History | Deaconess Foundation
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The word “deaconess” has been and continues to be a significant part of where we came from, who we are and what we do. The name “deaconess” means messenger, servant or helper and comes from the Greek word “diakonos.” The deaconess movement trained women to be diakonal ministers or deaconesses, primarily teachers and nurses.

Deaconess Foundation was formed from the sale, in December 1994, of Deaconess Health Systems which operated, among other things, Deaconess Hospital of Cleveland. For 71 years, the hospital was a significant community asset located at 4229 Pearl Road in the old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. The proceeds of the sale were used to establish Deaconess Foundation in February 1997.


At the time of its sale, Deaconess Hospital of Cleveland had strong ties with the United Church of Christ due to the fact that its founding father was one of the predecessor denominations of the United Church of Christ, the German Evangelical Church. Deaconess Foundation continues to honor and sustain its relationship with the United Church of Christ through a Mission Outreach Fund that supports mission outreach activities of United Church of Christ churches located in Cuyahoga County.


From our beginnings as an institution dedicated to “serving humanity in the ministry of healing,” Deaconess Foundation continues to strive to be a humble servant to our community.