Since its inception, Elk Regional Health System has had a rich history of community support. Elk Regional stands on a solid foundation established by those who, at the start of the 20th Century, saw fit to establish hospitals – the former Andrew Kaul memorial Hospital in St. Marys and the former Elk County General Hospital in Ridgway – in their community. Those hospitals merged in 1999 to create Elk Regional Health System, an organization that strives to build upon the cherished tradition of community service and to enhance its ability to respond to the ever-changing needs of its community. The health system proudly serves the residents of Elk and Cameron counties and the surrounding community.
The History of Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital
In 1922, three daughters of Andrew Kaul recognized the need for a hospital to serve the area. They organized and helped finance a community fund drive to convert an empty monastery building into a modern, well-equipped, 38-bed hospital which they named Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital.
In the late 1920s, the ownership and operation of the hospital was turned over to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict. After 45 years, the hospital in 1978 transferred from the religious order to the community again.
The hospital enjoyed several major expansions over the years. In 1934, a fire gutted the entire hospital and a temporary hospital was established at St. Joseph's Convent. By 1941, the shell of the old monastery was once again serviceable and two wings were added. A 138-bed extended care facility, named Pinecrest Manor, was added in 1970. In 1984, dedication and ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for the two-story wing housing.
In 1990, the hospital’s Board of Directors voted to restructure, forming the Andrew Kaul Health System with three subsidiaries – Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital, the Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital Foundation, and ELCOHousing, Inc.
In 1994, the name of the hospital was changed to St. Marys Regional Medical Center.
Also that year, construction of a three-floor Medical Office Building was completed. Just three years later, the Outpatient Rehabilitation Building, which houses the rehabilitation facility and Community Nurses Inc. opened. A major renovation in 2002 added a new front lobby, Emergency Department and operating and recovery areas.
The History of Elk County General Hospital
Elk County General Hospital, located in neighboring Ridgway, was incorporated on Dec. 28, 1900. Its first patient was admitted on Nov. 20, 1902.
In 1908, it was decided that a Nurse's Home (presently the Dickinson Mental Health Center) should be built. In 1913, complete x-ray equipment was installed. Just two years later, a laboratory was installed and in 1924 complete laundry equipment was put into operation.
In 1959, a $1 million expansion was completed with the opening of a new four-story wing. A separate 28-bed psychiatric unit was also incorporated that year.
A construction program got under way in October 1978. In 1980, a new $3 million wing was completed on the hospital’s northern side. Once that was completed, buildings constructed in 1902 and 1926 were demolished to make room for a new parking lot. The construction program was complete by 1989.
In November 1993, the name of the hospital was changed to Elk County Regional Medical Center. In 1994, a Professional Office Building was erected at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Hospital Street.
Elk Regional Health System Is Created
On July 1, 1999, St. Marys Regional Medical Center merged with Elk County Regional Medical Center to become Elk Regional Health System.
Today, Elk Regional Health System is composed of:
Elk Regional Health Center, a fully-accredited, not-for-profit, 89-bed general acute care institution that offers cutting-edge services such as digital mammography, film-less radiology, same-day surgery, hip resurfacing as an alternative to total hip replacement and laparoscopic hysterectomy. Elk Regional also has a 10-bed behavioral health unit for the elderly, a state-of-the-art surgical suite, electronic medical record and beside medication verification;
Elk Regional Professional Group, a not-for-profit physician employment vehicle through which the Health System is able to successfully recruit and retain high quality providers in a variety of specialties. Since its incorporation, ERPG has grown into a large and effective multi-specialty group that includes family practitioners, cardiologists, OB/GYN, and general, orthopaedic and vacular surgeons;
Community Nurses Inc., a non-profit, Medicare certified, state-licensed, home health agency serving all of Elk, Cameron and McKean counties and parts of Clearfield, Jefferson and Potter counties in Pennsylvania. Community Nurses offers home health care, hospice care, home support services and adult day services. Referrals to CNI can be made by the patient, family members, friends, physicians, hospitals or social service agencies;
Pinecrest Manor, an extended care facility that also offers a dementia and Alzheimer’s unit. A team of qualified professionals at Pinecrest Manor provides 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitative therapy with personalized attention to each resident. When a physician, resident, and their family decide upon end-of-life care services, Pinecrest Manor will arrange for the entire spectrum of quality hospice care to be provided. Conveniently located on the campus of Elk Regional Health Center, all of the hospital's resources, equipment and staff are easily accessible;
ELCO Glen, a 32-unit multi-tenant independent living facility for the low income elderly, handicapped or disabled individuals of any age Conveniently situated on six acres of land adjacent to Elk Regional Health Center, ELCO Glen offers a safe, secure living environment. Each apartment is connected to an emergency response system that enables the tenant to signal for help if necessary. The building is also secured by a locked-door intercom system. Parking is available for residents who own vehicles. For those who don't, public transportation is available through ATA;
The Elk Regional Health System Auxiliary, a volunteer organization that has stood behind ERHS since 1922. The Auxiliary has pledged $250,000 to the Health Center’s new expansion project, which will add a third floor to the Health Center; privatize and modernize every single patient room; create a new, more secure 10-bed Generations Unit and create a new, eight-bed Family Unit. The Auxiliary has also funded Elk Regional's cardiac rehabilitation program, which is located at the Health System's Ridgway campus; purchased new furniture for the main lobby, multi-purpose room and solariums at Pinecrest Manor; purchased a new canopy for Pinecrest Manor’s main entrance, and purchased equipment for Elk Regional's Intensive Care Unit and The Family Unit. The Auxiliary operates The ReSale Shop, which is open five days per week and features second hand clothes, furniture and other household items. The Auxiliary also operates a Gift Shop at the St. Marys campus of Elk Regional Health Center; and
The Elk Regional Health System Foundation, another integral part of the Health System that is committed to developing the resources necessary to enable Elk Regional to provide quality health care services. Each year, the ERHS Foundation sponsors a Charity Golf Tournament and a Women’s Health Program. It offers two scholarships – one in memory of Kathryn Kilhoffer Walsh and her dedication to nursing and the Elk County Diabetes Group scholarship, available to students who pursue careers in diabetic education or nursing.
Together, we are Elk Regional.