Discover Our History
Behind every milestone is a story, a journey and an unwavering commitment to care for the health of our community.
In the period before 1900, there was not a hospital in the Van Wert community. Doctors practiced medicine in their offices which usually consisted of a small reception room with a combination of an examination and operating room. Babies were delivered in the mother’s home.
June 27, 1905 : The Van Wert County Hospital Association was incorporated by a group of five women known as the Lady Board of Managers. Operated in the office building of Dr. R. J. Morgan on North Jefferson Street, there was still no hospital in Van Wert.
1911: Dr. C. Files conceived the idea of building an office and small hospital combination. The building was located on East Main Street opposite the post office. There were 18 small rooms with a small operating room. It was staffed mainly by practical nurses under the guidance of the Lady Board of Managers.
1916 - 1960 : Mr. George Marsh, a prominent citizen and philanthropist, was approached by concerned citizens regarding the community’s need for a new hospital. March commissioned Dr. B. L. Good to make a study of the old, abandoned 4th ward school house to see if it was feasible to remodel into a hospital. The study was positive and Mr. Marsh furnished the money to purchase the property from the Van Wert City School District. He also arranged to purchase the White Mountain Creamery Building on the corner west of the school house, and had both buildings remodeled and converted into a 55-bed hospital and a nurse’s home. This site, which is commonly known today as the Van Rue Building, is just opposite the Civic Theater building. At that time, the hospital nurses’ home was furnished and given to the Van Wert County Hospital Association in 1915 and served as our hospital until 1960. The Lady Board of Managers relinquished their responsibility of operating the new hospital to a new Board organized in 1915 with Mr. Frank Leslie as President.
1960 : On April 28, 1958, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the site that is home to Van Wert County Hospital today. Original plans called for a 3-story building, however, it was felt that a 4th floor would eventually be required, and a 4th floor addition fund-raising drive began and funds were raised in the amount of $189,000. The new hospital was opened with 108 beds and 21 bassinets.
1962 : The hospital, at its current site, received the first accreditation at the from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
1968 : A permanent 5-bed ICU/CCU unit was opened on the 2nd floor.
1969 : Additions to the southwest corner of the hospital were approved with completion in 1970. The addition housed laboratory, physical therapy, and expanding the radiology department.
1976 : An addition to the northwest corner of the building for a new library and medical records department was completed.
1987 : The surgery area was enlarged.
1992 : Renovation and remodeling consisted of over 30,000 square feet and included expansion of administrative areas, medical records, medical library, switchboard areas, pharmacy, specialty clinic, cardiopulmonary services, nuclear medicine, physical therapy, cardiac rehab, and radiology.
1993 : A new heliport, meeting Federal Aviation and Administration guidelines, opened behind the emergency department.
1995 : Van Wert County Hospital became a part of the West Central Ohio Hospital Consortium, which owns and operates two mobile MRI units for use among its participating hospitals, and originally linked 4 hospitals together for collaborative services. This alliance has now grown to 6 hospitals.
1995 : The Medical Arts Building, adjacent to the hospital, was purchased for future development. The building added 80,000 square feet for growth.
1995 : Van Wert County Hospital became a founding member of the West Central Ohio Regional Healthcare Alliance, Ltd. (WCORHA), a network of community hospital working together to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare services.
1997 : The hospital completed a $1.7 million remodeling of the obstetrics floor for the development of 6 labor/delivery/recovery/post-partum rooms.
1998 : An expansion project involving the Medical Arts Building included the relocation of physical therapy facilities, the establishment of a wellness/rehabilitation center, and relocation of existing laboratory and x-ray services at the present site.
2000 : The Ambulatory Surgery Center located in the Van Wert Health Center opened. The Sarah Jane Living Center for Alzheimer’s Care opened in Delphos, Ohio. Sarah Jane is a joint venture between VWCH and Vancrest Ltd.
2001 : New Vision Medical Laboratories, a joint venture between VWCH and SRMC, was established.
2002 : VWCH was recognized by Solutient as a 100 Top Hospital.
2005 : VWCH celebrated 100 years of caring.
2010 : The Emergency Services Department expansion project was completed. This 12,000 square-foot, 6.8 million dollar expansion added 11 private emergency rooms, a secluded triage area and a covered entrance. The Emergency Services Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staffed by board certified physicians. The staff treats emergencies ranging from minor to major trauma. Since opening, the Emergency Services Department has cared for nearly 38,000 patients.