Eastern Maine Medical Center Timeline

Since it first opened its doors in 1892, EMMC has grown to become the region's largest provider of services that cannot be found elsewhere in the northern two-thirds of Maine. Learn about the history that got us to where we are and how we are preparing for the future. 

1890 - 1900

Bangor General Hospital opens its doors in 1892 with only five patient beds. Founded by physicians and endorsed by the community, the new Bangor hospital instantly becomes an important asset to the area.

The year after Bangor General Hospital opens, Mrs. Priscilla Blake donates $1,000. The following year she gives an additional $1,000 asking that her gift be held in a trust, with the annual interest being used to benefit the hospital. This is the hospital’s first endowment, and continues to grow today.

In 1893, the Woman’s Hospital Aid Society was founded, later known as the EMMC Auxiliary.

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1900 - 1910

To serve the growing number of patients admitted with smallpox and typhoid, the hospital organizes a new isolation unit for contagious diseases.

Construction begins on the children’s ward.

A generous donation from Charles E. Phillips and Hiram P. Oliver results in the current Phillips-Oliver building. Immediately after construction, this building provides new patient care areas, pediatrics space, adult treatment areas, and space for student nurses.

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1910 - 1920

This first medical student arrives in Bangor.

Following Bangor’s Great Fire in 1911, hospital leadership makes the decision to centralize medical records to keep them safe. 

The hospital’s first dedicated children’s ward opens.

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1920 - 1930

Eastern Maine General Hospital expands its pediatric care and physical therapy and opens a new nurses’ residence.

Dr. Barbara Hunt, consulting physician, is the first woman physician to join the medical staff.

The medical records department is formally organized.

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1930 - 1940

Eastern Maine General Hospital opens a modern obstetrical suite designed to meet the specific medical needs of laboring women.

A group of medical colleagues from medicine, surgery, radiology, and pathology organize a diagnostic tumor clinic to study the disease process and treatment of cancers.

The University of Maine begins an affiliation with Eastern Maine General Hospital, offering a five-year liberal arts and nursing program.

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1940 - 1950

During World War II mortality rates improve through advances in surgical technology.

Scientists discover sulfa drugs and penicillin and people begin to donate blood, which improves patient survival rates.

Aimee L. Blaisdell asked that her bequest be used to support business and professional women, as well as to remodel the nurses annex. The Blaisdell building opens for patients, and a permanent fund is established for ongoing support of professional women.

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1950 - 1960

The health of the community takes a giant leap forward thanks to a combination of public health measures, vaccines, and anti-microbial drugs, reducing contagious diseases significantly.

Cancer patients now have the benefit of regional monitoring with a formalized tumor registry and an increase in collaboration among hospitals sharing new information and technologies.

Eastern Maine General Hospital finds a new way to leverage community support through its new volunteer services department.

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1960 - 1970

Eastern Maine General Hospital opens its first intensive care unit, offering six beds.

The capabilities of the accident room are enhanced and Eastern Maine General Hospital renames the service the Emergency Department.

The Board of Trustees once again votes on a name change, this time choosing Eastern Maine Medical Center, to more accurately reflect the developing importance of the organization to the region.

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1970 - 1980

In 1971, surgeons perform the first total hip replacement at EMMC.

To cut down the time to a physician consult, EMMC leverages pre-hospital emergency care providers by equipping ambulances with two-way radios to share information during the transfer of patients from remote areas.

EMMC completes construction of its 367-bed facility, known as the Grant Building, which is hailed as one of the most beautiful medical centers of contemporary times.

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1980 - 1990

Physicians at EMMC perform the area’s first open heart surgery.

Leaders of the Board of Trustees for EMMC realize that the future of healthcare in Maine will not be focused on single hospitals, regardless of their size and depth of services. As a result, Eastern Maine Healthcare (EMH) is created to develop a network of healthcare services that offers equal access to high quality care. Today, this system is known as EMHS.

EMMC’s Cancer Care of Maine (now called EMMC Cancer Care) opens thanks to strong community fundraising, a hint of the ongoing support for the treatment of these patients that continues today.

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1990 - 2000

The purchase and redevelopment of the Westgate Mall on Union Street becomes EMMC’s outpatient services campus, and triggers a boom of commercial development on the north side of the city.

LifeFlight of Maine, the new statewide medical helicopter service, takes off, with aircraft based at EMMC and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The Kagan Building opens, housing new outpatient surgery suites, endoscopy, and vascular procedural space, all adjacent to EMMC’s new three-level parking garage, topped with a state-of-the-art-helipad.

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2000 - 2010

EMMC introduces minimally-invasive robotic surgery to eastern, northern, and central Maine. Benefits of the new technology include smaller incisions, decreased pain, less scarring, decreased complications, and shorter hospital stay for some patients. The technology is an enhancement in minimally invasive surgery that takes less toll on the surgeon as well.

EMMC opens outpatient care space for CancerCare of Maine, now known as EMMC Cancer Care, in the brand new Lafayette Family Cancer Center on Whiting Hill Road in Brewer. The modern, spacious building, which includes patient input in its design, features private, comfortable treatment areas for patients and the latest technology.

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2010 - Present

EMMC and Northeast Cardiology Associates complete an agreement to integrate the area’s premier cardiology physician practice into EMMC Heart Care.

EMMC’s Total Joint Center earns the distinction of being the first hip and knee replacement program in the state, and only the third in New England, to earn national certification from the Joint Commission, recognizing its integrated team approach to the treatment of patients with chronic joint pain.

EMMC's Champion the Cure Challenge grows to new heights in 2013, raising more than $462,500 with 1,800 participants supporting local cancer research. This annual event provides hope for a cure and ensures that patients continue to have access to the best cancer treatments close to home.

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