In 1895, a tragic train wreck shook Chillicothe’s residents into action and planted the roots that would become the Adena Health System.
When a B & O passenger train crashed just a few miles west of Chillicothe, there were no nearby medical facilities. Many of the injured were taken to private homes. This spurred Jane Welsh, Mary C. Manley, Alexander Renick, S.H. Mosher and Lucille Hinton into action. Under the guidance and urging of Dr. G. E. Robbins, these women went to work to solicit bedding, furniture, and money to start an emergency hospital in a small brick house at 107 North Bridge Street.
The community showed overwhelming support and $2,500 was raised through community fundraisers like bazaars and baby shows. On June 27, 1895, the hospital was incorporated and on January 1, 1896, the Emergency Hospital was dedicated and opened for use. Initially, the facility was supported by a list of 1,000 citizens who donated one dollar a year and by local churches.
Within 15 years, the Bridge Street building became inadequate and, in 1910, two acres of land were purchased at the site of the old Methodist Cemetery on the corner of Cherry and Chestnut Streets. The original construction had a capacity of 25 beds. The first addition was completed in 1919, providing 13 more rooms. In 1923, a house on the corner of Cherry and Chestnut was purchased from the Sosman family for use as a nurses' home. Until then, nurses had been living in the attic of the hospital. With the increase of population, another addition was completed in 1932, bringing the total beds to 50 with 10 bassinets.
Continued Post-War Growth.
In the 1940's, when a survey showed that additional services and hospital beds were needed, the Board of Trustees, by means of a formal fund drive, raised $70,000 from local citizens and industry. With this and federal Hill-Burton funds, a 50-bed addition replaced the antiquated section of the building.
In June of 1949 the Women's Board founded four guilds with the goal of promoting good public relations, giving service to the hospital and fundraising. In 1972, the Volunteer Advisory Council was formed to set standards and to coordinate all volunteer work in the hospital. To date, the Volunteer Advisory Council donates all Sugarloaf Gift Shop proceeds to the hospital and the scholarship fund, and the volunteers donate 36,000 plus hours to the hospital annually.
In 1955, the Ford Foundation donated $52,000 to the hospital. Crowded conditions and unsatisfactory location of the laboratory and the x-ray departments prompted the Board of Trustees to employ an architect to develop a long-range program. In the summer of 1960, 50 beds were completed and various services were relocated.
In 1964, the first building (circa 1910) was demolished and 50 more beds were added at a cost of $520,000. Included in this addition was a physical therapy department. Funds for its equipment were donated by the Ross County Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
Advancing Our Care into the 21st Century.
The continuing growth of Chillicothe Hospital, new concepts in medicine, and the care of the patients brought on the relocation in an all-new and better hospital. On December 31, 1973, the Chillicothe Hospital moved into the new Medical Center Hospital with a capacity of 230 beds. An additional 15 beds were added in 1983 for psychiatric patients, bringing total beds to 245.
The 1980's brought about many significant changes in healthcare. One of the most significant changes in healthcare to occur in the 1980's was the great demand for outpatient services. In 1989, Medical Center Hospital broke ground for a $19 million renovation and expansion project that allowed for expansion for all outpatient services.
In order to effectively adapt to those changes, the Board of Trustees of Medical Center Hospital chose to cooperate with Mount Carmel Health in 2001. By combining resources with this 816 bed multi-hospital system, the hospital was able to expand patient services and technological capabilities. In 2003, the relationship ended and Adena embarked on a major growth strategy.