(1869 – 1959)
Lulu Clifton, a young deaconess with the Methodist Church, came to Phoenix from Nebraska for her health in the early 1900s when Phoenix was a small town of about 5,000. She was suffering from tuberculosis like so many others at the time and it was thought that the dry climate would help one heal from this ever prevalent disease. She was driven to conquer TB and find the primary purpose for her life.
So many suffering lived in hotels, rented rooms and boarding houses and because of the lack of facilities, many people with TB were living in the desert in tents as was Ms. Clifton. So, once cured she remained in Arizona to build and shape a new hospital upon receiving funding from the Methodist Church back home.
With her drive to care for others, the church opened in a small apartment building in 1911. Then, a larger facility quickly became necessary but because of difficulties related to WWI and the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918, the new facility did not open until 1923.
In time, the hospital grew and evolved into what is now a joint effort between University of Arizona College of Medicine and Banner Hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona and Banner hospitals exist in several areas around the city.
Could Lulu have ever foreseen the enormous impact she would have just from starting her small care unit?