Sharon Hospital

What makes Sharon Hospital stand apart from the rest? Advanced medicine. Genuine warmth. Devotion to patients. Sharon Hospital is a sophisticated, community hospital. It is simply a beautiful place to receive care and to work. Within our rural Connecticut hospital, staff and patients alike find such warmth and compassion as well as state-of-the-art technology which compares favorably to larger urban medical centers. Part of it—a large part—has to do with the people. Sharon Hospital staff often speaks of their co-workers as family. They express joy and satisfaction at working every day with such a highly trained, talented, and genuinely compassionate, group of people. Best of all, our patients pick up on that family feeling, and we truly believe it helps them to heal faster. Then there’s the beauty of Sharon itself. Sharon is a charming, elegant New England town, surrounded by the rolling wooded hills that make Connecticut a haven for the world-weary. At Sharon Hospital, our patients are treated individually and our physicians and nurses exemplify compassion daily in their rounds.

A caring smile. A gentle touch. Even a hug. Roam the halls of Sharon Hospital and you will be witness to advanced training, caring & compassion  in action. At Sharon Hospital, our team makes our patients feel loved and cared for; our hospital family cares for our community family every day.

Sharon Hospital History. 

Sharon Hospital: From cottage hospital to state-of-the art technology — celebrating 105 years at the center of caring.

Over the past century, Sharon Hospital has grown from its humble beginnings in the rented house on Calkinstown Road to a technologically advanced community hospital. Sharon Hospital has provided steadfast care since 1909 and has never wavered from its commitment to serving the healthcare needs of our community. The physicians, nurses, and staff at Sharon Hospital have met the challenges of providing healthcare into the 21st century; embracing new technology along the way and offering patients the latest medical advances. We have stayed true to our roots planted by Dr. Chaffee by providing skilled, compassionate care — close to home. Poised for the future, Sharon Hospital remains dedicated to serving our community as we celebrate 103 years of caring for our community.

Sharon Hospital Milestones

1909   Original Sharon Hospital opened December 10th in a rented old brick house on Caulkinstown Road  in Sharon, CT with 2 nurses, 8 beds, a small operating room and medical staff of Drs. Jerome Chaffee, its founder, S. C. Appel of Dover Plains, NY William B. Bissell and C. K. Peterson, both of Lakeville.

1912   Women’s Auxiliary of Sharon Hospital formed on March 12th by 40 charter members.

1915   Sharon Hospital Association, Inc., is organized and President Augustus Van Cortland lays cornerstone on September 4th for a new $22,000 hospital on its present site.

1916   The new Sharon Hospital opened on April 10th with 16 beds, 3 nurses and an operating room.

Dr. Chaffee, assisted by Dr. Appel and Dr. Bissell, performs first operation in new operating room on April 11th.

1918   Sharon Hospital’s first clinic was held to witness operation for cancer performed by Dr. W. B. Coley, Sharon resident and widely known New York specialist, with Dr. Chaffee and other local physicians assisting.

1920   Hospital’s first laboratory facilities installed during the summer by a Yale Medical School Student. Sharon Hospital’s original $7,800.00 mortgage was paid off in full.

1922   Hospital purchased adjacent Kenny home to serve as nurses’ home.

1923   Opening of Nurses’ Home expanded Sharon Hospital’s bed capacity to 25.

1924   Special fund for new construction established with $10,700.00 raised in first Sharon street fair, conceived and carried out by Mrs. Charles G. Kerley and associates in the Auxiliary.

1930   Three-story fireproof addition costing $80,000.00 was opened, providing a waiting room, nurses’ room, 8 bed ward, full maternity department, and a new operating suite.

1934   Sharon Hospital is placed on accredited list for the first time by the American College of Surgeons and American Medical Association.

1942   Iron lung installed at Hospital to aid polio victims (More information. Discuss with Dr. Moore)

1947   Dr. Chaffee, who founded Sharon Hospital and devoted 38 years to its development, died on November 26th.

1949   New Chaffee Pavilion, costing $800,000.00, opened to expand the Hospital’s bed capacity to 50 beds for the first time.

1957   The new Harry Payne Bingham Wing and the Ford Wing were opened to increase capacity to 68 beds in projects costing more than $200,000.00.

1959   New Medical Library opened and Hospital Employees’s Pension plan was established.

1962   Sharon Hospital Auxiliary observes 50th year of volunteer services; Paul W. Sternlof, a Yale graduate with Master’s in Hospital Administration, became Sharon Hospital’s Administrator.

1963   Construction begins on Sharon Hospital’s largest expansion program, a $2 million project financed without any public fund drive; Hospital serves 3,000 patients in this year for the first time.

1965   Formal dedicatory ceremonies held August 1st to open the Fransioloi Building, the Berry Unit, and the Ward Unit. These projects provided facilities for pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, post-operative recovery, fracture room, emergency rooms, administrative offices, gift shop; improved kitchen and laundry equipment and the renovation of the Ward C. Belcher Pathology Laboratory. Bed capacity was increased to 92 beds.

1967   LaMotte Intensive Care opened; a new central orthopedic equipment room provided; and expanded In-Service Training program launched for all employees.

1968   Sharon Hospital’s full-time staff reaches 200 which, with the help of 300 volunteers, served 3,400 patients in the year ending October 1st.

1969   Sharon Hospital conducts first intensive 18 week training course for volunteer ambulance drivers in 10 towns, which nearly half of medical staff serving as instructors, to implement long-range program of improving emergency patient care.

1972   The Sharon Clinic marks its 25th Anniversary. An article in the Lakeville Journal dated September 14th reads: “The Sharon Clinic marks its 25th anniversary this week with little fanfare and the medical profession’s customary disinclination for publicity. The only celebration will be a quiet dinner party Saturday evening at the home of Dr. Frederick C. Gevalt Jr. “Founding fathers” of the clinic were four members of the 1940 graduating class of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons — Dr. Gevalt, Dr. Robert Fisher, Dr. George A. Fowler and Dr. Robert P. Noble. They bought the old farmhouse on the Sharon Green in 1947, but Dr. Fisher didn’t begin working with the clinic until 1949, after he completed his hospital residency. Dr. George Haydock joined the clinic a few months before Dr. Fisher and Dr. Roger Moore followed in 1951. Although one of the original founders, Dr. Noble no longer works at the clinic, as he has devoted himself to research work for the past 12 or 13 years. During the early ‘sixties, Dr. John Gallup joined the clinic, followed a few years later by Dr. Peter Reyelt and Dr. Richard N. Collins. The most recent additions are Dr. Charles Mirabile Jr., Dr. John Charde and Dr. John Curtis. Dr. Curtis works there only part-time, maintaining a separate office in Millbrook, NY. Dr. Jack Finkelstein, a neurosurgeon, and Dr. Gerard P. Cloney, a dentist, occupy office space in the building, but in no way are associated with the clinic itself, which is now a professional corporation.”

1976   Major renovation project completed which included the Intensive Care Unit, the Emergency Room, the Laboratory and Radiology moving to their new wing and present location.

1989   Maternity and Gold Coast (area between Maternity and Berry Unit) were renovated.

1992   Work began on an expansion and renovation project.

1994   Article Waterbury Republican-American on November 1st, “Hospital uncovers its past”. 1915 time capsule includes big wish.

1995   The new North Wing opened on April 29th adding four new operating suites, rehabilitation services including cardiac rehab, a chapel, a new kitchen and employee dining room, and a new medical/surgical unit, renovated and expanded the lobby, and replaced heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

1997   Major renovation of the Radiology Department completed with new or upgraded instruments in the areas of scanning, MRI, and ultrasound and expanded interventional radiology services. Established a Women’s Imaging Center.

1998   Senior Behavioral Health Center opened providing inpatient services and partial hospitalization services to adults 55 years of age and older requiring mental health services.

1999   January 25th: Incorporated under Connecticut law as a nonprofit, voluntary, general hospital, Sharon Hospital is managed by a board of trustees, men and women from a variety of backgrounds, who reside in the primary service area. The hospital, its board, management, and medical and employee staffs are dedicated to a goal of excellence in patient care. Sharon Hospital’s fundamental policy is to provide the best possible care to all who require its services without regard to race, color, creed, ability to pay, or any other consideration other than medical need. Throughout its history, the citizen’s of the hospital’s service area have regarded Sharon Hospital as an essential community asset and have given generously of their time, energy, and resources.

As the new Sharon Hospital prepares for the future, it does so with the knowledge that it has the confidence and support of the residents of this large geographic area, its patients, and many friends.

2002   Sharon Hospital is sold on April 12th. Sharon Hospital becomes the first for-profit hospital in the State of Connecticut by becoming an Essent Healthcare Facility. The sale of Sharon Hospital created a $20 million foundation for the Sharon-area community called the Sharon Area Community Health Foundation. That group is dedicated to improving the healthcare of the greater Sharon Community.

Sharon Hospital continues to support the community every year through the giving of time & talent, as well as monetary contributions, to community groups and programs. The hospital provides in excess of $2.4 million dollars in uncompensated care annually. In addition, the hospital pays roughly $1.2 million in state and local taxes, making it the largest taxpayer and industry in town. In 2003, the facility bought more than $1 million worth of goods and services from the community.

New Governing & Advisory Boards are formed.

2004   Sharon Hospital now ranks in the top 10 percent of all surveyed hospitals in National Safety Standards, a project by JCAHO and Medicare. The hospital’s Cancer Care Program recently received its three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer Care.

Over the past two years, Sharon Hospital has greatly expanded its community health programs. The hospital now hosts monthly Brown Bag Lunch & Learn lecture series, a Community Health Series, and a monthly Blood Pressure Clinic for local residents. It has also introduced several health screenings to the area and a wellness program at a local school. Recently, the hospital hosted a Men’s Health Fair, the first of its kind in the area, offering a variety of free screenings and tests.

In addition to hospital-based events, Sharon Hospital has supported the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau as the corporate sponsor of its largest fundraiser, the annual golf outing.

2005   Sharon Hospital presents check to Foundation for Community Health in the amount of $18,035.00.

This major contribution is a fulfillment of the financial commitment made when the Hospital was purchased. The sale of the hospital included an agreement that should the hospital achieve net earnings in excess of 7% of total revenues per year, then 25% of the excess above 7% would be contributed to FCH. To the extent that Sharon Hospital does well financially under Essent’s leadership, the communities also benefit. In addition, the final payment of $2.34 million from the original hospital’s sale funds were released to the Foundation recently. See press release dated June 23rd for more information.

2006   May, Sharon Hospital breaks ground for expansion/renovation project. Building the future of Sharon Hospital. Brick by brick. Sharon Hospital, in the midst of our 16.5 million dollar expansion project, is building the future of patient care brick by brick.

“Every aspect of this project creates a more convenient, modern setting for both our patients & staff” says Charlie Therrien, CEO. “We are enhancing the quality of care for our patients & their families.” Scheduled for completion beginning in the spring of 2007, the expansion project will improve Emergency Department Services, Women’s Services & Imaging Services offered at Sharon Hospital.

The project encompasses:

  • Complete renovation of existing emergency department space & the addition of 2,800 square feet of new space adjacent to the current ED.
  • New state-of-the-art obstetrics unit, which includes maternity services & family-centered obstetrical care with private birthing suites.
  • Relocation of the hospital’s MRI to a new 1,245 square foot addition onto the existing radiology department.

We are pleased to be able to offer the community enhanced quality of care with state-of-the art technology & facilities.

2007   Sharon Hospital announces installation of CADstream Technology offering new early detection method for breast cancer on March 26th..

Sharon Hospital celebrates Hospital Week with Ribbon Cutting on May 8th.

May 17th , Sharon Hospital opens The Center for Women’s Health, featuring private LDRP Birthing Suites overlooking the beautiful surrounding hills. Phase I of the new Emergency Department opens. Reconstruction of old ED begins. Full Emergency Department opens.

May 28th, Sharon Hospital proactively becomes a Smoke Free facility.

Sharon Hospital offers Greenlight Laser Prostate Vaporization procedure; advanced technology for treating BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) better known as enlarged prostate. See press release dated October 16th.

2008   April 11th, The Center for Vein Therapy at Sharon Hospital offers new laser therapy for treatment of varicose and spider veins. Procedures begin April 24th. See press release for more information.

July 9th, Sharon Hospital becomes a designated Stoke Center by the State of Connecticut Department  Public Health. Sharon Hospital is pleased to announce that its Stroke Program has been approved and designated as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC) by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Sharon Hospital underwent a comprehensive application process and a thorough on-site review from the CT DPH in order to become an approved PSC. This designation recognizes Sharon Hospital’s ability to care for stroke patients at the highest level for a community hospital. “Our Stroke Program is a model of care for patients presenting with stroke or TIA symptoms based on State and National Standards of Care” stated Charlie Therrien, President and CEO, Sharon Hospital. “Sharon Hospital’s ability to provide this service is dependent upon individuals recognizing the signs of stroke and coming to the Emergency Department quickly” said Therrien. “We would like to thank and congratulate Pam Provisor, Stroke Coordinator, Co-Medical Directors Gene Chin, MD and Jack Finkelstein, MD, members of the Stroke Task Force and Emergency Physicians for their dedication to achieving such an impressive goal in such a short timeframe. The multidisciplinary team worked together for six month as they formalized Sharon Hospital’s Stroke Program. We are extremely pleased to be able to provide a Primary Stroke Center for our community” he added.

Full Field Digital Mammography Completes Comprehensive Breast Imaging Services at Sharon Hospital. Sharon Hospital’s Radiology Department is pleased to announce the completion of its digital mammography suite featuring the Selenia™ digital mammography system from Hologic®. Striving to continually deliver the highest quality of care to patients, Sharon Hospital has acquired the most advanced breast imaging technology available. “Digital mammography may be new to Sharon Hospital, but not to the radiologists who interpret them here. My colleagues and I interpret literally thousands of digital mammograms each year in our offices around the region” stated Victor D. Gaines, MD, Chief of Radiology at Sharon Hospital. “I am proud that the Radiology Department at Sharon Hospital now has the technology and expertise to offer the same diagnostic imaging and image-guided biopsy capabilities as the best academic university centers in America” he added. Digital Mammography went live November 17th.

As a small community hospital serving patients in CT, MA & NY, Sharon Hospital maintains relationships with multiple tertiary care and regional referral centers in order to provide our patients the highest level of care. These relationships include:

Trauma: Hartford Hospital (Hartford, CT), Albany Medical Center (Albany, NY), Westchester Medical Center (Valhalla, NY), Berkshire Medical Center (Pittsfield, MA)

Cardiac: St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Hartford, CT), Vassar Brothers Medical Center (Poughkeepsie, NY)

Stroke: Hartford Hospital, Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Maternal and Child: John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington, CT), Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford, CT), Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

2009   Sharon Hospital celebrates 100 years of caring for the community under the leadership of Charlie Therrien, President & CEO, Michael Parker, MD, Chief of Staff, Jerome Roth, Chairman, Governing Board and Janet Nickson, Chairman, Advisory Board. Harriet Weiss, President of the Tri-State Healthcare Auxiliary.

Sleep Center opens. Pain Management Clinic opens. Interventional Radiology Suite opens.

2011   Construction is completed and The Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine celebrates its Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Senator Richard Blumenthal on October 2nd.

2012   Sharon Hospital | Essent Healthcare merges with RegionalCare Hospital Partners of Brentwood, TN

2013   A new Toshiba CT Scanner is purchased. Same Day Surgery | ACU & the Operating Room teams host an Interactive Open House for the community with great success. Regional Healthcare Associates purchases the New Milford OB|GYN practice and Dr. John Sussman joins the RHA practice group. Dr. Elizabeth Lucal, OB|GYN, joins RHA as well as Dr. Marty Clark, Orthopedic Surgeon.

2015 Sharon Hospital Celebrates 105 years of caring for our community