The History of Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth
Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth, formerly Jordan Hospital, has grown from a 12-bed rural hospital to a 150-bed, acute care community hospital, serving residents from 12 towns in Plymouth and Barnstable counties.
The townspeople of Plymouth voted in December 1900 to form a corporation to be known, as “the Jordan Hospital.” The hospital is named for its first benefactor, Eben D. Jordan, a summer resident of Plymouth who had generously offered to give the sum of $10,000, which he later doubled to $20,000. One of the first acts of the directors was the purchase of the land on Sandwich Street, where the hospital still stands. Jordan Hospital received its charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1901.
Boston architect, William Atkinson, was commissioned to design and oversee the building of the hospital. Unfortunately, on the night of September 12, 1902, when the building was nearly completed, a disastrous fire left only the walls standing. The directors decided to rebuild the hospital at a cost of $35,678.76.
The first patients were admitted to Jordan Hospital on December 19, 1903. The hospital admitted 122 patients in its first 14 months of operation.
The Nursing School
From 1905 to 1935, Jordan Hospital had a training school for young women in general nursing with instruction in cooking and massage. In June 1907, the first student nurse, Miss Elizabeth B. Nightingale, graduated. When the last student nurses graduated in 1935, the school had trained 133 young women into the nursing profession.
A Tradition of Meeting Community Need
By 1912, an addition to the hospital became imperative. The late Rosa Cole left a sizable bequest to Jordan Hospital, and the directors voted to name the new building for her, opening on July 22, 1915. Less than a quarter century later, townspeople again recognized the urgent need for modernization and expansion, raising funds and breaking ground in October 1939. A brick from the Florence Nightingale home in England was used in this expansion. The cornerstone and brick are still visible in a “healing garden,” located outside the current Critical Care Center.
During the post-World War II boom, demands on the hospital continued to grow at an even faster rate, and in 1957 further expansion and modernization became necessary. By this time, 2,932 patients a year were being admitted to Jordan Hospital. After a successful fundraising drive, the 1960s saw many hospital improvements, including a 12-bed pediatric department, and additional beds, increasing capacity to 104 beds. The need and the population continued to grow. The addition, now known as the “East Wing,” was completed in 1972.
The Birthplace opened in 1991, and births reached 987 babies per year. A building project completed in 1994 yielded a new emergency department, rehabilitation services center, diagnostic imaging, patient admitting area, medical record department, patient billing/accounting department, and information systems computer area. This structure also houses a $1.6 million cogeneration unit, which is a natural gas reciprocation engine that provides most of the hospital’s electrical and thermal energy power.
The Samuel S. Dennis 3d and Lillian W. Dennis Critical Care Center opened in January of 2001. The 12,000 square foot unit combines the latest in medical technologies with many comforts for patients and their families.
Growing for the Second Century
Fall 2005: Jordan Hospital completed a new Surgery Center with eight operating suites; expanded space for surgical support services; 34 new medical/surgical beds; an expanded cancer center, including an upgraded linear accelerator; expanded space for diagnostic imaging, pain management and outpatient cardiac testing: a new entrance off of Obery Street, leading to greatly expanded parking and a new main entrance.
Joins Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center family of hospitals
On January 1, 2014, Jordan Hospital officially joined the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston) family of hospitals and was renamed Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth.