Immediately following the Armistice on Nov.11, 1918, a small group of concerned Salem County citizens spearheaded the drive to establish a much-needed hospital for the people of Salem County as a memorial “to the Soldiers and Sailors of Salem County who participated in the Great War.”
When Salem County Memorial Hospital first opened its doors in 1919, the staff consisted of only 12 physicians, four nurses, an orderly, a cook and a matron.
Following an intensive fundraising campaign, the old Ford’s Hotel on Market Street in Salem was purchased, remodeled, and opened for patients on Sept. 1, 1919. The original medical staff of the 30-bed hospital was composed of approximately 12 physicians, supported by four nurses, an orderly, a cook, and a matron.
By the 1940s, the hospital had become overcrowded and outmoded. More than 30 years after the Salem County Memorial Hospital opened in Ford’s Hotel, ground was broken on Dec. 29, 1949, for construction of a new hospital in Mannington Township.
The Memorial Hospital of Salem County held an emergency evacuation drill in the summer of 1967. During the drill, a person was put in a basket stretcher and pulled by rope from the top of the original section of the hospital.
The new Salem County Memorial Hospital opened its doors for patients in September 1951.
Approximately 10 years later, construction expanded the hospital to 133 beds and by the early 1970s, the hospital would be expanded by operating rooms, radiology, a laboratory and emergency units.
Construction projects continued, adding Intensive Care, Telemetry, and a Women’s Unit. In 2006, the new Emergency Department opened.
Today, 100 years later, Salem Medical Center continues to build on its proud history with new vision and new leadership, but with the same mission of providing quality healthcare to the people of Salem County and surrounding areas.
Original Hospital 1919