Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital enjoyed a long and influential history in the Tri-State community, spanning over one hundred years since its beginnings as the Evansville Sanitarium on January 18, 1894. From its growth and renaming, first as the Walker Hospital (after one of the founders, Dr. Edwin Walker) and later as the Welborn Walker Hospital (after Dr. J.Y. Welborn, one of the earliest Chiefs of Staff), the hospital took pride in its progressive approach to medical care.
In the 1940’s, the hospital was sold to the First Baptist Church in Evansville, and subsequently named Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital, Inc. Through the decades since, the hospital continued to offer innovations like family-centered birthing rooms and occupational health and workplace wellness programs, as well as state-of-the-art medical equipment and services.
In March 1999, Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital was sold to St. Mary’s Medical Center. Assets from the sale provided resources for the Welborn Foundation and a separate entity, the Welborn Baptist Foundation – specifically created to preserve the Baptist heritage of the hospital.
Effective January 1, 2005, the Welborn Foundation, Inc. and the Welborn Baptist Foundation, Inc. merged their assets and operations to create one entity, the Welborn Baptist Foundation, Inc. The Foundation exists to support both the geographies and the missions previously and proudly served by Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital.
The Foundation opened its first grant cycle in April 2000. Since then, nearly 800 organizations have submitted approximately 3,000 funding requests totaling $121 million. As of December 2015, of the total requested, approximately 1,400 grants totaling $50.85 million have been given to organizations within the Foundation service area.