St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is a 431-bed comprehensive medical care institution dedicated to providing quality health care to the residents of 16 counties in Central New York. St. Joseph's is accredited by DNV Healthcare Inc. St. Joseph's has stood as a community landmark atop Prospect Hill in Syracuse since 1869 when five Sisters of St. Francis transformed a dance hall and bar into a 15-bed hospital. Still sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, the growth of Syracuse's first hospital has paralleled that of the city. The institution has evolved into a medical complex that, in addition to the Hospital, includes a College of Nursing, psychiatric emergency program and physician's office building. In addition to providing general medical and surgical care, St. Joseph's offers several specialty services, including hemodialysis, maternity services, a separate birth center, emergency care, intensive care, wound care, dental services, suicide prevention and certified home health care. St. Joseph's operates several satellite facilities, including two ambulatory surgery centers, family and maternal child/clinics, a dental clinic, psychiatric services center, The Wellness Place, Regional Dialysis Center, neighborhood dialysis centers and a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation center. Inpatient discharges numbered 22,637 in 2009, with more than 548,000 outpatient encounters throughout the hospital network. The Hospital's busy emergency department recorded more than 50,201 visits last year. St. Joseph's annual operating budget is $404 million. The Hospital's medical staff of more than 800 is comprised of physicians and dentists representing a broad spectrum of specialties. Almost 3,400 other health care professionals and support personnel are employed by St. Joseph's. More than 1,000 devoted volunteers and members of the hospital's auxiliary help support patient care programs. The health care institution has been designated a Chest Pain Center by the Society for Chest Pain Centers, and New York State recognizes it as a: Special Care Neonatal Unit Apnea Center Cardiac Diagnostic Center Cardiac Surgical Center Community Mental Health Center Tobacco Cessation Center St. Joseph's is designated a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest honor bestowed on a hospital for nursing care. As an integral part of Syracuse and the Central New York Community for more than 140 years, St. Joseph's provides quality care compassionately to the sick and injured.