Atlantic City Medical Center

Atlantic City Medical Center It all started in a two-story, 12-room, white house on Ohio Ave. in Atlantic City. There wasn't much equipment: a dozen chairs, some tables, basic medical supplies. The ambulance was rickety and horse-drawn ambulance. Regardless of its simple features, the staff of Atlantic City Hospital was dedicated, and the residents, appreciative. The hospital opened its doors on November 30, 1898, and was the first time full-scale public healthcare was available in the new seaside resort.

The hospital's first patient was 11-year-old Gussie Johan, who had suffered a broken leg. The hospital saw its share of action, from births, to deaths, to life-threatening injuries. Despite its meager start, the hospital grew quickly to meet the community's ever-increasing needs.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1899, the first addition to the hospital opened. It was named the Boice Anenx. Eight years later, in 1907, a new four-story hospital was built to replace the little white house. The new hospital cost $100,000; it adjoined the Boice Annex. It had 100 rooms and four wards, and, for its time, it was a state-of-the-art facility.

By World War I, Atlantic City Hospital's reputation as a teaching institution had become widespread. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals came to this hospital to learn new techniques. The Atlantic City Hospital also had a School of Nursing, which was a prestigious program that attracted candidates from all over the country. Because of the hospital's tremendous reputation, patients from throughout the region traveled to it to get the best medical care possible. During the two World Wars and the Depression, H ospital Administrator Nellie McGurran took great care to make sure the patients didn't suffer from the rough times. Despite the trying times, she made sure patients and staff had the necessities.

The local economy began to improve, as did the economy of the rest of the country. Atlantic City saw a rise in tourism and it again became a bustling resort, especially for families in the summer months.

Today, Atlantic City's first hospital, the Atlantic City Medical Center, has been a regional leader in acute care services for more than a century. Now a teaching hospital, Atlantic City Medical Center is the home of the region's only Level II Trauma Center, its only neonatal intensive care unit, and its most comprehensive cancer and heart centers. It also has a Joint and Spine Institute.

The Medical Center's has grown over time. It now has two divisions. The City Division, located in the heart of Atlantic City, is a busy metropolitan hospital. ACMC City serves a growing resident population and the more than 35 million tourists who visit the Atlantic City area each year. With an increasing demand for health care services in the community, the City Division continues to expand its offerings.

The Mainland Division, opened in 1975, is located in Galloway Township. Situated on the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey campus, the Mainland Division completed a $16 million modernization or renovation project in early 1992.

A not-for-profit hospital, Atlantic City Medical Center has 581-beds in its two divisions.

Photo and information courtesy of Atlantic City Medical Center's website www.atlanticare.org.

For more South Jersey History, visit our History page.

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Author: R. Cohen

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