Rumford Hospital History
Rumford Hospital Has Deep Roots in Community
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 $2.98.
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 fellowregional 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 in 2008 included a new wing with private patient rooms on the first floor, a larger operating room, a bigger pharmacy and a larger purchasing and receiving department.
Rumford Hospital continues to update and add new technologies and resources to offer its patients the best care available. Many services once available at larger hospitals are now provided here, thanks to a sizeable Specialty Services department. The hospital has also become known for its large Therapy Services Department, which allows patients to recover close to home. Rumford Hospital also continues to benefit from its partnership in the Central Maine Medical Family, which offers even more resources. No doubt the founders of Rumford Hospital would be pleased – and perhaps astounded – at the medical care that is now available to the people of Rumford and nearby communities.