The movement toward a "modern" hospital for
the Rumford area began in June 1924. Previously, there
had been "hospitals" in at least two private homes
in town. By September 1924, a fundraising campaign was
organized with a goal of raising $200,000 to build a hospital.
A Kick-off Dinner was held September 5. Fundraising
committees who attended represented towns from Weld to Upton,
Canton to Byron. At the first reporting meeting on September
9th, the fundraisers were half way to goal.
At the September 11 reporting meeting, the team was over the
goal to $267,000 - $267,000 in less than a week in 1924!
On the same newspaper page on which this was reported, ladies
"heavy, fleeced union suits" were advertised for
98 cents and "children's winter coats" for
Ground was broken for Rumford Hospital in May 1925, and the
hospital was dedicated on October 20, 1926. It officially
opened on November 1. The first baby, a boy, was born
at Rumford Community Hospital the next day.
During the 1930s and 40s Rumford Community Hospital was a teaching hospital, with medical students from large Boston teaching hospitals serving their residencies in this rural hospital. A school of nursing was also part of the hospital.
In 1987 Central Maine Healthcare assumed management of Rumford Community Hospital and in 1999 the hospital became a subsidiary of the CMHC system. The change to the name Rumford Hospital was made in concert with our fellow regional hospital, then known as Northern Cumberland Memorial Hospital, now Bridgton Hospital. Although Rumford Community Hospital's name was not as cumbersome as Bridgton Hospital's, it made sense to have the "sisters" bear similar names.
In July of 2002, Rumford Hospital became a Critical Access
Hospital, thus guaranteeing reimbursement from the federal
government closer to the actual cost of providing care for
patients insured under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In 2004, the hospital began a strategically planned program
of renovation and rejuvenation. First, many of the hospital
infrastructure systems were replaced with state-of-the-art
fire alarms, sprinklers, lighting, air conditioning, generators
and ventilation. In the next phase, the main entrance,
the emergency department and day surgerywere all enlarged and renovated to better serve patients. A handicap accessible
main entrance opens onto a spacious lobby on the first
floor with patient registration and some outpatient services
adjacent. Emergency department rooms were expanded
and made more private with a centrally located nursing station.
As day surgery has become the norm, the space allotted to
that service became cramped and patient privacy suffered.
With the renovations, there isl be ample space for patients
to recover quietly and to speak privately with their doctors,
nurses and loved ones.
The final phase of construction was begun in 2008. A new wing provides private patient rooms on the first floor and a large operating room, an expansive pharmacy and a larger purchasing and receiving department.