Thinking about Mercy Hospital reminds me of a health care institution with even deeper roots in this city — Hotel Dieu. The Daughters of Charity, the religious order of nuns established in the U.S. by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, opened the hospital in New Orleans in 1859, some 30 years after they first came to the city to operate an orphanage. Three hospitals named Hotel Dieu (French for "House of God") operated at different times over the years: on Common Street, Tulane Avenue and, starting in 1972, at 2021 Perdido St. The staff cared for New Orleanians from all walks of life and delivered thousands of babies. In 1992, Hotel Dieu was sold to the state for $60 million. It was renamed University Hospital and later the Interim LSU Hospital. The Daughters of Charity, with clinics across the city, still play an active role in New Orleans' health care system.