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Our History

Central Vermont Medical Center, founded in 1963 when Montpelier's Heaton Hospital merged with Barre City Hospital, today serves a population of 66,000 and employs nearly 1,400 people.

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[Shown: Montpelier's Heaton Hospital]

  • In 1895, Homer W. Heaton founded Heaton Hospital in Montpelier, Vermont's capital city.
  • In the neighboring town of Barre, Frank E. Langley and a group of community leaders organized in 1904 “to maintain a public hospital, not for profit, in the City of Barre.” Barre City Hospital opened three years later.
  • By 1960, there were only 37 physicians in Washington County, down from a high of 58 in 1885. The physicians of Barre and Montpelier, along with other community leaders, revived talks of merging the two hospitals as a way of preserving and expanding community-based medical care for central Vermonters.
  • By March of 1961, the Medical Staffs from Heaton Hospital and Barre City Hospital had voted to reciprocate staff privileges. This action was quickly followed by the State Health Commission's recommendation that the two hospitals merge to eliminate duplication and provide a broader range of health care services to its citizens. Less than six months later, the Medical Staff of Mayo Memorial Hospital, a small 29-bed hospital located 15 miles to the south voted to join in the merger discussions.
  • In 1963, Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) was incorporated. Five years and nearly $5.5 million later, construction was completed. The new 175-bed hospital combined the Boards of Directors and the Medical Staffs of Barre City Hospital and Heaton Hospital. Also integrated were Mayo Memorial Hospital's physicians and the local Osteopathic physicians.
  • In August 1968, CVH opened its doors on a beautiful 70-acre site in Berlin under the direction of Joel Walker, the former administrator of Barre City Hospital. Harold F. Shea, assumed the role of President, Board of Trustees of the Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC), Parent Corporation to the hospital. Governor Philip Hoff and Vermont's senior US Senator, George D. Aiken, presided at the opening ceremonies, which were attended by hundreds of well-wishers. The festivities ran as the lead story in the local Times-Argus on August 12, 1968.
  • The new hospital employed 395 local residents, making it one of the largest employers in the area. In its first year in operation, the hospital experienced an 83% occupancy rate and 949 births. CVH discharged 7,600 patients, saw over 9,000 people in the Emergency Room, provided over 288,000 hours of nursing care, conducted over 88,000 laboratory tests and extended more than $120,000 in charity care. The cost for a semi-private room was $40 a day.
  • In 1993, CVMC extended the commitment they had made in the 1970s to provide long-term care locally by opening Woodridge. This Nursing Home was built on the hospital's grounds to further ensure the availability of convenient, quality long-term care in a home-like environment.
  • State approval to undergo a major modernization and expansion program at CVMC was given approval in 2005. This project resulted in new and much needed Operating Room space and a New Birthing Center as well as reorganized space for the efficient delivery of the growing array of outpatient services. Construction was completed in 2007.
  • CVMC broke ground on the new National Life Cancer Treatment Center in September 2008. After a year of construction, the new facility opened its doors to patients at the beginning of October 2009.
  • CVMC opened up its new Aquatic Wellness Center in January 2011, which has the only therapeutic temperature pool in central Vermont. Extensive renovations on the Emergency Department also began in the fall of 2010 and were completed in August 2011. Renovations included a new entrance and parking area, expansion of ambulance bays, as well as significant interior renovations and security enhancements.
  • Today, CVMC operates a hospital facility with 122 licensed beds, serves a population of 66,000, and employs nearly 1,400 people. More than 25,000 patients are seen annually in CVMC's Emergency Department and more than 164,000 outpatient treatments including over 3,000 outpatient surgeries are provided. The Medical Center boasts a medical staff of nearly 135 physicians and over 35 nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwifes representing a wide range of primary and specialty services. Today, CVMC and its Medical Staff work in close collaboration with other health care providers in the region to maximize locally available health services.

To the credit of those who forged ahead with thoughts of merger in the face of skepticism, Central Vermont Medical Center continues to grow as a health care resource for the entire central Vermont community.