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If you have any public domain photographs of historical interest to donate, whether scanned or printed please contact the webmaster, Roger Chartier and your submission will be credited if it is displayed on this site.

By Roger Chartier


1905 Image of St. Luke's Hospital
New Bedford, Ma.
History from 1884 up to 2008

St. Luke's Hospital first opened and 11 bed facility in a 2 1/2 story house at 81 Purchase Street.

The first 3 nursing students graduated from the St. Luke's Training School for Nurses.

1891 The electric lights were installed.

A new hospital was built on the corner of Page street and Allen Street with 4 buildings.

A building was added for 20 more beds.

Read a lot more below the picture:
1905 St. Luke's hospital, New Bedford, Ma. -

Click the photograph to see a larger version.

1907 The "White Home" housing for nurses opened with room for 44 female nurses.

1908 Three operating rooms were added.

1910 The Lumbard House named after Anna M. Lumbard who was an early proponent of establishing the hospital in New Bedford was set up in the old second New Bedford Orphans Home on Taber Street.
It was for a hospital ward for women and children and had rooms for nurses. In later years, a pediatric unit was named after her in the main building on the 3rd floor.

1914 The Rogers Ward was named in memory of it's donor, Henry Huttleston Rogers.

1916 St. Luke's got it's first x-ray equipment and a new maternity ward funded by Mrs. Gertrude S. Schultz with 45 beds opened and was named after her.

1918 A new wing was built onto the White Home that would accommodate 23 more nurses.

An out patient department opened, and served the needs of more than 8,000 patient visits within a year.

1926 The White Home grew again with rooms for 32 more nurses.
The old Lumbard building was put out of service, and a new 65 bed unit in the main building was created for children and named the Lumbard Unit.

The hospital's first cancer clinic opened.

In this year 26,996 patients visited the Outpatient Department.

1930 Miss Ellen R. Hathaway made a gift to the hospital that paid for a new outpatient building.
The 3 story building also had private rooms and was dedicated to her mother Mrs. Ellen Rodman Hathaway.

Polio and some other diseases sometimes rendered a patient unable to breathe on their own. The first iron lung was used on October 12, 1928 in a Boston hospital. By 1930, St. Luke's had bought one for $2,000.00. Theirs was the 26th one put in use in the U.S.

The Hathaway's second floor ward with private rooms closed. The economy during the depression reduced the number of private pay patients. It also created a need for free beds.

1934 St. Luke's employed 192 employees.

St. Luke's was designated a center for the premature infant care.
St. Luke's was able to offer care for only few cents a day because it had joined the Associated Hospital Service Corporation of Massachusetts, a fore-runner of Hospital insurance.

1938 More than 40,000 patients visited the Outpatient Department..

1940 The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps was established at St. Luke's, to train over a hundred nurses due to the impending war.

Almost 100 nurses and 20 of the 56 doctors working at St Luke's joined the armed services. Volunteers picked up the slack and some private pay wards closed.

1945 32,820 hours of service were provided by volunteers in this year..

Advances in medical treatment reduced the length of a hospital stay from 8.8 in 1949 to 8.0 in 1950.
Several Volunteer groups joined together to for the St. luke's Woman's Auxiliary

Mrs. H. Sylvia A.H.G. Wilks of New York willed $1.2 million to the hospital to create the Memorial Building a new addition that was built starting in that year It was the largest addition to date..

1953 The Memorial Building was completed and finally opened.
The hospital provided nearly $200,000.00 in free care that year..

1958 The volunteer service and physical therapy departments were established.

1959 The National League for Nursing gave accreditation to the School of Nursing.
The employee Health Service was also established.

1963 Plans for the new 4 story hospital building were approved..

1964 St. Luke's was the only U.S. community hospital to offer a stroke program.
It was co-sponsored by St. Luke's and the American Heart Association.

1965 Older buildings were demolished to make room for new ones..

1966 The hospital was able to be involved in the Federal Medicare program
An Intensive Care Unit was opened.

1968 St. Luke's dedicated the new Jones Building, named for Amelia Jones.

1972 St. Luke's added the VNA to it's department list..

The Community Services Department was established to shorten hospital stays and lower the cost of illness by utilizing relevant community services and ensuring continuity of care.

1973 St. Luke's established a walk In clinic (Ambulatory Care Unit).

1975 St. Luke's closed it's School of Nursing. Over the years, it had graduated 1,795 nurses.

1979 St. Luke's was the first hospital in Massachusetts to have the equipment to do CT scans.

1983 New Intensive Care units and Critical Care units were opened.
In the first year of operation, they served nearly 1,500 patients.

1984 A new SurgiCenter, maternity suite and Emergency Department, as well as the Century building opened creating a total capacity of 433 beds.

The first personal computer was introduced, but by 1993, 260 PCs were put into use.

1986 St. Luke's spent $85,000.00 on new mammography equipment.
The satellite communications equipment allowing the ability to teleconference with other hospitals and medical centers worldwide was installed.

St. Luke's acquired Parkwood Hospital, previously named Union Hospital a 100 bed facility located in the north end of New Bedford at 4499 Acushnet ave.
This year saw 17,853 admissions.

1991 More than 500 patients utilized the services of the newly installed cardiac catheterization lab in its first year. The auxiliary was able to donate the funds for the new laser surgery technology.

3 new labor, delivery and recovery rooms were built. The hospital had the third busiest ER in Massachusetts.

The hospital length of stay was reduced to 6.6 days.
The facility had more than 200 active doctors and dentists and employed more than 2,000 people.

Hospital President John B Day was the first to be able to remotely access hospital e-mail through the new system..

1994 This year saw an expansion of the operating rooms.

1995 Construction of the new Admitting and Outpatient Rehabilitation areas, as well as a new lobby were completed.

A level 2 nursery was opened.
St. Luke's joined together with Wareham's Tobey hospital and Charlton Hospital in Fall River forming the Southcoast Hospitals Group.
65,000 people visited the Emergency Dept. that year.

1997 Four state of the art operating rooms were built.
A center for women's health and a surgery center opened on Faunce Corner in North Dartmouth.
St. Luke's Hospital honored as a Top 100 Hospital in the U.S.
The Oncology Center and an Outpatient Rehab Center opened in Dartmouth at Hawthorn Place.

Eight beds were added to a the ICU creating and 8 bed Surgical ICU unit.

2001 A heart Center with advanced cardiac services was added.

2002 St. Luke's expanded it's ED with a new rapid treatment area.

2004 The Emergency Department was expanded, and 2 more surgery units added as well as more inpatient beds. Total cost $32,000,000.00

2008 The hospital begins construction on a new parking garage.

... More changes to come