At the end of the 19th century, Manitowoc was a bustling maritime town without a hospital. Mother Alexia Fullmer of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity responded to the request of local clergy and community leaders to start a hospital that could care for the needs of the growing community. But there was a problem - there were no resources to build it. The Sisters rallied the town to raise money and enthusiasm for the new hospital.
On September 28, 1899, Holy Family Hospital opened its doors for the first time and was called the most modern hospital in the country, with unique features like an elevator. Today, HFM health network is still respected as one of the most innovative and caring healthcare networks in the country.