Location: Corner of Seventh Street and Eighth Avenue, Terre Haute (1892)
Doctors Benjamin F. Swafford and Leo J. Weinstein opened the Terre Haute Sanitarium on 11 August 1892. Swafford was one of the oldest and most respected physicians then practicing in the area, a man who, interestingly, never subscribed to the germ theory. A North Carolina native, born in 1833, he had graduated from the Rush Medical College of Chicago and had served as a doctor in the Union army during the Civil War. He continued to practice medicine until his death in 1901. Weinstein had been born in Ohio in 1848 and had practiced several trades before deciding upon the medical profession. After attending Miami University of Ohio he settled in Terre Haute. He served on the board of health and was elected to both the city and county councils. He practiced privately before 1892 and made extra money as the examiner for the New England Life Insurance Company.
Weinstein dreamed up the idea of founding a second hospital in Terre Haute. The city's only medical facility in 1891, St. Anthony Hospital, could not take in all the people who needed aid and did not have a maternity ward. When Weinstein approached Swafford about the idea, Swafford scoffed, but after he had to house and care for a pregnant patient a few days later because she had nowhere else to go, he became committed to the idea. Swafford and Weinstein bought a two-story wooden frame building at the northwest corner of what was then Seventh and Scott Streets. A short time later they appointed five other doctors to the twenty-bed hospital as assistant staff members.
In 1895 Weinstein and Swafford donated one half of their holdings in the sanitarium to a group of interested citizens representing several Protestant denominations and the Jewish faith. The name of the medical facility was then changed to Union Home for Invalids, to signify the collaboration between religious groups for the care of the sick. A short time later, after a bequest by C. W. Williams, the designation was altered to Williams's Union Hospital. It was shortened to its present appellation sometime later.
Sister Johanna M. Baur, a nurse with Bethesda Deaconess Hospital of Cincinnati, was hired as the superintendent of the building and constituted the entire nursing staff in 1896. She remained with the hospital until 1903. In 1900 Baur organized the Training School for Nurses, a center that remained open until 1965 and graduated more than nine hundred nurses throughout its lifetime. In the beginning the nurses were taught by the doctors on staff, but eventually the school served as a training ground for nursing students at nearby Indiana State University.
In 1902 a new twenty-five-bed wing, north of the original building, was completed at a cost of $20,000. Seven years later the original wooden frame edifice was razed and a $40,000 three-story brick structure rose in its place. The new building included seventy-five beds, an operating room, and wards for men and women. Along with the new section of the hospital, a power plant and laundry center was constructed in 1909. The upper two stories of the power plant housed nurses. At the time, many of the employees were not paid well, but they were given housing and sometimes board to make up for the low salary and for the long twelve-hour shifts. In 1937 most of the nonmedical staff went on strike. The strike ended peacefully three days later, with higher wages and an eight-hour workday in place.
During World War I, several doctors and nineteen nurses traveled to Europe to help the Allied forces. After their return in 1918 the staff of Union Hospital faced a massive influenza outbreak. By the winter of 1918 no hospital in Terre Haute had any space left to house the sick. The city and county councils were so distressed by the rate of infection and the unavailability of space that they appropriated money to build an influenza hospital on the grounds of Union Hospital. The American Red Cross provided equipment to the new one-story wooden frame building, which was completed in December 1918. When the emergency subsided after 1919, Union Hospital bought the building from the city and county governments and used it for general patients, later refurbishing it into a nurses' home.
As Terre Haute expanded, the hospital grew in size. In 1922 a new addition provided the hospital with six floors, a basement, and a seventh-floor solarium. At first only the first two floors and the basement could be completely prepared for patients with the money raised for the project, but over the next several years the rest of the hospital was filled, raising the number of beds to 188 by the end of 1931. Gifts in 1923 allowed the maternity floor to be completed, and in 1924 the surgical ward was finished. As the hospital grew materially, its administrative structure changed to a more modern format. The position of superintendent was eliminated, and several divisions were created, each with its own director who reported to a central administrator. By the end of the 1920s the hospital was admitting more than twice the number of patients than it did in 1900.
During World War II, many of the doctors and forty-seven of the nurses at the hospital traveled with the armed forces, helping to set up military hospitals and mend the wounded. After the war the number of patients coming to the hospital increased significantly, rising from 4,817 in 1940 to 7,520 in 1950. By the end of the 1950s the medical staff at the center was treating more than 11,000 cases a year. As with most of America, Terre Haute and the city's second oldest hospital grew with the prosperity brought about by the post-World War II economic boom.
In 1953 renovations and a new wing brought the total number of beds to an even two hundred. The new rooms were made to accommodate the latest equipment, enabling Union Hospital to open one of the state's first intensive care nurseries in 1968. During the early 1950s the hospital benefited from the Hill-Burton Act of 1951, which gave the medical center $600,000 in matching funds and allowed the hospital to erect a $1.2 million addition that displaced the 1902 and 1909 wings of the complex. The new facility contained lobby space, offices, a beauty shop, a coffee shop, an operating wing, recovery rooms, an obstetric department, and autopsy rooms. Also built in the 1950s were a residence hall for nurses and a laundry center. After 1957, with the help of the Ford Foundation, a fourth floor was added to the newest building, which held the psychiatric ward. By the end of the 1950s the hospital had added several new services and had a 250- bed capacity.
The heavy growth of the 1940s and 1950s slowed in the 1960s, but it did not disappear altogether. In 1969 Indiana State University opened the Nursing Clinical Education Building at the hospital, once again filling the halls with students. Six years later Union Hospital and the Indiana University School of Medicine reached an agreement that sent medical students to the institution, making it a teaching hospital for both nurses and doctors. In conjunction with the new agreement with Indiana University, the Family Practice Center opened to provide residency placement and training for future family physicians.
In 1965 Ellen Church, the nation's first airline stewardess and a captain in the Army Nurse Corps in World War II, retired as the hospital's administrator after fourteen years of service. Frank Shelton took the post in 1971 and guided the medical center through its longest period of sustained growth. Beginning in the early 1970s and stretching into the early 1990s, Union Hospital underwent a four-phase building expansion program. At the end of the new construction all administrative functions were transferred to the 1922 building, and all patient care took place in the new complex. The new space and the agreements that allowed it to become a teaching hospital meant that the institution could develop into a center for experimental research and specialized training. In 1976 the hospital launched a residency program in family medicine. In 1983 the area's only chronic renal dialysis center opened at the hospital, as did a child development program and an employee day-care facility.
More specialized treatment areas opened on the hospital campus in the years after 1983. In 1989 the Hux Cancer Center, the Transitional Care Unit, and the Sports Medicine and Outpatient Physical Therapy Center opened. Three years later medical care was extended to the east side of Terre Haute through the construction of an off-site professional plaza, which housed the Center for Occupational Health and HealthCheck, a convenient short-term medical care facility. In order to keep up with the demands of new technology, a foundation was set up to cover the rising costs of equipment and research. In the 1990s the hospital developed into the largest medical center between Indianapolis and St. Louis, a regional referral center that served a fifteen-county area in Indiana and Illinois. By 1991 Union Hospital was serving 11,000 inpatients per year and more than 150,000 outpatients.
Also in 1991, the Hospital began construction of a new professional building on Terre Haute's east side to house the Center for Occupational Health, the area's first comprehensive occupational medicine program, as well as HealthCheck, a convenient care center. The Hospital celebrated its centennial in 1992 and became a partner in the Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA) network. In 1993, the Midwest Center for Rural Health was established to prepare family practice residents to practice in rural settings; to support this, a model family medicine clinic and rural health training site was established in Clay City, Indiana. Also in 1993, Hospice of the Wabash Valley merged governing boards with the Visiting Nurse Association and became a division of the Union Hospital Foundation. Together with Union Hospital Home Health Care, these home care services were relocated to 686 Wabash Avenue. A physician practice management division, Wabash Valley Practice Management, was created in l993 and supported 11 physicians. In 1994, Union Hospital initiated discussions with the Associated Physicians and Surgeons Clinic (AP&S) which lead to AP&S becoming a division of Union Hospital in 1995. During 1994, discussions were also initiated with 6 hospitals in Indiana to explore the development of a statewide network for the purpose of managed care contracting.
In 1996, at the request of the Vermillion County Hospital Board of Directors and the encouragement of the Indiana State Department of Health, Union Hospital agreed to manage Vermillion County Hospital in Clinton, Indiana and address its serious regulatory compliance problems. Subsequently, the VCH Board leased the facilities and equipment to Union Hospital for a five year period with two five-year options for renewal. Effective September 1, 1996, VCH was renamed and began operation as West Central Community Hospital, a division of Union Hospital, Inc. In January of 1997, the unaccredited facility was surveyed by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and achieved accreditation with a grid score of 96. A June 1997 follow-up JCAHO survey reaffirmed WCCH's three-year accreditation.
Union Hospital continued its tradition of health care excellence in the Wabash
Valley through the development of partnerships designed to ensure quality, cost effective care for the people we serve. Partners in the Union Hospital Health Group include: Union Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the Wabash Valley, the AP&S Clinic, numerous area physicians and West Central Community Hospital. Also in 1996, Union Hospital entered into a joint venture with Greene County General Hospital to purchase and operate a medical clinic in Worthington, Indiana, following the retirement of the only physicians servicing that area. This Clinic provides health care services to patients in the northern part of medically underserved Greene County.
In October, 1996, Union Hospital dedicated the new Clay City Center for Family
Medicine in Clay City, Indiana. This new facility was funded by grants from the State of Indiana and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The CCCFM serves as a teaching site and model rural practice for residents training through the Rural Training Track of Union Hospital's Family Practice Residency Program. Nursing students from Indiana State University and medical students from the Indiana University School of Medicine train there as well.
Also in October, 1996, the Clara Fairbanks Center for Women opened. This immediately successful project combined the mammography programs of Union Hospital and the AP&S Clinic into one convenient location. The center also offers bone densitometry for the detection of osteoporosis. The Boutique at the Clara Fairbanks Center for Women opened in July of 1997, offering breast prostheses, swimwear and lingerie to women who have had breast surgery.
In May of 1997, the Board of Directors for Union Hospital, Inc., and Clarian Health
Partners created the Clarian Health Network with the vision of initiating a statewide network of integrated delivery systems to meet the health care needs of the people of Indiana.
Also in May of 1997, the Thomas Professional Plaza at 5500 U.S. Highway 41 South was dedicated. The Plaza's first tenants were Dr. Daniel Kellar, a second location of HealthCheck, services of the Center for Occupational Health, and Terre Haute Medical Lab. This project was made possible by a generous gift from Gerald and Rosemary Thomas.
Mr. David R. Doerr was named President & CEO of Union Hospital and Union Hospital Health Group in March 2000. Hux Cardiovascular Center was named to the HCIA "100 Top Hospitals for Interventional Cardiology" in 2000 and the Clara Fairbanks Center for Women was ranked number one in Indiana by the Indiana Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program for screening more women than any other program. The Nuclear Medicine Department and Terre Haute Medical Laboratory are the first in the state to offer Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scan imaging, for use in a community setting for diagnosis and staging of cancer, neurological and heart disorders.
In February 200l, a Strategic Plan was approved by the Board which emphasized improved relationships with physicians and employees; enhanced customer service, safety and satisfaction; a strengthened share of the healthcare market and patient referral base, and improvement of the Health Group's financial position. The Renal Dialysis Unit ownership was transitioned to Drs. Dhar and Jeevan and HealthCheck East was leased to Midwest Medical Management and HealthCheck South was closed and the space leased to AP&S Endocrinology.
A Master Facility Plan was developed that mapped new and replacement facilities for current and future growth. The campus has continued to grow in 2002 with additions of the AP&S Bone & Joint Center, and The Landsbaum Center for Health Education. The front lobby, Emergency Room, Medical Rehabilitation and Critical Care areas were expanded to the meet increased demand for services in 2002 and 2003. In response to a dramatically changing healthcare environment, Union Hospital and AP&S Clinic together made the decision to re-establish an independent relationship.
A Professional Office Building was built on the corner of 7th Street and 8th Avenue with the majority of the space leased for physician offices. The business offices that were in the old Union East building were moved to the POB in winter of 2003 and early spring of 2004.
Union Hospital received a full three-year accreditation from the Healthcare Facility Accreditation Program in October of 2004. Relocation of hospital departments from the East Building was completed and demolition of the East Building occurred between August and November of 2004. A 9,200 square foot addition was built for medical office space to the Thomas Professional Plaza complex. Laundry services, materials distribution and printing services were outsourced to other entities for a considerable cost savings. The PACS/IS filmless digital imaging system was implemented. Ten new physicians were recruited to the area. HealthCheck East became Union Hospital Family Medicine—East and the practice location of Dr. Wangelin at Third Street and Eighth Ave. was acquired and became Union Hospital Family Medicine--North. Union Hospital Health Group strives to meet the healthcare needs of the Wabash Valley through compassionate, efficient and high quality services. With the addition of three neonatologists to medical staff in June 2005, the neonatal intensive care unit was elevated from Level II to IIIB allowing us to care for the smallest of babies.
On July 1, 2005, all UHHG properties, inside and out, were declared smoke-free. Nineteen new physicians were added to the medical staff in FY 2006.
After nearly ten years of leasing and operating the West Central Community Hospital facility, Union Hospital, Inc., officially purchased that facility from Vermillion County in December of 2005. Ground was broken on the new Wabash Valley Surgery Center, a cooperative venture between Union Hospital, the AP&S Clinic and independent surgeons. The organization actively participated in all CMS Quality initiatives as well as the 100,000 Lives campaign. The cardiac catheterization llab was expanded and the first atrial fibrillation procedure was performed in our electrophysiolog llab. In early 2006, Imaging Services installed a 64-slice CT Scanner bringing our imaging up to the latest in technology. Ground was broken on a new power plant and a new Hux Cancer Center. The hospital successfully petitioned the city of Terre Haute to allow the permanent closure of one block of North Seventh Street for the construction of a new hospital facility. The Wabash Valley Surgery Center opened in December of 2006.
The Hospitalist Physician program was started and the Wound Healing Center opened in 2006.
In 2007, Union Hospital was the first in Indiana to offer the new High Definition daVinci Robotic surgery technology. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in September of 2007 for Union Hospital East with hundreds of community members attending. Estopinal Group designed the building and Garmong Pepper will construct the 500,000 faciity. The new Hux Cancer Center opened in 2008 with Clara Fairbanks Center for Women moving to this location in May. The hospital was the first in the World to purchase the Ozonator, an earth friendly ozone based waste management system. Union Hospital and West Central Community Hospital became Chest Pain Accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
Union Hospital received many awards in 2009 including Hospital of Choice, Best Places to Work in Indiana, Practice GreenHealth Partner, and Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Business Level above. June 1, 2009, West Central Community Hospital became Union Hospital Clinton.
Construction on Union East was complete in November and employee and community open houses were held in December. The four-story structure has pedestrian walkways over Eight Avenue connecting the Professional Office Building and over Beech Street connecting Hux Cancer Center. It also features a roof helicopter landing pad. State of the art technical services are throughout the building. The total inpatient and outpatient bed count is now 380. Union East houses Admitting, Pharmacy, Radiology, M.R.I., Surgical Services, Emergency Department, Intensive Care, Coronary Care, Medical and Surgical units, Post Coronary, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy Gym, Sterile Processing, Chapel, Volunteer Services, Nutrition Services, Physician’s Lounge and Dining Room, Medical Education, Library, Gift Shop and Union Hospital Foundation offices. The first patient was moved the morning of January 12, 2010. The move went smoothly and was complete by that afternoon.
Scott L. Teffeteller was selected as president and chief executive officer of Union Hospital, Inc. in December 2010. He succeeded David R. Doerr who stepped down as president and CEO of Union Hospital in September 2010 to become president and chief executive officer of Union Health System.
In 2011, John Bolinger, DO, FACP, FHM, was appointed vice president of Medical Affairs. Rhonda Smith, MSN, RN, NE-BC, was appointed vice president of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer.
Rural Health Innovation Collaborative developed a simulation center for the education of healthcare profession students and providers using life-like electronic patients (computerized simulators).
Union Hospital received a patent on a new telemedicine technology, Rural Health Consultations System allowing primary care providers to get second opinions from specialists. The system was invented by James Buechler, MD, Evan Farmer and Todd Smaka.
Union Hospital is recognized as one of the nations "most wired" and Union Hospital Clinton recognized as "Most Wired - Small Rural Hospital."
Founder's Day, August 11 started with a flag raising of a 48-star flag from 1912; Service League Ice Cream social, Vigo County Historical Society display of period costumes and doctor's office equipment and display of time capsule material, including Dr. Roy Pearce's doctor's bag.
Union Hosptial received its 2-year accrediation as a Primary Stroke Center from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.
Union Hospital is onced again named one of Modern Healthcare's Best Places to work.
Drs. Scully, West and Conway were honored by March of Dimes for their work in 1963 to launch the first Newborn Intensive Care Unit and Indiana. Union Hospital broke ground on the new cork Medical Center building in Marshall, IL.
Susan Cross, Union Hospital Service League, and Dr. J. Lewis Stoelting received the Weinbaum and Bauer Awards.
Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center initiated a program that brings state-of-the-art cardiology care to rural Vermillion County using electronic medical records and live interaction with cardiologists.
Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health has partnered with Union Hosptial Clinton to provide live interactive video from nephrology services to inpatients.
Union Associated Physicians Clinic broke ground for a new medical office building on the the Union Hosptial Campus. Occupation is scheduled for the Spring of 2013.
In 2012, Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health partneed with Parke County EMS to put laptop computers and devices that transmit a patient's heart tracings to care providers in two of its ambulances.
Kim Perkins was named System Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
Funds from the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health were approved by the Union Hospital Foundation to purchase nine automatic external defibrilators (AEDs) to be installed in Vigo County Sheriff's Department squad cars.
Produced by Mike King, Marketing and Public Relations, Radio Union debuted March 7 on WIBQ-FM on Wednesday mornings.
Union Life, the Union Hospital employee newsletter, won the 2012 Silver Aster Award in healthcare system e-newsletter division.
Union Hospital and UAP Clinic were once again the official Sports Medicine providers for the Terre Haute Rex baseball team.
The first Farmer's Market at Union Hospital started for the summer on the parking lot at 8th Avenue and Lafayette. The Farmer's Market was on campus each Tuesday evening at 4 p.m. to run through the growing season.
Joel R. harbaugh was named Executive Director of the Union Hospital Foundation.
On July 1, Indiana's No Smoking Law and Terre Haute's city ordinance became effective prohibiting smoking in most public places.
The Wabash Valley Rural Telehealth network went live online at www.ruraltelenet.org. The sites participate in Live Video Interactive tele to make specialty health services more accessible to patients in rural areas.
On July 6, the Vermillion-Parke Community Health Center held a dedication ceremony for the Mobile School-Based Health Cetner. The mobile center travels to all 14 schools in the school corporations of Parke and Vermillion Counties.
The new Labor & Delivery/NICU opened on Joy 9. The completely renovated area is located on the first floor of Union West in the space formerly occupied by Surgery.
Dr. Paul Daluga was named winner of the Doc Hollywood award by the Indiana Rural Health Association
Clay City Center for Family Medicine, incollaboration with Providence Medical Group Cardiology, added a new outpatient telecardiology sevice line.
Founder's Day was celebrated on August 10 with the annual (55th) Service League Ice Cream Social and a historic display of items from the early 1920s.
Advanced cardiology services through the Union Hospital Richard Lugar Center for Rural Health have expanded to Paris Community Hospital.
The new Cork Medical Center, Marshall, IL, opened on October 4. The new building is 12,000 square feet, state-of-the-art medical facility housing physicians, lab services, radiology and physical therapy.
Frank Sqaim, MD and Laurice Newlin, RN, were honored at the 21st annual presenation of Union Hospital Foundation's Weinbaum and Bauer Awards.
A new Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is being offered by Respiratory Therapy at Union Hospital.