May 2008: Aurora St. Luke's South Shore celebrates its 50th anniversary.

May 2008: Aurora St. Luke's opens two “Wellness” retail stores to serve patients' medical and convenience needs. The stores are designed to ease patients and families stress as they leave the hospital by offering key medical items needed for home care and recovery.

July 2008: Aurora St. Luke's announces a rooftop healing garden project. The Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds Healing Garden and the Agnes and Morland Hamilton Healing Conservatory are scheduled to open in early-summer 2009.

August 2008: Commonwealth Medical Group Physicians join Aurora Health Care.

October 2008: The largest cardiology group in Wisconsin, Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group, joins Aurora Health Care.

December 2008: The 33 members of Great Lakes Radiologists, one of the largest radiology practices in southeastern Wisconsin, announce they will join Aurora Medical Group.

January 2009: Northern Lake Medical Ltd., a primary care practice with clinics in three northern Illinois communities, announces it will join Aurora Health Care.

February 2009: Aurora Advanced Health Care Grafton Clinic opens.

April 2009: Aurora Health Care unveils Open-Source Robotic Biorepository and Informatics Technology (ORBIT). This dynamic research instrument may streamline medical discovery by providing scientists with a widely diverse library of specimens to be used in research.

June 2009: The Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds Healing Garden and the Agnes and Morland Hamilton Healing Conservatory at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center open. The 14,000-square-foot garden includes a glass conservatory as well as views of Miller Park, downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan.

September 2009: Plans for a Shawano clinic are unveiled. The one-story clinic offers a full spectrum of care to patients from newborn to the elderly. It is expected to open in early 2010.

September 2009: Aurora Advanced Health Care Whitefish Bay Clinic opens.

October 2009: The new Aurora Wilkinson Medical Clinic in Summit opens ahead of schedule. The Summit location replaces the current Aurora Wilkinson Medical Clinic, the Aurora Wilkinson Women's Center, Aurora Vision Center, and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Oconomowoc.

October 2009: Heartland Medical Partners, a northern Illinois medical practice, joins Aurora Medical Group.

October 2009: Aurora Psychiatric Hospital celebrates its 125th anniversary.

November 2009: Aurora Health Center in Peshtigo opens. Clinic services include primary care for all ages as well as an on-site lab.

November 2009: The physicians of Oncology Alliance, the premier medical group serving cancer and hematology patients in southeastern Wisconsin, announce they will join Aurora Advanced Healthcare.

January 2010: Midwest Heart Surgery Institute and Cardiovascular Surgery Associates have come together as one group under the new Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Division of Aurora Medical Group.

February 2010: Physicians and staff of Oncology Alliance formally join Aurora Advanced Healthcare.

March 2010: Aurora Medical Center in Summit opens. The 110-bed, state-of-the-art hospital sets a new standard of care for patients in Waukesha and Jefferson counties. Patients now experience fully-coordinated care, all in one location.

April 2010: Aurora Health Center in Shawano opens. The clinic offers the full spectrum of medical treatment for patients from newborns to the elderly. Laboratory and diagnostic testing is also available at the facility.

May 2010: Aurora Medical Center in Summit was officially accredited by the Joint Commission. The survey team had high praise for the patient-centered environment as the medical center.

June 2010: Aurora pledges to provide patients a seamless experience across sites by committing to a single electronic health record provider at all locations.

October 2010: The Learning Gardens at Kradwell School in Wauwatosa open. The gardens were entirely funded by philanthropic donations.

October 2010: Aurora Health Care, Marshfield Clinic, BayCare Health Systems and WiSys Technology Foundation come together to form the Wisconsin Medical Entrepreneurship Foundation. The new group aims to connect research expertise in the UW System with the state's leading patient care providers in order to speed medical innovation, advance patient care and boost entrepreneurship.

November 2010: Aurora Medical Center in Grafton opens and becomes the first entirely “green” hospital in Wisconsin.

December 2010: The Joint Commission accredits Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.

December 2010: The new Aurora Administrative Offices open in Milwaukee's Fifth Ward. The executive team and other key departments relocate to the Virginia street location.

January 2011: Physicians and staff at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center perform the hospitals 700th heart transplant. St. Luke's started performing heart transplants in 1984.