The year was 1961. John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as our country's 35th and youngest president. Alan Shepard made the first U.S. space flight. Everyone's radio was playing Moon River and Where the Boys Are. And in Kokomo, Indiana, construction was completed and the first patient was admitted to Community Howard Community Hospital.
Planning for Community Howard Community Hospital began in 1953 when the Howard County Medical Society informed local government officials that there was a need for more hospital facilities. After a lengthy planning process, the Howard Community Hospital Foundation was formed in 1958 to raise the funds needed to build a 100-bed hospital at a projected cost of $2.5 million. In 1959 ground was broken; and on December 3, 1961, the first patient was admitted to the new Howard Community Hospital.
The community leaders who planned Howard Community Hospital planned for change. They designed a hospital that could be expanded at a relatively minimal cost. They attracted Trustee leadership, a progressive medical staff, and the skilled employees who assured that quality healthcare would be available to Howard and surrounding counties.
Even these visionaries could not have anticipated, however, the speed at which change in health care has taken place. Today our name is new as a result of meeting change head on. And today's hospital leaders have looked at the challenge of change as opportunities for growth and improvement.
One thing, though, that has not changed over the years: our commitment to provide exceptional quality care with compassion and respect for those we serve.
Highlights by year
- 1970 - First radiation therapy for cancer patients
- 1971 - Area's first comprehensive Psychiatric Services opened
- 1973 - Kokomo's first Coronary Intensive Care Unit opened
- 1974 - Emergency and Obstetrics departments expanded
- 1977 - X-ray and Laboratory expanded
- 1978 - Kokomo's first Cardiac Rehabilitation Program opened
- 1979 - New addition to hospital for Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Cardiac Rehab and Cardiopulmonary services completed
- 1982 - CT Scanner, Digital Vascular Imaging and Ambulatory Surgery Center added
- 1983 - Area's first birthing room opened
- 1985 - New Psychiatric Unit and Community InHome Care opened
- 1986 - Woman's Center opened
- 1988 - Kokomo's first Cardiovascular Lab and Community Oncology Center open
- 1991 - Diabetes Center established and new ICU completed
- 1992 - Kokomo's first Extended Care Unit opened
- 1996 - Community Primary Care Center opened
- 1998 - Birthing Center and Pediatric Unit remodeled
- 2001 - Free-standing Ambulatory Care Center opened, Howard Community Hospital Foundation donated the Community Medical Arts Building to the hospital, Russiaville Family Care Center opened
- 2002 - Angioplasty with stent implantation introduced at Howard Community Hospital; second Cardiac Catheterization Lab opened; introduction of "Healthy Healing" concept to hospital's third floor Medical/Surgical unit; Howard Community Hospital Wound Care Center opened; second primary care clinic opened in Greentown.
- 2003 - Changed name to Howard Regional Health System to better reflect the services and the geographic area served; began Good Hope, a Behavioral Health service that uses horses to help people express and start to understand what's going on in their lives; began construction and renovation of oncology department
- 2004 - Opened Downtown Campus, 322 North Main, as the home of Behavioral Health Services and financial services; purchased HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in order to complete the continuum of care offered by Howard Regional Health System
- 2006 - Broke ground for new $9.9 million Emergency Department; introduced open heart surgery to our region; opened second cardiac catheterization lab
- 2007 - Purchased Replay Physical Therapy; opened new 27,000 square foot Emergency department
- 2008 - New Birthing Center and Med/Surg unit with all private rooms open; LifeLine helicopter moves to the roof; purchase 100% of the Imaging Center of North Central Indiana; MRI is offered at Main Campus; remodeled Pediatric Unit opens; work begins on addition to Technology Center
- 2009 - Technology Center construction is complete; research continues into Electronic Medical Record
- 2010 - The Woman's Center moves to the Imaging Center on Boulevard; purchase of digital mammography; EMR design and build moves forward
- 2011 - 50th Anniversary year; EMR is anticipated to "go live" late 2012; announcement is made about potential integration with Community Health Network.
- 2012 - Community Howard Regional Health is affiliated with Community Health Network