History of Franciscan Healthcare

In 1995, Franciscan Health System, Skemp Clinic and the Mayo Clinic merged to create Franciscan Skemp Healthcare - Mayo Health System in La Crosse. This partnership also includes sites in the following communities: Arcadia, Sparta, Tomah, Onalaska, Holmen, Caledonia, La Crescent, Prairie du Chien, and Waukon.

In May 2011, all health system locations adopted the common name of Mayo Clinic Health System. To reflect our dual sponsorship, all former Franciscan Skemp locations became known as Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare.


Franciscan Health System: In 1883, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration built St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse. It was western Wisconsin's first hospital and symbolized the Sisters' pioneering vision of caring. Indeed, the Sisters' mission to heal was and still is the same mission that guided their patriarch, St. Francis of Assisi 700 years before. Fundamental to their caring philosophy is their belief in caring for the whole person--body, emotions and spirit--and to do so with dignity and compassion.

Skemp Clinic was founded in 1923 by Dr. Archibald Skemp. His brothers George and Fred soon joined the practice as well as his sons John, Sam, Charles and nephew Joseph. The clinic grew over the decades as it merged with other clinics and built more clinics to better serve patients close to home. Today, it employs 200 specialists and primary care doctors caring for patients at locations in southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa. Its family practice residency program is affiliated with the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

Mayo Clinic has served as a model for medical practice throughout the world since it was founded in 1889. It, too, began as the medical practice of a country doctor, William Worrall Mayo, who was soon joined by his two sons, William J. and Charles. Together the Mayos quickly expanded the clinic into the world's first group medical practice, where teams of experts in various fields work together and support each other for the patient's benefit. Today Mayo Clinic attracts patients from around the globe and is widely considered the finest multi-specialty clinic in the world.