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VBMC History: Home

Fascinating facts, photos and artifacts from our archival collections.

Dr. William H. Meyer

Line drawing portrait of Dr. William H. Meyer, surgeon at Vassar Brothers Hospital from 1935 to 1955.  

We would be thrilled to pass this on to his family.  Please contact vbmclibrary@gmail.com for details.

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.

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 transportation only and "not for the transfer of infectious patients or dead bodies"; 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 -- Surgery and patient care wing, 1924

VBH History Notes

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
  • Coronary Care Unit - 1968
  • Center for Radiation Oncology - 1974
  • Head and Full Body CT Scanner - 1977
  • 24/7 Intensive Care Unit - 1982
  • 24/7 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - January, 1992
  • Open Heart Surgery - April 10, 2001
  • 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 (transfered to Dutchess Community College) - September, 1972
  • Emergency Department/Ambulatory Surgery/Critical Care Expansion - 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 | 845.483.6013