Rutland Regional Medical Center has a rich, 120-plus-year history of providing quality health care. From its chaotic, 10-bed beginning, plagued by financial pressures and an ongoing need for expansion, it has prospered to become a 133-bed facility offering advanced technology in all aspects of care.
The hospital began on February 10, 1890, upon the death of invalid Susan Pierpoint. Susan bequeathed all her property to her sister, Julia, and stipulated that if Julia died without a will, the residue of Susan's estate would be used to establish "a hospital for the sick and lame". She further stipulated that if a hospital was not established within five years, the Rutland Missionary Society would become the beneficiary. In 1891, a building site in Center Rutland was chosen. Unfortunately, fundraisers generated only $488 of the $5,000 needed to build.
Plans for a hospital continued as the Founders (Corporators) adopted Articles of Association and petitioned the Vermont Legislature for incorporation. The Rutland Hospital Association, the second hospital in Vermont, was incorporated on November 27, 1892. The initial Corporators meeting was held March 15, 1893; the first treasurer's report listed a fund balance of $481.11. In 1893, Evelyn Pierpoint and his sister, Julia, officially deeded four acres of land near the House of Correction to the hospital for $1. Despite having a building and design – and Susan Pierpont’s deadline looming near – fundraising still was inadequate. In 1895, five years after Susan Pierpoint's death, only $3,300 had been collected. The surviving Pierpoints were asked to extend the deadline.
In early 1896, Charles Sheldon offered his Nichols Street house, which recently had been used as a nursing home, to the hospital. It fit the needs of the young association, which mortgaged $7,000 of the project’s $13,160 cost and returned the Pierpoint property.
Rutland Hospital officially opened on September 6, 1896. Four physicians coordinated medical care. Its ten beds were divided into two, four-bed wards and two private rooms. They shared one telephone and one bathroom. The original hospital quickly became overcrowded, and on October 4, 1956 groundbreaking began on a new, four-story, 155-bed hospital at the Chaffee Farm, located on Allen St. The building was dedicated on September 20, 1958, and patients were moved just a few weeks later, on October 4, 1958. The new building featured intercom systems, washbasins and oxygen in all rooms, and dumbwaiters for meal service. Deluxe rooms featured showers, writing desks and private telephones, at a cost of $30 per day.
Recognizing that health care goes beyond the traditional concept of the inpatient hospital, in January 1983 the board changed the hospital’s name to Rutland Regional Medical Center. In 1985, Corporators of the Rutland Regional Medical Center created Comprehensive Health Resources Inc. (CHRI), a holding company. CHRI was established as the vehicle of Rutland Regional Medical Center's continuing transformation into a provider of health care across the entire spectrum. (CHRI’s name was changed to Rutland Regional Health Services [RRHS] in 1998.) In 1986, the Redevelopment Fund Campaign set a goal of $1.8 million for the "Rutland East" building project. Completed in late 1989 at a cost of $10 million, the addition now houses outpatient services, including the Foley Cancer Center.
Today, Rutland Regional Medical Center is Vermont’s second-largest health care facility, with 1,604 employees and a medical staff of nearly 207 physicians trained in 36 specialty areas. Providing preventive, diagnostic, acute and rehabilitative services, Rutland Regional Medical Center serves Rutland County, portions of southern and central Vermont and communities in eastern New York State.
The hospital’s medical staff is supported by excellent nurses, high quality diagnostic and ancillary services and a broad array of sophisticated equipment, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a top-of-the-line Linear Accelerator used in the treatment of cancer patients, and a diagnostic Cardiovascular and Angiographic Lab. The hospital’s holding company, Rutland Regional Health Services, has grown to encompass a collaborative system of health care providers offering education, primary care, outpatient acute care, rehabilitation and assisted living housing.