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History of UPMC Lock Haven

Lock Haven Hospital opened in a farmhouse on Sept. 7, 1897. The first superintendent was Dr. Rita B. Church, a graduate of the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia. The hospital established a training school for nurses the same year, when one student enrolled for a two-year study course.

The Lock Haven facility opened at a time when fewer than 200 hospitals existed in the U.S.

The hospital cared for 93 patients in its first year. Private rooms cost $10 to $15 per month or $5 for wards. “Hospital tickets" sold for $15 and entitled the holder to 12 weeks of continuous treatment.

When the community saw the need for a more trustworthy medical institution, local businessman Wilson Kistler gave a piece of land for a new building.

A full-fledged hospital opened to patients on May 30, 1903, and cost $42,000. The 25-bed facility held an open house that day for 4,000 visitors.

Annual operating costs were $7,000 and half the cases were charity. Daily per patient costs were $1.24.

That original three-story facility burned down on July 28, 1908. Nurses saved the hospital's more than 30 patients, but lost wardrobes and possessions. Total damage was about $50,000.

Rebuilding of the hospital began the following year and cost $75,000. It was one of the first in the country built of structural steel. The building was three times the size of the original and had modern safety features.

The new hospital opened Sept. 15, 1909. Its open house welcomed 5,000 people, and its first patient admitted at 5 p.m.

A total remodel of Lock Haven Hospital occurred in 1924. Upgrades and additions included an x-ray and heliotherapy department. The nursing school closed in 1936, but reopened in 1943 during World War II.

UPMC Susquehanna announced plans to buy Lock Haven Hospital in June 2017 from Quorum Health Corp. It joined the UPMC family in October 2017. UPMC Lock Haven serves north central Pa. with a 47-bed hospital.