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VBMC History: Home

Fascinating facts, photos and artifacts from our archival collections.

Video Journey

Hudson River Valley Heritage

Historical Inquiries

A modest archival collection is maintained on the history of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, formerly known as Vassar Brothers Hospital.  Items of interest include the original Board meeting minutes from 1884-1924, original accounting ledger from 1887-1900, hundreds of photographs, medical items, and School of Nursing transcriptions and yearbooks. 

Send an inquiry via e-mail, or call 845-437-3121.  Open to history students and historians by appointment.

VBH History Notes

VBMC History FYI


1887


1950


1987

First hospital in Dutchess and Ulster Counties - April 11, 1887

Structures built after the main hospital -- Horse barn and perimeter stone wall

Employees -- 1 head nurse, 2 bedside nurses, 1 cook, 1 gardener, 1 maintenance man, 1 supervisor

Ambulance -- 1892 - one-horse carriage with lamp; to be used for hospital patient transport; purchase price = $550

Library --  9,000 volumes purchased for $5,000 from an MD's private collection in Sing-Sing, Westchester Cty; called "The Fisher Library"

Library/Board Room and Nursing Residence building -- 1898

First major building addition -- Corridors 1-4 for patient care, surgery, x-ray, laboratory and medical records, 1924

Vassar Firsts

From the Archives . . .

  • Two nurses receive certificates of nursing - 1890
  • School of Nursing receives accreditation from NYS - 1903
  • First formal graduation of the School of Nursing - 1910
  • Prenantal Clinic - 1927
  • Modern Kitchen - 1940
  • Coronary Care Unit - 1968
  • Center for Radiation Oncology - 1974
  • Head and Full Body CT Scanner - 1977
  • 24/7 Intensive Care Unit - June 1982
  • 24/7 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - January, 1992
  • Open Heart Surgery - April 10, 2000
  • First Woman and Nurse appointed as CEO - April 2001
  • First Physician since 1887 to be appointed as CEO - January 2004
  • Medication Bar Coding - June, 2006
  • Open heart surgery on premature baby - April, 2011

Additions/Buildings/Events:

  • Children's Ward - 1913
  • 4-Story Addition  - 1924
  • Mary Tower Building - 1934-2016
  • Joseph Tower Building - 1949-2015
  • Community Circle - 1959
  • South Circle - 1968
  • Demolition of the last section of the original hospital - 1971
  • Radiation Treatment / Cobalt therapy - 1974
  • Closing of the School of Nursing  - September, 1972
  • Emergency Department/Ambulatory Surgery and Outpatient Clinics/Critical Care - 1983
  • Centennial Celebration - May, 1987
  • Heart Catheterization Lab - October, 1992
  • Westage Parking Garage/Office Suites - 1998
  • West Wing - Kitchen/Surgery Suite/Maternity Suite - January 2000
  • New Main Lobby with Walkway to Visitor Parking Garage - January, 2000
  • Dyson Center for Cancer Care - December, 2001
  • Name change to VBMC - June 6, 2002
  • High Risk Pregnancy Center - December, 2008
  • Aronzon Center for Ambulatory Surgery - May, 2012
  • Re-designed Main Lobby - August, 2015
  • Groundbreaking for new patient pavilion - September, 2016

Photo from Archives a TV Star!

Chef Roble was interviewed by Katie on 4/15/14 The Katie Show.  He spoke of his grandfather's legacy and showed a photo of his grandfather as a chef in the kitchen of Vassar Brothers Hospital in the 1960s. 

Photo at left - image from HRVH

Photo at right - Chef Roble & Katie Couric, with Chef Harris in background image

 

View the clip from The Katie Show below:


Knowledge Resources, Vassar Brothers Medical Center | 45 Reade Place, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 | 845.437.3121