History

History

About Us

Monroe Clinic's foundation is a unique merging of innovation and mission.

In 1939, five physicians joined together to offer community-focused, comprehensive care in both primary and specialized medicine, which came to be known as Monroe Clinic. The founding physicians included Dr. W. B. Gnagi, Jr., Dr. John A. Schindler, Dr. Wilson G. Bear, Dr. Nathan E. Bear and Dr. Leurner E. Creasy.

Also in 1939, encouraged by Monroe Clinic’s founding physicians, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes opened St. Clare Hospital in Monroe, to further their mission of caring for all—including the poor, the sick and the vulnerable.

The connection between the mind, body and spirit is the hallmark philosophy behind Monroe Clinic’s care. In fact, one of the founding physicians, Dr. John Schindler, authored the groundbreaking best seller, "How To Live 365 Days A Year". This important work, recognizing the impact emotions have on one’s health, is still available today on Amazon.com.

Between 1976 and 1995, Monroe Clinic opened branch locations in the following communities: Albany, Blanchardville, Brodhead and New Glarus in Wisconsin and Durand, Freeport and Lena in Illinois. In 1992, St. Clare Hospital and The Monroe Clinic became one entity—Monroe Clinic.

Monroe Clinic has continued to grow in recent years, with the addition of Monroe Clinic Eye Care-FreeportHighland Women's Care and Urgent Care in Freeport, and building a brand new 58-bed hospital in 2012.

In 2017, two important events took place, continuing Monroe Clinic's commitment to quality healthcare in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. In July, it was announced that SSMHealth would assume sponsorship of both Monroe Clinic and its sister health system, Agnesian Health, from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes. Later that year, our campus expansion project began on a new medical office building. The building, adjacent to the clinic building, will offer new technology and methods of care, in addition to being more financially efficient than the St. Clare Center.

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