Historical Timeline

Untitled Document

Over a Century of Care.

For over 125 years, the people of Cortland have turned to us first for the best in medical care. Keeping our community healthy and happy takes serious commitment. From our humble beginnings until today - the dedication of our professional medical staff and continuous improvement of technology and facilities has continued to ensure the health and well-being of this community, now and for generations to come.


1889

The Loyal Circle of Kings Daughters recognizes the need for a hospital in Cortland and begins fund-raising for this worthy cause.

Board of Managers of the Hospital Association
First Hospital in Cortland, 33 Clayton Ave.

1891

The Cortland Hospital Association is organized in February, and a board of 22 women managers and an advisory board of 9 men are elected. Under a new constitution adopted in 1907, the advisory board became the Board of Trustees.

On April 1st, Cortland’s first hospital opens in a rented house located at 33 Clayton Avenue. The hospital’s six beds are staffed by one woman and a boy with volunteer assistance from the board of managers.

1894

A training school for nurses is established and trains more than 320 nurses over the next 42 years. The school closed in 1936 because of increasingly complicated state regulations.

Photo of the hospital's second location at 84 North Main Street
The Second Hospital Location, 84 N. Main St.
Nurses at 84 N. Main St.

1895

The hospital moves to newly purchased quarters at 84 North Main Street, increasing the number of beds to 25.

1905

The Hospital Aid Society, the hospital’s first volunteer organization is founded, drawing 200 members from Cortland and 12 surrounding towns. Three years later, the Junior Hospital Aid Society is organized as an auxiliary to the Hospital Aid Society and still exits today as Hospital Aid.

Chester Wickwire
134 Homer Ave., 1911

1909

Chester F. Wickwire generously donates the funds to purchase and convert the Copeland-Boyton Mansion into a modern hospital.

1911

Cortland Hospital relocates to its present location at 134 Homer Avenue, expanding its capacity to 52 beds. The new facility featured separate wards for men and women, 22 private rooms, a children’s ward, and two operating rooms.

1917

The hospital’s name is changed to Cortland County Hospital. The Mayor of the City of Cortland and the Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors serve as ex officio members of the Board of Trustees.

First X-ray equipment installed.

Open House Poster

1922

New 21-bed maternity wing opens in February, and 135 babies are delivered at the hospital by the end of that year. Many changes in maternity care have transpired in the ensuing years, and modern-day maternity services feature family-centered care that includes birthing rooms, whirlpool baths, rooming in, and special accommodations for fathers.

1923

The hospital opens its first laboratory.

Children's Ward

1928

The west pavilion is completed, housing a new x-ray department, laboratory, medical ward, private rooms, and expanded children’s ward. The addition increases the hospital’s total beds to 115.

1934

The Laboratory is enlarged due to increasing volume, including public health laboratory tests performed for Cortland County.

X-ray Room

1936

The hospital receives the gift of a Cardiette (EKG) Machine and performs its first electrocardiogram.

In order to streamline oversight of hospital operations, the Board of Trustees and Women Board of Managers are consolidated into a single 14-member governing body, consisting of equal numbers of men and women.

1937

Cortland County Hospital is among the first in the area to join the Group Hospital Services of Syracuse: The Hospital Blue Cross.

Iron Lung

1941

Community organizations step forward with their support. The Cortland Rotary Club gives the hospital an iron lung used to treat polio.

1942

World War II creates a nursing shortage that continues throughout the war years. Volunteer Red Cross Nurse Aides and Gray Ladies help fill the gap, working alongside the nurses in patient wards and in many other areas of the hospital.

Elmina Snow Hospital Superintendent 1943-1947
Pediatrics Unit

1943

Cortland County Hospital becomes a member of the American Hospital Association.

1944

Proceeds from the Hospital Aid's Annual Charity Ball support maternity, pediatrics and the nursery.

1946

The University of the State of New York establishes a nursing school at Morrisville and Cortland County Hospital becomes a clinical training site. The last class of Morrisville students trained at the hospital graduated in 1980.

David N. Abbot, Administrator 1946-1953
John Fowler, Administrator 1953-1974

1950

A dedicated cardiology department is created.

1953

Women’s Auxiliary is formed as a volunteer service and fund-raising organization. Today this group is known as the Hospital Auxiliary and its membership boasts both women and men. The Auxiliary continues to be the hospital’s single largest donor.

1955

The hospital’s name is changed to Cortland Memorial Hospital to better reflect that the hospital’s non-public status and that it had long been supported financially by the generosity of the community.

Operating Room

Aerial View, 1962

1956

Cortland Memorial Hospital undertakes its first major capital campaign, raising over $1 million for the expansion and modernization of the hospital. William F. Schorn Architects is chosen to design the planned addition.

1961

The Candy Striper Program is initiated, giving high school girls the opportunity to volunteer their time while learning about hospital work. This program exists today as the Teen-Age Volunteer Program and includes both young men and women. CMH’s TAV Program is one of the most active groups in New York State.

1962

The central pavilion opens, increasing the number of beds to 170. Over the next four years, additional remodeled areas are placed in service, including new emergency and radiology departments, renovated pediatrics unit, and new medical-surgical units.

1964

Reflecting the increasing complexity of hospital operations, many first-time positions are added to the staff between 1964 and the end of the decade, including a full-time pharmacist, physical therapist, controller, personnel director, medical social worker, and director of volunteers.

1966

The last of the open wards is closed. All patients now cared for in semi-private and private rooms.

Dedicated coronary care unit is opened. Two-years later, a 10-bed special care unit is added. Today, CMH has a 12-bed intensive care unit and additional capacity to care for patients needing monitoring in its 7-bed telemetry unit.

1974

New imaging modalities other than x-ray become available, providing alternatives for diagnosing illnesses. Nuclear medicine is the first of these new technologies to be offered at CMH and mammography is added soon after. Today the hospital offers a full spectrum of state-of-the art imaging services, including CT scans and MRI.

1976

CMH computerizes many aspects of its operations, including all admitting, census, and fiscal functions.

South Wing Addition

1978

Construction of the new south wing is completed providing two additional 33-bed medical-surgical units, new intensive care and pediatrics units, and new emergency department, laboratory, and radiology department. The addition of a new surgical suite and extensive renovation of the existing building is also part of this major building project. Funding is provided in part through the Update ’76 Campaign, which raised $1.9 million.

Cortland Memorial Foundation is established as the fund-raising arm of the hospital. Its mission is to enhance the quality of healthcare in the Cortland community by securing donations and bequests for the continuing support of Cortland Memorial Hospital.

1980

Mental health services are added with the opening of an 11-bed mental health unit. CMH also provides emergency psychiatric care and an emergency hotline.

Outpatient surgery is introduced on a limited basis. By 1998, twice as many operations are performed as outpatient procedures than as inpatient surgeries, and the hospital opens its dedicated one-day surgery center, First in Surgery, to accommodate this shift

1983

The Long Term Home Health Care Program, also known as the “Nursing Home without Walls,” is instituted with capacity for 25 patients. Through this program, patients who would otherwise need nursing home placement are cared for in their homes. Over the years, the program has grown and can now accommodate up to 100 patients.

1984

The attached medical office building opens. The new structure houses eight suites designed for private physician practices. The building was developed with private investors in order to fill a void in professional office space and for use as a tool in recruiting new physicians to the Cortland community.

1988

Corporate restructuring created the C.M.H. Group, Inc. as the parent corporation for Cortland Memorial Hospital and its sister organizations, Cortland Memorial Foundation and CMH Services, Inc. The Groton Community Health Care Center also joined the group as an affiliate in 1989. The primary objective of the C.M.H. Group is to facilitate management and cooperation among its affiliates in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex health care delivery system.

Robert M. Lowell, President/CEO 1986 - 1996

1990

Here We Grow Child Care Center opens on Miller Street. In collaboration with the YWCA, the center offers childcare for hospital staff and physicians and their employees.

Nursing Facility Addition

1993

CMH celebrates the grand opening of its new 80-bed nursing home. The nursing home is housed in a new addition that also provides space for an Adult Day Health Care Program and several hospital departments. The construction project also included major renovations to the existing building.

1996

CMH Home Health Care opens for business offering in home oxygen and other respiratory therapies, as well as renting and selling durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and wheel chairs.

The hospital’s offsite outpatient service center opens at 4005 West Road, providing physical therapy and imaging services. In 2003, the CMH Outpatient Service Center is expanded to offer a full array of imaging services in a setting that is comfortable and convenient for patients.

Thomas Carmen, President/CEO 1997-2004

1997

CMH installs computer connections in physicians’ offices, making patient information readily available for the doctors to retrieve.

2003

CMH unveils its new emergency department and urgent care center. Housed in a 18,000-square-foot addition, the new construction is the first phase of a first-floor update that includes a new laboratory and admitting areas, as well as updates to the cardiology and imaging departments.

2005

A hospitalist program is instituted to provide around-the-clock physician coverage to care for patients during their hospital stay.

2006

The hospital’s name is changed to Cortland Regional Medical Center to reflect more accurately the expansion of its service area and the full array of services offered to meet the lifelong healthcare needs of the community.

Regional Medical Practice is established as an affiliate of Cortland Regional Medical Center to recruit and employ physicians. Among RMP’s early successes are the enhancement of cardiac care, expanded orthopedic coverage, and increased obstetrical and gynecological services.

CRMC becomes a smoke-free campus.

2007

Dialysis services are introduced to the Cortland community. In collaboration with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Healthcare Center, patients receive dialysis at CRMC’s West Road Campus. A nephrology practice is established at the same site to provide convenient access to care for patients suffering from renal disease.

2008

The medical center partners with University Hospital in Syracuse to implement a stroke telemedicine program that provides around-the-clock access to a neurologist. Patients are examined remotely via a web camera and secure Internet connection, which allows for more timely administration of vital treatments.

2009

Nurse Residency Program is implemented to enhance the preparation of graduate nurses as they transition from their training program to delivering bedside care.

2010

Plans are being developed to perform major renovations in several areas of the building, including the operating suite and maternity unit.

2013

Major renovation of nursing unit 2 Central and renovations to co-locate RMP Cardiology Practice and CRMC’s Cardiology Department completed. These projects were made possible by a “HEAL” Grant awarded to CRMC by the New York State Department of Health.

Mark Webster, CEO
Mark Webster, President/CEO 2014 - Present

2014

Mark Webster becomes Cortland Regional Medical Center's new CEO

2015

Regional Medical Practice grows exponentially, adding 18 new doctors and eight new services to its existing offerings in eight months including endocrinology, sports medicine, infectious disease, pulmonology, critical care, psychiatry, internal medicine, family medicine, and ophthalmology.

Cortland Regional opens a new three-room Endoscopy suite.

Cortland Regional Medical Center is ranked #1 in NYS and 50th in the country for quality of care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

New Wound Care Center opens, offering specialized wound care in partnership with Healogics — the world’s largest wound care management company with over 500 hospital partners delivering excellent evidence-based care to patients with chronic wounds.

2016

Cortland Regional Medical Center celebrates its 125th Anniversary after caring for the Cortland and surrounding communities for 45,656 consecutive days.

RMP Midwives practice opens and adds two Certified Nurse Midwives to the Regional Medical Practice team of providers. The opening of RMP Midwives practice offers mothers and families additional options for pre-natal, pregnancy, childbirth and well-woman care.

CRMC is recognized as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care for its demonstrated expertise and commitment to delivering quality, safe, and affordable maternity care.

Wound Care Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Wound Care Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Endoscopy Suite
New Endoscopy Suite