Deaconess Associations Incorporated

advancing healthcare solutionssm


Our History

The Deaconess Legacy: Taking Care into the Community

In 1888, the Cincinnati community started a “sick house” staffed by Methodist deaconesses, who were known for visiting the sick and bringing needed care to people where they lived. It evolved into founding the city’s first general hospital, and included Cincinnati’s first nurses’ training school.

Today, Deaconess continues that legacy by providing and supporting health services and by fulfilling philanthropic grant-making initiatives.

Significant Events

Protestant church women known as “deaconesses” open the first Deaconess Hospital on Liberty Street in Cincinnati, Ohio.  In 1902, a new facility was built on Straight Street.
The Deaconess School of Nursing graduates the first group of nurses registered with the Ohio State Medical Board.
20th Century
Throughout the 20th century, Deaconess Hospital expands into a full service acute care hospital to include emergency care, inpatient services, surgical services, pathological services, diagnostic services, outpatient ambulatory services, and primary care services.
The parent corporation, Deaconess Associations, Inc. (DAI) is formed to enable the organization to provide a diversified portfolio of healthcare services beyond the acute care setting. The Deaconess Health Associations Fund is incorporated to facilitate Deaconess’ participation in charitable endeavors. Deaconess Enterprises is created as our for-profit arm, which ultimately houses adult and pediatric services, as well as infusion therapy in Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Deaconess Long Term Care, Inc. is established to support our entry into the skilled nursing, assisted living and independent retirement community industry. Cottingham Retirement Community joins DAI as its first long-term healthcare facility. The division grows to include ownership and management of long-term care communities in Ohio, Missouri, Kansas and Florida.
Deaconess Associations Inc. exits its active care business and begins its transformation to a multi-faceted healthcare services company devoted to promoting wellness and independence,preventing and managing disease, and facilitating access to care.
The Deaconess Foundation elevates its presence in the field of philanthropy by actively supporting a variety of healthcare related initiatives in the community. Since 2012, over $5 million has been granted to worthy causes which complement our renewed focus.
Deaconess awards a $375,000 grant to establish a school-based primary care clinic on the campus of Western Hills and Dater High Schools. This is the first of 11 Deaconess Health Check locations that have since been established thoughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky on sites that include other school systems, children's homes, homeless shelters, and substance abuse and respite care centers. 
Deaconess establishes Heimlich Heroes Program, a hands-on training program for youth on the lifesaving Heimlich Maneuver. Currently the program trains over 30,000 students and youth club members across the country per year. 
In tribute to the original Deaconess School of Nursing and the organization's respect and support for health care professionals, the Deaconess Foundation Scholarship Program is formed to support nursing and allied health students by virtue of scholarship monies. Scholarships totaling over $275,000 have been issued so far to worthy local students.
Deaconess re-enters the home health arena by partnering with two specialized home care busiensses.Summit Orthopaedic Home Care manages the unique medical and rehabilitation needs of orthopaedic patients within their own homes. Health Care Bridge ensures that those who require extra help with the functions of daily living get that help so they can remain independent.