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WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital celebrates 100 years of patient care

WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital celebrates 100 years of patient care

WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital is celebrating a significant milestone of a century of providing care.

Oct. 2 marked the date in 1922 when Waynesboro Hospital was dedicated, after several years of considerable community effort and support to build a permanent health care facility.

"Throughout its first 100 years of service, WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital has offered area residents advanced health care services and been a trusted partner that has helped the greater community to remain healthy, prosper, and advance," said Melissa Dubrow, vice president, WellSpan Health and president, WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital.

The hospital's history is bookended by global pandemics – the Spanish flu pandemic that ravaged the country from 1918 to 1919 and the current day COVID-19 pandemic.

Community response

In January 1919, following the local response to the Spanish flu, community volunteers launched a public fundraising campaign to establish a hospital. The following month, members of the public and religious, civic, fraternal, and industrial organizations met at the Waynesboro YMCA and the community began laying the groundwork for a permanent hospital.

On June 1, 1920, the public campaign officially launched with a goal of raising $300,000. The campaign started with more than $170,000 already pledged. At the end of the drive, the community, through the support of more than 3,000 residents, had exceeded its goal, raising more than $327,000 – or roughly $4.2 million in today's equivalent.

The original 35-bed Waynesboro Hospital was dedicated on Oct. 2, 1922, with thousands touring the new hospital building.    

Keeping pace with area growth

In the decades since, the hospital has seen its share of efforts to keep pace with the growth and needs of the community as well as the significant advances in health care and technology.

Today, as a 57-bed community hospital, WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital continues to offer high-quality inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care services. In addition, convenient access to advanced specialty services on the hospital campus is designed to provide care close to home.

In fact, this summer the hospital received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in its overall hospital quality ratings and an A safety grade from the Leapfrog group. The hospital also gained high performing recognition from the U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings and was named one of the best hospitals in the country for patient value by Money, a personal finance website.

Beyond the physical growth of the facility and the addition of services through the years, the hospital has remained committed to its mission of improving the health of the community. The hospital continues to foster strong community partnerships and provide important health-related programs focused on disease prevention and management, early detection screenings, and resources to improve health through health fairs, seminars, and children's events.

Looking forward

Health care has experienced significant changes in the past 100 years since the first patient entered the doors of WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital. With innovations likely to continue to come faster than ever, no one can truly predict what the next century will look like.

"The hospital continues its efforts to improve quality, to offer safe care, to improve access so people can get care on a timely basis, and to increase efficiency to keep people moving through the process, especially in an emergency," Dubrow said.

"At the same time, the hospital is committed to maintaining its focus on providing personal care that reflects the benefit of being located in a town where caregivers and patients are likely to know one another."

Over the next several months, the hospital will celebrate its 100th anniversary and pay tribute to the thousands of remarkable healthcare team members and volunteers who have helped establish Waynesboro Hospital as a place of hope and healing for all. A team picnic on Thursday, Oct. 6 will serve as an opportunity for hospital staff and volunteers to celebrate this special milestone in the hospital's history.

WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital staff and health system leaders recently celebrated the milestone with a picnic.