On a January afternoon in 1896, eight women gathered at the Downey Hotel for an afternoon of cards and conversation. As talk turned to Lansing's need for a hospital, the eight Whist players embraced an idea - they would start one. On March 18, 1896, 114 women signed the charter forming the Women's Hospital Association. Eleven women were elected to serve on a Board of Control to oversee operations. In May, City Hospital opened at 310 W. Ottawa Street. Two more moves would occur before 1910 when Edward W. Sparrow donated land and funds for a hospital on East Michigan Avenue. E.W. Sparrow Hospital opened November 6, 1912.
Today, the Women's Board of Managers is comprised of 21 members who are nominated and elected by Sparrow volunteers. Together, they continue to support the mission of what we know today as Sparrow.