The State of Pennsylvania in 1902 appropriated a Grant to St. Joseph Hospital of #2,000 a year, the first time in the history of St. Joseph Hospital. Not only was the money needed and well administered but it was a great satisfaction to all connected with the Hospital to have State authorities recognize and appreciate the work of the Hospital. Over the years care was given to all without discrimination. This State appropriation was increased each year until it reached the figure of $10,000 a year, but in 1921, it was withdrawn. A new interpretation of the law at that period seemed to indicate that no State fund could be given to sectarian institutions of any kind. The withdrawal of State funds presented a hardship; however, work went on just the same. Many years later, St. Joseph Hospital became eligible for State Aid. When a change of reimbursement was made at a much later period, St. Joseph Hospital, like all Hospitals, was reimbursed by “purchase of care.”
The demand on the Sisters was increasing with the growth of the Hospital. Not only was all nursing done by them, but administration, housekeeping chores, etc. In view of the situation, it was decided to admit carefully selected young women to be trained as Nurses. Three young women were the first to form a class in 1903. The original entrants were six, but three girls left shortly after entering. The Hospital was in need of beds and in 1903; a building across the street from them was erected and after completion in 1905, was dedicated by His Excellency, Archbishop James Pendergast of Philadelphia.
The building was intended as a Nurse’s Residence; the two lower floors were used for patients, and was therefore called the “Annex.” It is interesting to note that it was built on the site of the original 1873 “Hospital” across the street from the present one; a bridge crossed Birch Street at second floor level connected the Hospital and the Annex, now properly called the Nurses’ Residence.