ECH in the News
4-3-2013 - Westport Health Center to get expansion, renovation
5-10-2010 - ECH Hires Pediatrician
community connection newsletter
2008 CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
Construction Slideshow 1:
The main entrance to the hospital allows for easy access to the Emergency Room and our confidential patient registration areas. Please use this new entrance for all of your needs. The old main entrance is still in tact; however, parking on that side of the Hospital is restricted to the Horace Nye Nursing Home.
What the Project Means for the Community
The renovation and expansion project at ECH has not only enhanced patient care, but will also increase the services available to the community. This project included the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Room, a new main lobby and entryway, and a patient-friendly layout making access to services such as laboratory, medical imaging and the veterans clinic much easier. The project also includes adding such services as MRI coming in summer 2009, chemotherapy treatment in later 2009 and a cardiac rehabilitation program slated to start in 2010.
Other Highlights of the Project
For more information about the expansion project, call the Hospital at 518.873.6377.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital originally began in 1921 as Elizabethtown Community House, Inc., serving as a facility for medical and surgical treatment. Three years later it became headquarters for the Essex County Children's Agent, which served nearly 250 children and 115 families. In 1926, Elizabethtown Community House, Inc. officially became Elizabethtown Community Hospital, a non-profit voluntary hospital. It was located in the Kellogg House on Court Street, which was secured by founding members, Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Hubbard. In the 1930's, with generous support from Mr. & Mrs. Ed Lee Campe, through the Campe Foundation, the Kellogg House received an additional wing to better serve its patients. "The old hospital was a wonderful place to work," said Ethel Johnson who recalled the old hospital location. She remembers how the old building didn't have elevator's so patients had to be carried up and down the stairs on stretchers.
On October 28, 1967, Elizabethtown Community Hospital served its first patient at 75 Park Street. This marked the completion of a successful building campaign supported by residents from Essex County and throughout the country. Mildred Vargo, a retiree of ECH, worked at the Hospital for 35 years. "It was a thrill for me when we moved (to the new hospital)," she recalled. "We had a lot newer equipment, and everything was laid out in bigger space. It was more like a hospital. The old hospital was just a home converted into a hospital."
Bev Huntley, also a retiree of Elizabethtown Community, began working at Elizabethtown Community Hospital a few years before the new facility opened. "A lot of people have told me they think it would be boring working in a small hospital like E'town, but in many ways it was a lot harder. There are so many responsibilities, and you don't see everything every day like you would in a bigger hospital."
In 1979, the Hospital was expanded to include a 2,500 square foot shell to house the expanded and enlarged departments of Pharmacy, Physical Therapy and Radiology. In 1983, additional space was built for Laboratory, waiting areas and a new Emergency Room. A satellite Veterans Administrative Medical Center in Albany, New York was formed at Elizabethtown Community Hospital in 1988 to offer veterans health care coverage. One year later, Mammography was added to the list of services provided by ECH.
In order to further reach out to members of the hospital community, the Westport Health Center opened in 1993 to provide primary care. In 1997, the Kidney Dialysis Unit opened, providing a life-sustaining service, close to home, for several area patients. In 2003, the Clinical Services Building was built across the street from the Hospital and provided needed space for the Elizabethtown Community Health Center, Out Patient Physical Therapy, the Business and Finance Offices. Also in 2003, the Radiology Department added bone density scanning to their list of services, installing a DXA unit so patients would not have to travel for this procedure.
With changes in healthcare reimbursement, small hospitals began to struggle to keep their doors open and they began to affiliate with larger hospitals for survival. In February 1993, a formal affiliation between Community Providers Incorporated, the parent holding company of CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, and the Elizabethtown Community Hospital was finalized. To maintain its service to the residents of rural Essex County, Elizabethtown Community Hospital was designated as a Rural Primary Care Hospital in 1998. This designation put the Hospital in a different reimbursement methodology thereby increasing its financial security. This designation was later changed to Critical Access Hospital, which allows patients to access health care through the many services offered by Elizabethtown Community Hospital. This includes the off site Westport Health Center, Elizabethtown Community Health Center and High Peaks Health Center.
Since Elizabethtown Community Hospital began in 1926, it has had a strong history of support from the community and has continued to grow and offer more convenient health care services. Throughout the years, ECH has strived to provide quality health care close to home. By expanding services and service hours, as well as offering specialty clinics, the hospital continues to meet the growing needs of the community.
Within the past five years, ECH has continued to offer state of the art health care with the addition of digital radiography (which now includes mammograms), a CT scanner, brand new high-definition endoscopy equipment and telemedicine. Looking to the future, with the current expansion and renovation project, ECH will enhance the patient experience within the facility and will add new programs such as chemotherapy and cardiac rehabilitation to meet the evolving needs of the communities it serves.
"I've seen a tremendous amount of growth at this facility," said Jean Dickerson, who has worn several different hats since she began working as a registered nurse at ECH in 1968. "Over the years, we've seen a trend from inpatient to outpatient care. Elizabethtown has been able to keep up with those changes. We've learned to do more with less people. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming, but we've learned to make adjustments.
Quotes taken from Press-Republican article on 6/1/01 written by Jeff Meyers, Elizabethtown Hospital marks 75 years.