Adena History

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 Vine 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. In 1973 the hospital moved outside the city limits of Chillicothe to a 200 acre site at the corner of Route 23 and 159, outpatient service capabilities were expanded, a larger Emergency Department opened and a Medical Office Building constructed.  

The 1990’s focused on the attraction of primary care and specialty providers which formed the Adena Medical Group in 1997.  Today, the Adena Medical Group consists of more than 250 providers across more than 50 medical and surgical subspecialties.  Many of the providers received their education and training at prestigious universities and medical residency programs from across the country. Over the last decade the System has continued to expand the number of medical subspecialties provided and the breadth of tertiary clinical medical capabilities.  Examples include:

  • On-site dermatologic pathologist available to assist real-time during Mohs procedures as cancerous tissue is surgically removed.
  • Free standing cancer center with contemporary radiation oncology equipment and access to over 90 clinical research trials through the Columbus National Cancer Institute Oncology Research Program and through partnership with other major collaborative groups.  
  • Only da Vinci surgical robots in region with a provider who has been recognized due to his skill as one of 21 providers in the United States to train general surgeons interested in learning the technique.
  • An orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder repair was the first to implant the Arthrex reverse shoulder implant that was simulcast world-wide from an Adena operating room.
  • Only hospital in the region to offer MAKO assisted robotic orthopedic surgery which aids in precision of a hip or knee replacement surgery.
  • Using a grant from the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, developed a pregnancy centering model and baby recovery program for women with addiction issues using suboxone.
  • Pulmonologists use EBUS, an endobronchial ultrasound machine, to accurately acquire hard to reach lung tissue for diagnostic purposes in an outpatient setting.
  • Partnership with large multi-specialty radiology and pathology groups offering comprehensive access to sub-specialists when needed.
  • Only Level II Nursery in southern Ohio with telemedicine capabilities and oversight by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
  • All three hospital facilities are classified as having Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center.
  • 1st and only Urology Center in region to use the UroNav Fusion Biopsy System, which “fuses” prior MRI, scans with real time ultrasound images to pinpoint location for needle biopsy in the prostate.

During this same period, the Adena Health System footprint continued to expand with the affiliation agreement of two regional critical access hospitals—Greenfield Area Medical Center in 1999 and Pike Community Hospital in 2012. The freestanding Adena Cancer Center opened in 2012 offering patients the same comprehensive cancer care and treatment that is available at larger hospital facilities.  In addition, Adena Health System has opened seven health centers and eight standalone family medicine locations strategically placed around our seven county primary service area so that providers and services can be locally accessible.  The expansion of outlying single provider clinics in small towns and new regional health centers continues today.

Eye on the Future

Opened in 2008, the PACCAR Medical Education Center is truly one-of-a-kind teaching facility on the Chillicothe campus. The Adena PACCAR Medical Education Center is proud to partner with respected institutions of higher learning to offer bachelor’s and associate degree programs in nursing, medical assistance, healthcare management and substance abuse counseling.  The Graduate Medical Education program hosts hundreds of medical student rotations each year in addition to operating four ACGME accredited medical residency programs, the first of which began in 2012.  The 18,700 square foot PACCAR facility is now recognized as providing some of the finest simulation training of all types and for all needs, ranging from cutting-edge static models to quarter-million dollar advanced robots. Dr. Towle, the founding director, called the incorporation of simulation into physician training “plastics before people.” The Center was the first in North America to acquire the simulator, Victoria a pregnant woman.  An unannounced simulation exercise was conducted with Victoria in the Adena Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department where Victoria arrived having been involved in a fatal automobile crash and the Emergency Department staff need to deliver her unborn child using instrumentation common to the Emergency Department.  The PACCAR Medical Education Center is a foundational component in the Adena Health System’s ability to fulfill the third component in its mission statement; “To Care. To Heal. To Educate.”  Also central to the goal of Graduate Medical Education is to encourage residents to join the Adena Medical Group and build their medical practice in rural Ohio. 

In 2015, the Adena Health System adopted a new vision—“To be instrumental in creating healthy and thriving communities”.  This vision implies several things.  To be instrumental, the System will lead some initiatives, partner with others on some initiatives or be supportive of community leaders already leading the way on yet other initiatives.  In 2014 the Board of Trustees led the way in renovating a burned down cornerstone of downtown Chillicothe, the Carlisle Building, which serves to house our medical students.  This project helped to catapult a group of influential community members, large employers and community agencies into developing multi-pronged community plan of revitalization.

Here. For Life.

Today Adena serves over 500,000 patients per year and has been recognized by a variety of independent groups for the exceptional quality of care provided. Adena has earned a grade of “A” from Leapfrog Hospital Survey in 2015 and 2016.  In 2018 Adena Regional Medical Center was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital, one of only 15 small hospitals nationwide to receive this honor. 

As intended by its founders more than 120 years ago, Adena continues to focus its efforts on providing high quality, state-of-the-art health care to those living in the communities it serves.