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The face of the American hospital was changing rapidly in the summer of 1897 when a group of 12 Glens Falls-area physicians began discussions regarding the establishment of a regional healthcare facility.
Until that time, hospitals were often referred to as "almshouses," places where the sick and poverty-stricken waited to die. But the dawn of the new century was bringing dramatic advances in American medicine. Hospitals across the nation were chasing away death and promising life and this visionary group of physicians saw a local hospital as providing the lifeblood for an entire region.
Later that year the hospital was fully incorporated and the search for a suitable location was underway. After many meetings with the newly formed hospital board of directors, a local industrialist by the name of Solomon A. Parks generously donated his home at 48 Park Street for the formal establishment of what became known as Parks Hospital.
With this gift began a remarkable tradition of community support that continues on Park Street today. Businesses and individuals from across the region immediately began contributing to the hospital's future, filling the building over the next year and a half with the equipment, supplies, furnishings and staff so critical to the institution's success.
On May 22, 1909, the name of the hospital was officially changed to Glens Falls Hospital, and hospital officials ushered in a new era of continuous professional and technological improvement.
Today, Glens Falls Hospital is larger than 90 percent of all hospitals in America in terms of our scope of services, and our caregivers provide a breadth and quality of service that is unusually expansive for a rural, community hospital.
In essence, Glens Falls Hospital provides big-city medicine in a hometown setting a fitting tribute to the vision of its founding fathers.
To learn more, we encourage you to read "Hospital by the Falls: The History of Glens Falls Hospital, 1897-1987," by Joseph Cutshall-King.
Glens Falls Hospital, circa 1900