A Century of Healthcare and Beyond

From a 36-bed “pavilion style” hospital located on what was once the outskirts of Winchester, Valley Health has evolved into a high-tech, thoroughly modern regional system of care that provides services to more than 400,000 residents in the tri-state area. Undeniably, Valley Health has left an indelible mark on both the health and history of our community.

1901 After several earlier attempts by area physicians, Winchester Memorial Hospital receives a charter and a cornerstone is laid for a 36-bed facility.

1902 The Ladies Hospital Auxiliary holds its first fundraiser, an oyster supper, which nets $51.80.

1903 Margaretta Whiting, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Frank Whiting of Millwood, becomes the first baby born at WMH on March 17, the day before the hospital’s planned opening. Lacking a bassinet, a crib is borrowed from a neighboring family.

1905 Miss Mary Milliner of Winchester is the first graduate of the WMH Training School for Nurses.

1913 An epidemic of typhoid fever hits Winchester and the Board of Health put all 42 cases into Winchester Memorial Hospital for “better care and isolation.” The cost to the city was $1 per day per patient. There was only one fatality and the epidemic was checked.

1915 A free eye dispensary for the poor opens at Winchester Memorial Hospital. One piece of equipment used came from Germany and was reportedly one of four in the U.S.

1924 A fire breaks out in the kitchen of WMH on January 18. 33 patients are carried to safety, as is furniture, bedding, surgical instruments, and x-ray equipment. The Evening Star praises the hospital staff for operating with “cool efficiency.”

1933 Winchester Memorial Hospital establishes its own X-ray Department with Dr. Ellsworth Johnson, from the Mayo Clinic, as the first radiologist.

1944 Winchester Memorial Hospital designated by War Production Board as a depot hospital for the distribution of penicillin. Discovered in 1928, the new miracle drug is now available for civilian use.

1945 Warren Memorial Hospital receives its charter to build a 48-bed facility to replace a smaller hospital opened five years earlier; ground is broken in 1949.

1951 Warren Memorial Hospital opens its doors; Betty Robinson, a hospital employee, is reportedly the first patient.

1953 A group of Warren County women were asked to assist in organizing the Women’s Auxiliary of Warren Memorial Hospital.

1953 Winchester Memorial Hospital opens the five-story, $4 million Stewart Street addition, bringing the total number of beds to 300.

1959 Warren Memorial Hospital opens the “Shenandoah Wing,” a 29-bed expansion.

1961 Winchester Memorial Hospital launches a $1 million campaign for a new addition; medical staff pledges $290,000.

1963 Respiratory Therapy Department opens at Winchester Memorial Hospital, with David Groff, one of the first two Respiratory Therapists registered in the state of Virginia. (He remains director of the department today.)

1964 New Winchester Memorial Hospital Pharmacy becomes the first in Virginia and 24th in the nation to install a Brewer Station, an automated drug dispensing system.

1964 Winchester Memorial Hospital opens the five-story West Wing. Two additional floors were added in 1972 bringing the total number of beds to 400.

1964 New 30-bed Psychiatric Unit opens at Winchester Memorial Hospital.

1968 Lynn Care Center, named in memory of Dr. William Eugene Lynn, opens in March with 40 nursing home beds. Demand for hospital inpatient services became so acute that Lynn Care’s beds were converted into hospital beds two years later.

1975 Medical Society of Virginia selects Winchester Memorial Hospital as a pilot site for offering Continuing Medical Education to physicians.

1976 Winchester Memorial Hospital begins using a CT Scanner; one of only two in the state.

1979 Warren Memorial Hospital opens its new wing, which includes 40 new beds (allowing for the reconversion of Lynn Care to nursing home beds), expansion and modernization of almost all diagnostic and support services, and a new Emergency Department.

1984 Winchester Memorial Hospital renamed Winchester Medical Center, and Winchester Regional Health Systems is formed.

1984 Valley Health Services (later renamed Valley Home Care) opens for business on S. Cameron Street in Winchester.

1984 WMC Open Heart program established; more than 35 procedures are successfully completed during the first four months.

1985 Surgi-Center of Winchester opens at the Amherst Street campus; soon becomes a model for same-day surgery centers nationwide.

1986 Ground broken for the all new, $80 million, 356-bed Medical Center, the largest construction project in Winchester’s history; Outpatient Diagnostic Center opens at the Amherst Street site.

1987 WMC begins offering MRI and Lithotripsy services, sharing the mobile units with other health care providers in the region.

1987 WMH opens P. Buckley Moss Mammography Suite.

1987 WMC opens Neuro Special Care Unit; WMC is selected by the National Institutes of Health as one of only four hospitals nationwide and the only non-university medical center to administer the experimental drug TPA for stroke patients.

1988 Valley Health Services purchases local ambulance company and forms a new division -- Valley Medical Transport; another division, Valley Pharmacy, opens in the new Medical Office Building on the Amherst Street campus.

1988 Shenandoah Valley Cancer Center opens on Amherst Street campus with state-of-the-art linear accelerator and other equipment. 1989 WMC Child Care Center opens on Amherst Street site; one of only four employer-based facilities in state; a second building is added in 1991 to handle increased demand.

1990 With a fleet of 22 ambulances, 183 patients are gingerly transported from the hospital on Stewart Street to the new 408-bed Winchester Medical Center, located a mile-and-a-half away. Hurst House, a 16-bed adolescent treatment center opens the same year.

1990 The WMH Foundation is organized to raise funds and accept donations to the hospital.

1991 Demolition of the oldest sections of the former hospital on Stewart Street begins.

1991 WMC opens up Imaging Center with a fixed MRI and the hospital’s second CT scanner.

1991 WMC enters into an agreement with four other hospitals to form Piedmont Medical Lab, a regional reference lab set up to meet not only the hospitals’ needs but to serve area physician practices, nursing homes, and other health care facilities.

1992 WMC named Business of the Year by the Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

1992 Winchester Rehabilitation Center opens in the newly-refurbished 333 W. Cork Street; the area’s first therapeutic pool opens the next year.

1993 Diabetes Management Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association; one of only 11 programs in the state.

1993 The area’s first Urgent Care Center opens in Winchester as a service of Valley Regional Enterprises. A second Urgent Care Center is opened in Stephens City in 1994.

1993 Warren Memorial Hospital affiliates with Winchester Regional Health Systems, which changes its name to Valley Health System in 1994.

1994 Valley Health Services changes its name to Valley Home Care; begins managing Skyline Branch in Front Royal.

1994 Materials Management, Storeroom, and Print Shop are the first to move into the new Shared Services building located in the former Lowes building in Winchester 1994 WMC opens region’s first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; emergency medical transport services begin in 1996.

1994 WMC’s Processing department becomes the first in the state to begin using a new environmentally- friendly sterilization system.

1994 Valley Cafe opens in the Medical Office Building in Winchester.

1994 WMC named One of America’s Top 100 Hospitals by HCIA/Mercer.

1995 VHS joins CommunityHealth, a state-wide health insurance initiative.

1995 Expansion project is completed at WMH, which includes Same-Day Surgery, small outpatient lab area, patient registration, and additional space for central sterile supply processing and waiting area.

1995 Lynn Care Center at WMH undergoes major renovation project.

1996 Surgi-Center of Winchester opens a new 9,000 square-foot addition, which nearly doubles the size of the facility.

1996 WMH’s Emergency Department opens MED-EXPRESS for minor illnesses and injuries.

1996 VHS opens Health Professions Building, home to Shenandoah University’s Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Respiratory Therapy, on Amherst Street campus.

1997 WMH named Business of the Year by the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

1997 VHS unveils a joint project with the Medical College of Virginia to begin a family practice residency program. The first class of students arrives the following year, and a new Medical Office Building, which houses the residency program on the WMH campus, is completed in 1999.

1997 Warren Memorial Hospital completes a year-long, $3 million construction/renovation project, which includes new Women’s Care Center, gift shop, and subacute rehab unit, and expansion of Emergency Department, lobby and patient registration area.

1997 Valley Pharmacy begins offering home infusion and changes its name to Valley Pharmacy & Infusion to reflect the new service.

1998 WMC’s Operating Room acquires a new Dornier Compact S Lithotripter; becomes only the fifth stationary unit in the state.

1998 VHS introduces new organizational values -- STARS -- and begins a comprehensive customer service training program.

1998 WMH Women’s Care Center officially dedicated in memory of Dr. Elizabeth B. Sherman, who practiced medicine in Front Royal for 55 years specializing in treating women and children.

1999 VHS launches new mobile imaging service which provides advanced radiologic imaging to patients in the region.

1999 VHS named one of America’s Top 100 Most Wired Hospitals by Hospitals and Health Networks, for its commitment to using technology in the delivery of patient care.

1999 VHS opens 1,600-space parking deck (ahead of schedule!) on the Amherst Street campus. A second Medical Office Building is opened later in the year.

1999 WMC named to the Top 100 Hospitals for Bypass Surgery by HCIA.

1999 Warren Memorial Hospital becomes affiliated with Planetree, an initiative to create a more healing hospital environment.





For the second consecutive year, Valley Health System named one of the nation’s 100 Most Wired Health Systems by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine.  


Gateway Home Care, a joint venture of Valley Health System and Gateway Regional Health System, opens its doors to the public May 1 in Martinsburg.


WMH gets go-ahead to finalize plans to replace the existing Lynn Care Center with a new nursing home.  


WMC opens new Women’s Diagnostic Center, offering mammography and ultrasound with greater privacy, comfort and efficiency.  

WMC opens new 16-bed pulmonary wing on the fifth floor.  


Information Systems unveils Valley Health’s first internet site, 


WMC’s Surgical Technology Training Program celebrates its 35th anniversary and a new partnership with Lord Fairfax Community College.




WMH named one of the American Association of Retired Persons “Hospitals with Heart”— the only hospital in VA to receive the recognition. 


Valley Health helps launch—an online guide for Virginia’s seniors, their families, and caregivers. 


Valley Regional Enterprises unveils a new partnership with Antietam Health Services, Maryland Medical Transport, which allows VRE to provide management oversight as well as designing other services.   


Valley Health opens a new Occupational Health Clinic in Winchester to meet the growing need for specialized occupational health services. 


WMC’s new 42,000 square foot Emergency Department opens with 20 private acute care rooms, 10 minor emergency care rooms, and two-bay resuscitation room.       


After 3 years of planning WMH breaks ground in July for new 120-bed Lynn Care Center. 




Phase I of WMC’s Operating Room expansion opens April 1 to include an additional OR and added room for Sterile Stores and Sterile Space.


Valley Health debuts its new Nurse Extern Program; the program is a 10-week long learning experience for 14 eligible third-year nursing students.  


WMC opens Wound Care Center to improve outcomes for patients with complicated wounds.


WMH opens the Center for Healthy Aging, offering comprehensive assessments to help older patients with more complex health needs receive coordinated care.   

Shenandoah Memorial Hospital (SMH) signs affiliation agreement with Valley Health System on October 1. Two months earlier (August 1) SMH was designated a Critical Access Hospital.





WMC Imaging Center introduces mobile Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning. 


Valley Health opens Our Health, a 25,000 square-foot complex on North Cameron Street in Winchester that provides low-cost office space for the Free Medical Clinic and other local nonprofit health agencies.


WMH’s Lynn Care Center celebrates completion of 24-bed Blue Ridge Terrace. 


VHS Facilities and Construction Services moves into new Chiller Plant, a two-story 17,000 square-foot building with five chillers and a large back-up generator that offers energy-efficient temperature regulation at WMC.


WMH begins Mobile MRI service. 


WMC Medical Affairs, Medical Records, Health Science Library and other departments relocate to new 16,000 square-foot Medical Affairs building. 





WMC named by Solucient as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in cardiovascular services in 2004.


Valley Home Care recognized as one of top 5 home medical equipment providers across the nation.


Sleep Lab opens at SMH to offer overnight diagnostic studies, staffed by WMC techs.        


SMH is officially named a Critical Access Hospital.


The Home Health Agencies at WMC, WMH, and SMH centralize business operations to one office located on 333 West Cork Street in Winchester.   


WMC establishes Clinical Research Office. 


WMC opens new 15-bed Oncology Unit in former administrative suite on Level Five.





WMC designated a Level II Trauma Center by Virginia Department of Health, becoming Virginia’s 14th trauma center. 


WMC receives 2005 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from HealthGrades. 


WMC Heart & Vascular Center receives 2005 Premier Award for Quality for quality and efficiency of acute myocardial infarction patient care. 


Valley Home Care expands to 9,000 square-foot location in Fort Collier Industrial Park in Winchester, nearly tripling warehouse space of its original location for more than ten years. 


Valley Health’s System Support Building opens on the north end of the WMC campus.


WMC Auxiliary announces plans to renovate the Hurst House to create a home away from home for out of town patient family members.





WMC receives the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from HealthGrades for the second consecutive year. 


WMC named one of the nation’s top 100 Hospitals by Solucient, citing excellence in quality care, operational efficiency, financial performance and adaptation to the environment. 


WMC receives 2005 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leaders Award for consistent improvement on performance across all services.


SMH breaks ground on new $9 million, 30,000 square-foot Ambulatory Surgical Unit. (Shenandoah Surgery Center opened Sept. 2007.)


WMC Women’s Diagnostic Center opens, featuring digital mammography to enhance visualization as well as reduce patient exam times.

Hampshire County receives $5.4 million state grant to help finance a Valley Health partnered wellness center in Romney, West Virginia.


WMC Bariatric Program opens to help obese patients reclaim a healthy lifestyle. The program’s surgeons offer open and laparoscopic Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass and LapBand procedures.     


WMC opens Wellspring, a cancer resource center, at 525 Amherst Street. The facility offers a variety of products and services for those living with cancer, including a full-service salon and massage therapy. 


WMC opens new 9,600 square-foot cardiovascular lab, nearly tripling the space.  





WMC is awarded the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from HealthGrades for the third following year.   


WMC receives Joint Commission accreditation (Golden Seal of Approval) for stroke care. 


WMC is recognized by Solucient 100 Top Hospitals for the third time, the only hospital in Virginia to receive the honor.     


WMC receives HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for fourth consecutive year, putting WMC in the top five percent of hospitals across the nation.


Valley Health breaks ground for new 37,000 sq-ft Warren Memorial Hospital Outpatient Center on Commerce Avenue. 


WMC Auxiliary’s Hurst Hospitality House opens.


Valley Health opens its first Quick Care in Stephens City, VA.  


The new Hampshire Wellness & Fitness Center—the area’s first and only medically-integrated wellness facility – opens in Romney.  


Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, WV, joins Valley Health on September 10.


The Surgi-Center of Winchester treats its 100,000th patient since opening in 1985. 


Valley Health declares itself a tobacco free healthcare provider on November 15, the Great American Smokeout.


SMH becomes first VH entity to implement Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), a state-of-the-art computerized documentation system to optimize patient safety.





SMH is named as one of the nation’s Most Wired-Small and Rural hospitals according to the results of the 2008 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study.


HeathGrades awards WMC both 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety and the 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, a rare double national recognition.


HMH releases plans for replacement hospital, which will nearly double the size of the 50-year-old facility.   


WMC achieves coveted Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.    


Valley Health opens third Neurodiagnostic Sleep Lab at WMH to offer all-night sleep studies for diagnosing sleep disorders.


Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center, a new 56,000 square-foot facility on the WMC campus, opens with more than 3,400 members. 


Hampshire Wellness & Fitness Center receives 2008 Distinguished Achievement award from the Medical Fitness Association.


On December 12, Morgan County Commissioners agreed to sell War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, WV to Valley Health.


Piedmont Medical Laboratory becomes the first lab in the nation to achieve accreditation from the College of American Pathologists under ISO 15189 for its technical competence and continual quality management. 




Valley Health welcomes Page Memorial Hospital, a critical access hospital in Luray, VA, to the system. 


WMC is awarded the HealthGrades’ 2009 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Experience, placing WMC in the top five percent of hospitals in the country for hospital-wide clinical excellence. 


Winchester Medical Center’s Bariatric Program is designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery


Valley Health opens Quick Care facility in Strasburg, VA. 


Mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services are introduced at HMH. 


WMC’s new 15,000 square-foot pharmacy is completed with an automated medicine distribution machine, the McKesson Robot Rx.    


SMH introduces Cardiac Rehabilitation Program offering supervised exercise for heart patients.