Lancaster Regional Medical Center is founded on St. Joseph Hospital’s heritage, which dates back to 1883 when the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia established the first hospital in Lancaster County, Pa., in a building erected in 1877 by the Brothers of St. John of God. During that first month of this hospital’s existence, the Sisters came to Lancaster from Philadelphia with an operating budget of $2.50 and two apples. The building did not have electricity, running water or even beds. One morning Sister Cecilia placed her two apples on a windowsill near a statue of St. Joseph, and asked him to multiply the food for the people who would come for care. Later that day, two barrels of apples appeared before the building with a note that read, “To the Sister Cook.” From that moment on, Lancaster has had a place where health care has been a spiritual journey. By 1884, the first operating room was established, and the hospital was incorporated in 1885. During St. Joseph Hospital’s first full year of operation, the number of patients treated was 121, the second year treated 181, and by 1891 the hospital was aiding 300 patients.
Around the turn of the century, a new wing was opened for surgery and the Training School for Nurses was established. Updates, purchases and building projects were fast in coming during the first half of the 1900s. New buildings took the place of the original structure in the 1950s, and prayer was delivered over the loudspeakers starting in 1956. The building plans were augmented by the George C. Delp Pavilion, named after one of the hospital’s most notable trustees and supporters. New services, groundbreakings and ambitious projects had been part of the ever-developing culture of quality medical attention and faith-based community concern at St. Joseph Hospital. Sisters and physicians of note, persons of all callings are now heralded in the institution’s history.
Almost 120 years after the Sisters came to Lancaster, St. Joseph had grown into a tertiary level care hospital, with a medical staff representing more than 30 medical specialties. In 2000, the hospital name was changed to Lancaster Regional Medical Center. And today, that tradition continues with so much more. Lancaster Regional Medical Center offers a full continuum of care and also serves Lancaster County with many community outreach programs.
If you are looking for all the services of a "big city" hospital with the personalized, compassionate care you will only find in a smaller, community hospital, you have come to the right place.