The History of St. Camillus campus
Camillus de Lellis believed that it is the responsibility of those capable of offering help to do so, even if it means risking one’s own well‑being. He founded a humanitarian movement that eventually grew to become a religious order, the Order of Ministers of the Sick (Order of St. Camillus), a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church (the “Order” the members of which are referred to as “Camillians”), the fundamental aim of which was and is to bring medical care to anyone in need of treatment.
The Order sponsors St. Camillus Life Plan Community and takes an active role in its operations. Like the Camillians, the Corporation believes in providing care to all people, providing the Community’s resident and non‑resident seniors with compassionate and loving care. A wholistic approach to treatment, championed by St. Camillus, causes the organization to nurture the medical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health of everyone it treats.
The Order first came to Milwaukee in 1921, when Father Michael Mueller, a Camillian, came to the United States from Germany. The brotherhood of Camillian servants he initiated in Milwaukee still exists today and remains actively involved in the daily life of the Community.
St. Camillus began operations on the site in Wauwatosa in the early 1930’s. The Order originally built a hospital designated for caring for men with chronic diseases. That original hospital was added onto several times and was changed to a nursing home in the 1960’s and the campus shifted services from acute care to subacute and services the long term care market. The campus also added a community house for the priests and brothers of the Order in the 1960’s that eventually transitioned into an assisted living community and later into a memory care community. Both of these buildings were phased out of operations in 2018 in order to provide land for the East Residence independent living expansion.
The campus expanded further into senior care when the West Residence, formerly known as San Camillo (independent living), was built in 1989 and further expanded independent living in 1992. St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 210 bed skilled nursing building was built in 1990 and this new building changed the original hospital from being a nursing home into serving as an assisted living community. In 2006, the Corporation and the Order decided that a strategic shift to reduce the nursing home bed count was needed and the Health Center was remodeled to offer 76 assisted living units and a reduced amount of licensed nursing home beds to 67 beds. Today, St. Camillus is undergoing an expansion project adding an additional 168 independent living apartments scheduled to be completed in spring of 2022.