Union Hospital: Distinctive Past
What began in 1892 as the Terre Haute Sanitarium, a two-story frame residence at Seventh Street and Eighth Avenue, is now a major health care complex called Union Hospital. During the first month of its existence, six surgeries were performed by the hospital's six doctors, and aside from three paid employees, all help was voluntary.
Through the years, the hospital has expanded, renovated and modernized its facilities to provide excellence in health care to the people of the Wabash Valley. In 1900 Sister Johanna Baur organized the Training School for Nurses, which operated until June 1965. The hospital's expansions during the first 20 years of the century were influenced by a particular year's challenge or tragedy. In 1904 a contagious house was built for smallpox. In 1909 a new building was erected to house a men's and women's ward, and in 1918 an emergency facility was built for the influenza epidemic. By 1931 the hospital had certainly evolved from its original two-story building on the north side, but its philosophy of simple good works remained a constant. In the depth of the Depression, the hospital reported 49% of its work as charity care.
in 1953 remodeling and expansion efforts resulted in a capacity of more than 200 beds and advanced equipment to update the hospital's treatment capabilities. In the same year, the Women's Service League was organized to benefit the hospital through both fund-raising and volunteer efforts. But the 1960s saw the most extensive renovations and improvement: The Coronary Care Unit was opened in 1967, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1968, and the Indiana State University School of Nursing Clinical Education building in 1969.
A multi-phased building and renovation program that started in 1968 and continued through 1980s reflected a commitment to specialized care. Phases I-IV included the expansion and development of several units to become what we now know as Union West. In 1991 it was announced that the hospital would expand beyond its north-side campus by constructing a new professional plaza on the city's east side to house the Center for Occupational Health, as well as HealthCheck, a convenient care center, with a second HealthCheck opening on the south side of the city in 1997. In 1995 Union Hospital formed an integrated network with the Associated Physicians & Surgeons Clinic (AP&S), adding 300 additional employees, and continued to grow with the 1997 leasing and later acquisition of West Central Community Hospital in Clinton, Indiana. In 2004 AP&S and Union Hospital, under mutual agreement, dissolved its relationship. Finally, construction began to expand the current Union Hospital facility with grand opening of the current Union Hospital east facility in early 2010, the $185 million facility is the largest single building project in Terre Haute history.
On November 1, 2009 Union Hospital and UAP Clinic (formally AP&S Clinic) partnered to create an integrated health system, Union Health System (UHS). UHS is positioned as the leader in the development and delivery of innovative and personal health care for our families, neighbors and friends throughout the Wabash Valley. The patient experience is of the highest priority of the system. Improved access, enhanced quality, operational efficiencies, coordination of care and reduced duplicative information requests are initiatives of the system designed to improve patient satisfaction. The physicians and staff of UHS are working together to keep patients and the community healthier.