The first hospital to open in Springfield was the 15-bed Mitchell-Thomas Hospital at the corner of East Main Street and the Big Four Railroad in 1887. 2 The hospital cost $40,000 to construct, financed through a generous donation by John Thomas and John Snyder who had left a $100,000 endowment fund to care for the sick and the poor. On June 27, 1903, more than 2,000 attended the laying of a Vermont granite cornerstone for its replacement, the City Hospital, at the corner of Selma Road and East Street.
With the City Hospital overcapacity, voters approved of a $1.8 million bond issue for a new and larger hospital for the city at Main Street and Burnett Road in 1928. 2 But on July 6, 1929, a committee of the Clark County Medical Association filed a lawsuit in the Clark County Common Pleas Court, arguing that the location was “inaccessible, uneconomical, unsanitary and not fitted to meet hospitalization needs,” and that the railroad tracks and the traffic signals in the area would slow ambulances. During that year, 45% of future patients arrived at the hospital by foot, 45% by streetcar, and 5% by automobile. 3 The Association argued that the new site was located too far from public transportation.
Dayton Judge William White ruled in the Association’s favor on January 18, 1930, and the city did not appeal the decision. 3 By mid-February, the city invited people to make proposals for the location, which included the southeast corner of St. Paris Pike and Harding Road, Bechtie Avenue at the old Indian mound, Dayton Avenue and High Street, the southeast corner of Limestone and Cassilly streets, and Greenmount Cemetery. The city, however, choose the Winwood, Nicodemus, and Gordin properties at the southeast corner of High Street and Burnett Road on March 3.
Construction of the new City Hospital wrapped up in 1932. 6
In 1966, the City Hospital was renamed the Community Hospital after changing from a city-owned facility to a not-for-profit. 4 Community Hospital and nearby Mercy Hospital attempted to reduce healthcare costs and the duplication of services in 1967, agreeing to consolidate all maternity services at Community and all pediatric services at Mercy. A new wing on the east side of the medical center opened in 1971.
A joint plan for long-range health needs for Springfield was developed between Community and Mercy in 1976, which called for the introduction of new services and procedures and the construction of new patient rooms. 4 The end result was a $48 million expansion project at both hospitals.
Another expansion occurred in the late 1970s after a joint plan for the long-range health needs of Springfield was developed between the two hospitals. 4 The 1976 plan called for expansion of the existing facilities to introduce new services and procedures and to construct new patient rooms. The end result was a $48 million expansion project at both hospitals.
The partnership between the two facilities was solidified even further when Community and Mercy completed two years of planning and negotiations to merge into one organization: Community Mercy Health Partners formally merged on July 1, 2004. 4 In May 2006, Community Mercy signed a development agreement with the city to construct a new hospital in downtown adjacent to the cancer center. The new Springfield Regional Medical Center opened on November 13, 2011, and the City Hospital closed. 7
An auction of the remaining contents of the City Hospital was held from April 17 to April 20, 2012, 1 and demolition on the complex began the week of October 28. 7
Community Hospital School of Nursing
The Community Hospital School of Nursing, later known as Springfield Regional School of Nursing, was an affiliate of the City Hospital and offered a Diploma in Registered Nursing (RN). 5 It offered a Diploma in Registered Nursing. The school began in 1904 and it received the National League for Nursing Accreditation in 1953. Students began receiving college credits from a regionally accredited cooperating university in 1970 and in 2000, Urbana University offered general education courses on the School of Nursing’s campus.
The School of Nursing closed on June 30, 2012, and the RN program was moved to Clark State Community College. 5
- Mason, Everdeen. “Former hospital’s contents to be auctioned off in April.” News-Sun [Springfield] 29 Mar.2012: n. pag. Web.
- Strafford, Tom. “City Hospital’s dedication impressive.” News-Sun [Springfield] 18 July 2011: n. pag. Web.
- Strafford, Tom. “Looking Back: Hospital location caused furor in 1929.” News-Sun [Springfield] 11 July 2011: n. pag. Web.
- “The History of Community Mercy Health Partners.” Community Mercy Health Partners. Catholic Health Partners, 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012. Article.
- “Springfield Regional School of Nursing.” Community Mercy Health Partners. Catholic Health Partners, 5 July 2012. Web. 16 Aug. 2012. Article.
- “Looking Back In 50 Years.” Springfield Paper 20 July 2011: n. pag. Web. 16 Aug. 2012.
- Cooper, Michael. “Community Hospital demo starts.” News-Sun [Springfield] 30 Oct. 2012: n. pag. Web.