Shannon Health System (2024)

Shannon Health System (1)

The Shannon Health System traces its origins to the Shannon Medical Center at San Angelo, which began when John Moore Shannon and his wife, Margaret Alexandrina (Campbell), who moved to San Angelo in 1893, agreed to bequeath their estate for the establishment of a hospital for the people of the Concho Valley. After J. M. Shannon’s death in 1928, his wife created a foundation before her passing in 1931. The Shannons, who had no children, left the main part of their estate to establish the Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital in San Angelo. Their early vision was for a community hospital to bring healthcare to more people. A few years after their deaths, oil and gas was discovered on the Shannon land. Consequently the hospital’s share of the estate was nearly $80 million. There never was a a hospital district taxing entity in San Angelo, like there is in many other Texas counties, so the facility received no city or county taxes for support.

Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital grew out of a fifteen-bed facility, the San Angelo Physicians and Surgeons Hospital, established on November 21, 1923, by physicians H. P. Rush and W. F. Chambers in the former home of John Findlater, a local businessman. The hospital also included a nursing school. The hospital was subsequently acquired by the Baptist Church and was moved to a building on Harris Avenue. When Margaret Shannon died in 1931, the trust, under the leadership of Dr. J. S. Hixon, bought the San Angelo Hospital in 1932 and named the facility Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital. It started as a thirty-one-bed facility. Its school of nursing graduated 570 registered nurses between 1932 and 1968 (when the school closed and went to Angelo State College [now University]). In 1949 the hospital treated 420 cases of poliomyelitis as San Angelo experienced one of the worst outbreaks in the nation.

The hospital continued a pattern of steady growth in its facilities and services. In 1981 Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital moved into a new building across Harris Avenue. In 1985 it opened a cardiac catheterization laboratory. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facilities and a cardiac rehabilitation center opened in 1986. Additional services by the late 1980s included a cancer treatment center, new surgical unit, and regional clinics. In 1987, to reflect the increasing size and scale of care offered by the facility, the hospital was renamed Shannon Medical Center. Shannon conducts teaching programs in association with colleges and universities in San Angelo, Abilene, and Wichita Falls and provides clinical training for RNs and LVNs; respiratory, occupational, and physical therapists; medical-record technicians; radiographers; and hospital chaplains. By 1990 Shannon Medical Center had become the major health-care provider within a fifteen-county region comprising 180,000 residents. The Shannon Women’s and Children’s Center, a new three-story building adjacent to the main hospital, opened in 1993 and offered gynecological, obstetric, and pediatric services.

The Shannon Health System continued its expansion in the twenty-first century and by the late 2010s was receiving recognition for its cardiovascular care. Shannon was named one of the top fifty cardiovascular hospitals in 2018 and by 2020 had received awards from the American Heart Association for several years running. The health system offered information through two publications—Shannon Health Beat and Stethoscoop. In 2020 Shannon Health System acquired competitor San Angelo Community Medical Center and Community Medical Associates, which were redesignated as part of the Shannon South Campus. The buyout meant that the Shannon Health System was the sole health-care provider in the area. As of 2022 the Shannon Health System included thirty-three locations, including satellite facilities in Ozona, Big Spring, and Brownwood. Shannon’s services included a sleep center, imaging center, urgent care facilities, various clinics, and other health centers.

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San Angelo Standard-Times, October 23, 2020. Shannon Medical Center (, accessed May 13, 2022. Shannon Medical Center, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.


  • Health and Medicine
  • Hospitals, Clinics, and Medical Centers

Time Periods:

  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Texas in the 21st Century

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. KleinerRevised byMadeleine Olson,“Shannon Health System,”Handbook of Texas Online,accessed April 30, 2024,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.


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Original Publication Date:
July 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
May 24, 2022

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Shannon Health System (2024)


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