We trace the spirit of our mission—to improve the health of our communities—to our birth in 1895 as Franklin County Public Hospital, located in a converted home in Greenfield. Our founders were ambitious. We served 55 patients our first year, our annual budget was under $6,000, and rent was paid by local pledges. Together with the people of Greenfield, we forged a vision and drew tremendous local support—a tradition that continues to this day.
Growth was swift. We soon rented a second home, and 15 years later we moved to our own building. Following the devastating 1918 influenza epidemic (local mortality rate reached 34%), we constructed the region’s first isolation hospital and conducted the region’s largest fund drive—$300,000—to expand. The next capital campaign, in the midst of World War II, raised $1million.
In the mid-60s, the community again rallied to help fund what was the first-of-it-kind in hospital design (hub and spokes), a project that was also the first Massachusetts hospital building to receive state funding.
We inaugurated a new period of growth in 1986 when we joined Baystate Health. In 1989 we had a $5.7 million renovation and expansion of the hospital. Five years later, we purchased the neighboring building on Sanderson Street, which become an outpatient care center. And in 2005-07, we again embarked on a major renovation and expansion project—supported by a $6 million community campaign—which encompassed the Emergency Department, Radiology, the Intensive Care Unit and medical-surgical areas.
Baystate Franklin Medical Center has been here through epidemics, wars, and accidents. We have been here for tens of thousands of mothers, newborns, and their families. Night and day. Thick and thin. Together—community and hospital—we deliver a higher state of caring