Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: January 1994 Volume 32 Number 1, Pages 40–42

Notes and Comments

Page 40


Partners in Good Health for 25 Years

During 1993 Paoli Memorial Hospital celebrated its 25th anniversary of community service. Yet, in a sense, the hospital is actually 80 years old. Its fore-runner, the Homeopathic Hospital of Chester County, began in 1913 in a bricked-over farmhouse in West Chester, providing care to a small rural community. In 1945 the hospital was renamed the Memorial Hospital in honor of those who served in World War II.

The hospital continued to thrive, meeting the needs of returning veterans and their growing families, and others in the West Chester community.

By 1950, it became clear that major changes were necessary. The hospital was too small, but lacked the space needed to expand; the physical plant was in terrible shape; and the parking was inadequate. Responding to these conditions, the hospital's board of directors decided to relocate the hospital.

In 1964, the hospital's new and current site was chosen -- a 23-acre location atop a rolling hill. At this time the area had a quiet, rural character: to the east, Paoli was a small village; to the west, there were farms, woods and fields.

Construction on the new hospital began in 1966 and cost $4.4 million. On September 21, 1968 the facility was completed, and the hospital's first twenty patients were transported from the old hospital.

Page 41

The hospital was modern, airy, and spacious. Soon it was renamed Paoli Memorial Hospital.

The new hospital was a success from the beginning. In its first year, over 16,000 people received inpatient or outpatient care. Because patient use continued to expand, the hospital began to expand.

In the early 1970s a third floor was added and a new medical office building was constructed. In 1975 the hospital opened its inpatient Psychiatric Unit, the first community hospital to do so. In 1978 the first Home Care/Hospice programs for terminally ill patients began.

Three years later, in 1981, a Short Procedure Unit was built, accommodating newer advances in surgery.

In 1983 a five-year modernization and improvement project was authorized, to expand and upgrade the hospital facilities.

In 1987 it was realized that while a stand-alone hospital was adequate, a system of hospitals offered more resources and potential cost-savings. In anticipation of the changing face of healthcare, Paoli Memorial Hospital joined the Main Line Health System.

The Cancer Center of Paoli Memorial Hospital and the Fox Chase Cancer Center was opened in 1991. This facility not only brings a vital service to the community, but draws on the strengths and affiliations of the Fox Chase Cancer Center as a member of its network.

The hospital's newest patient care unit -- IMPACT (an acronym for Intersiciplinary Model Patient Centered Team), which opened last fall -- represents a re-engineering of patient care. This unit personalizes the care of patients, making a hospital stay more comfortable, and provides healthcare cost savings.

Today, Paoli Memorial's "country setting" has grown to become one of the fastest growing regions in the Delaware Valley. The hospital is the primary source of medical services for over 300,000 people. It features 208 patient-care beds, over 300 physicians and dentists, and over 1,000 employees. It also boasts over 900 volunteers and auxilians.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 1993 issue of "Update", published by the Paoli Memorial Hospital Stuart Quillman has advised us that the 112-page History of the Conestoga Turnpike, of which he is co-author, is again available, with a second printing of 2000 copies.

Page 42


Book on Conestoga Turnpike Reprinted

The book traces the history of the road, which was incorporated as a turnpike in 1811, for the seventeen-mile section between Frazer and Elverson in Chester County, and includes 95 old photographs of 18th- and 19th-century taverns, mills, general stores, schools, and farms along its way.

Another recent book of local interest is Reflections of a Digger, the "personal memoir" of Froelich Rainey, for thirty years director of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania and for many years a resident of Tredyffrin Township near Valley Forge. In it he "presents the highlights of an archaeological career spanning more than fifty years of active field research in all parts of the world . .. providing insights into this period and the people with whom he worked".


Club Officers

THe club officers, elected in November to serve for the next two years, are listed on the first page. The lone newcomer -- if we can call her that as she is a past president of the club -- is Virginia Mentzer, the new 2d Vice President, succeeding Jean Bellamy.

We thank the Bellamys for their contributions to the History Club, and our best wishes go with them in their move to Lancaster County.


Page last updated: 2009-05-12 at 10:09 EST
Copyright © 2006-2009 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Permission is given to make copies for personal use only.
All other uses require written permission of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.