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Since 1893, Lancaster General Health (LG Health) has been meeting the healthcare needs of our community. The timeline below puts our growth from a hospital located in a three-story house on Queen Street in Lancaster City to a regional healthcare organization with locations throughout Lancaster County, in historical context.

Timeline of Historical Highlights by Decade



Surgery is now common, especially for removing tumors, infected tonsils, appendectomies and gynecological operations. The American Medical Association becomes a powerful force. Progressive reformers argue for health insurance. Toward the end of the decade, American hospitals become modern scientific institutions, valuing antiseptics and cleanliness, and using medications for the relief of pain.


Lancaster General Hospital (LGH) begins serving the needs of our community in December 1893 in a three-story brick residence at 322 N. Queen St., Lancaster.


The hospital relocates to a private mansion at 530-532 N. Lime St.


The first baby, Dorothy Miller, is born on January 9.


A formal nurses’ training school is established with the first nurses graduating in 1905.


After disturbing data on the fitness levels of individuals drafted during World War I is released, the government passes legislation ordering improvements to the physical education programs in public schools. The evolution of modern fitness is attributed to the World Wars and the Cold War.


The first cesarean section is performed at LGH in June. Twelve births are recorded the following year.


LGH starts using its first motorized ambulance.


The flu epidemic hits Lancaster. Hundreds gets sick and hospitals are filled beyond capacity. The Moose Hall on East King Street is converted to use as an emergency hospital. On Oct. 7, 1918, there were 2,516 reported cases of flu in a single day.


Heart disease becomes the leading cause of death in the U.S. An effective vaccine for tuberculosis is developed at the New York City Health Department’s research laboratory. Harvard medical researcher Philip Drinker devises the first modern respirator, dubbed the iron lung, first used by polio sufferers with chest paralysis. Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming does early work in the development of penicillin. The National Institutes of Health are created.


LGH undertakes its last major expansion project before World War II. A $450,000 program paved the way for a new maternity building, a new administration wing and acquisition of another private home for nurses.


President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law 1935 and in 1938, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which expands the power of the Food and Drug Administration, particularly in the area of drug regulation. An early version of the polio vaccine Dr. Jonas Salk would later develop, as well as a vaccine for yellow fever, are announced.


The value of free services provided by the hospital exceeds $450,000.


LGH acquires its first iron lung.


President Truman signs the National Mental Health Act of 1946, providing a significant amount of funding for research and treatment of mental illness. Computerized accounting and billing begins with many hospitals integrating the technology into their operations.


LGH marks its 50th anniversary


Following the end of WWII, 1, 448 babies are born at LGH. By 1951, that figure doubles.


The pacemaker is invented by Dr. Paul Zoll at Beth Israel Hospital. The first successful organ transplant in humans is performed by Dr. Joseph Murray at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. The first successful heart surgery using the heart-lung machine is performed by Dr. John Gibbon of Jefferson Medical College. DNA’s molecular structure is discovered by Dr. James Watson and Francis Crick.


The LGH Department of Physical Therapy is established in the early 1950s.


A new wing is dedicated at LGH, containing 156 new beds, a heart clinic, chapel, new interns’ quarters, library, kitchen/cafeteria, administrative areas, employee lounges.


The polio unit is phased out at LGH, after an inactivated polio vaccine is licensed.


President Johnson signs into effect social security amendments authorizing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. NASA plays an important part in the early development of telemedicine, as humans begin traveling in space. A federal employees’ health benefits program is authorized. A measles vaccine is licensed.


The LGH School of Nursing completes a new student residence that will house 234 student nurses. It also contains an auditorium, laboratory, classrooms and library.


Six residential properties were demolished in the 100 block of East James Street to accommodate additional parking facilities. The hospital now has off-street parking for 526 automobiles.


The Surgeon General’s report becomes the first of a series of reports to identify environmental smoke as a health risk to nonsmokers. The Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, raising a number of issues for hospitals.


The Family Medicine Residency Program begins at LGH under the direction of Dr. Nikitas Zervanos. The program is now one of the most successful and among the largest in the nation.


LGH begins using a technological marvel – the computerized axial tomography machine (CAT scanner).


The AIDS epidemic began when the first cases of HIV were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner arrives on the market. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are expanding significantly. By 1986, 51 percent of system-affiliated and 66 percent of freestanding community hospitals are involved in managing care through ownership/sponsorship of HMOs. The number of community hospitals declines through the decade. Between 1980 and 1986, 414 hospitals close.


LGH starts its first cardiac catheterization laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Richard H. Mann


Dr. Lawrence I. Bonchek, head of the LGH cardiac surgery team, performs Lancaster County’s first open-heart surgery at LGH.


LGH announces the creation of the Women’s Health Pavilion within the hospital.


LGH’s trauma center receives accreditation as a regional trauma center from the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation


Healthcare spending in the U.S. tops 14 percent of economic output in 1992, up from 9.6 percent in 1981. In 1998, The Census Bureau reports 44.3 million Americans are without health insurance, despite a strong economy and a new law intended to provide coverage for children.


LGH expands its Emergency Medicine/Trauma Department and Food Services Department


Laparoscopic gall bladder surgery is performed at LGH.


Construction on the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion finishes.
Lancaster General Hospital purchases the 62-bed Columbia Hospital and completes $13 million in facility renovations. After years of declining inpatient demand, the hospital is converted into an outpatient center in 2003.


Women & Babies Hospital opens adjacent to the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion.


A 2001 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office projects a serious shortage of nurses. In response, Congress passes the Nurse Reinvestment Act in 2002, establishing programs to expand the workforce. The Food and Drug Administration requires food manufacturers to provide information on trans fats on nutrition labels.

In 2006, Massachusetts enacts the Mandated Health Insurance Law, which requires all adults who can obtain affordable health insurance to do so. The program includes an employer contribution requirement and is funded by state and local governments. Fifteen years after direct-to-consumer advertising regulations were loosened, consumer pharmaceutical marketing reached $5.4 billion. Ads are required to include a “major statement” of the most important risks with a referral to a source of in-depth information.

In 2008, Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, is elected president; during his campaign, he promises sweeping healthcare reforms. An estimated 46 million Americans lack health insurance coverage.

In 2010, President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a landmark healthcare overhaul — the most expansive social legislation enacted in decades — saying it enshrines “the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”

In 2011, the percentage of American adults who get their health insurance from an employer falls to 44.5%, leading many to believe this system of insurance can't last.


The former nurses’ school becomes the Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

Lancaster General Health and Franklin & Marshall College create the James Street Improvement District – today known as the Lancaster City Alliance – to foster neighborhood and economic development in the city’s northwest.


LGH opens an expanded Trauma and Emergency Department.


The Lancaster General Orthopedic Center opens at LGH.


Thomas E. Beeman, PhD, becomes President & CEO of Lancaster General

Lancaster General Health and Franklin & Marshall College pursue redevelopment of more than 70 acres that included the former Armstrong World Industries’ manufacturing plant on Liberty Street, and nearby Norfolk Southern rail yard in Lancaster City’s northwest quadrant. Former industrial land was cleared and cleaned by the project, funded through a mix of private and state and local public sources. Dozens of acres will foster vital urban growth over the next several decades.


The Board of Trustees for the Lancaster General Health system and Lancaster General Hospital are consolidated, ensuring a single Board of Trustees provides oversight for the growing, not-for-profit health system.

The Lancaster General Health Foundation begins, serving as the centralized collection point for all contributions and funding requests for the health system. The foundation ensures all funds benefit the system and its patients.

The Physicians' Surgery Center, Lancaster General Health, opens at the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion, providing six surgical suites and a procedure room dedicated for outpatient surgery in Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Urology, General Surgery, Ear, Nose and Throat, Podiatry and Pain Management.


Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital opens
Physicians Surgery Center Lancaster General, a partnership between the health system and a group of surgeons opens at the Health Campus, one of the system’s first forays into formal, strategic partnerships with its physicians to enhance access to care and quality.


The Downtown Outpatient Pavilion and an adjacent 11-level parking garage opens at LGH.

The $68 million, four-story Downtown Outpatient Pavilion and adjacent 11-level parking garage opens across Duke Street from Lancaster General Hospital, providing much-needed outpatient services and employee parking.

A new three-story addition opened at Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences opens, allowing for an increase in enrollment of 150 students. The expansion includes new classrooms, offices, a radiology lab and a new human patient simulator.


A $6 million Lancaster General Health Willow Lakes outpatient facility opens in the county’s south, offering digital mammography and a 16-slice CT, pre- operative testing, laboratory, and physical, occupational, speech and hand therapies.

An $8 million expansion of Women & Babies Hospital increases post-partum rooms, the neonatal intensive care unit, and its triage and nursery beds.


LG Health begins implementing a $100 million electronic medical record utilized by physicians and clinicians throughout the health system. Through MyLGHealth, patients can review their record at home, communicate with their physician and request appointments.

LG Health opens an Urgent Care Center at Route 30 and Rohrerstown Road, and LG Health Express at Giant Foods stores to increase access and convenience for those seeking non-emergent healthcare.


LG College of Nursing & Health Sciences receives a landmark 10-year re- accreditation of its programs by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college educates 1,080 students in 19 post-secondary certificate, associate, and bachelor degree programs.

2013 LG College of Nursing & Health Sciences becomes Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, reflecting its diverse educational offerings. College enrollment totals more than 1,500 students.

LG Health opens the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute adjacent to the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion. The two-story, 90,000 square foot facility redseigned oncology care by combining the latest diagnostic and treatment options with an environment that benefits the mind, body and spirit of patients and families. A community fund-raising campaign raised more than half of the institute's $46 million cost. 

Lancaster General Health Center in Parkesburg opens, the system's first outpatient offering in Chester County. The 40,000 square foot center provides primary and urgent care, and a wide range of ambulatory services including laboratory, therapy and diagnostic imaging.

Lancaster General Health Innovative Solutions begins, serving as an incubator for research and development of inventive new healthcare delivery models, new technologies, services and solutions to transform healthcare and address opportunities in quality and safety.
2014 The Lancaster General Community Care Collaborative, the health system's first Accountable Care Organization under the Affordable Care Act, begins. The ACO benefits nearly 18,000 Medicare patients, cared for by Lancaster General Health Physicians practices.

The laboratory at Lancaster General Hospital undergoes a $40 million expansion and installation of new technology that improves automation, clinical accuracy and efficiencies, and enhances patient care quality and safety. The 43,000-square-foot laboratory performs more than two million tests each year; 70 percent of healthcare decisions by clinicians are based on diagnostic testing results.
Lancaster General Health Physicians grows to more than 450 primary-care and specialty providers. Its primary-care practices become certified Patient Centered Medical Homes, providing care that is comprehensive, team-based, coordinated, accessible, and focused on quality and safety. 

Lancaster General Health becomes a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The relationship enhances the region’s access to cost-effective, high-quality care, and strengthens our complementary teaching and research missions.

The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences begins construction on a new, expanded facility in the Greenfield Corporate Center, dedicated to a learner-centered environment that will continue to prepare the minds of healthcare providers for LG Health and beyond.

Lancaster General Health pursues a $60+ million dollar expansion of the flagship LG Hospital to ensure all patients have access to private rooms, supporting improved care delivery, patient satisfaction and family and caregiver space.

Jan L. Bergen is named President & Chief Executive Officer of Lancaster General Health.

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