Ephrata Community Hospital

History of Ephrata Community Hospital

In 1937, a group of spiritualists established the Stephan Memorial Hospital in the part of the Mountain Springs Hotel known as the "mansion." The hospital grew slowly, with the addition of doctors, nurses and support staff. Dr. Harold Mengle, director and surgeon of the hospital, worked with a group of citizens to gain a charter for the institution to be named Ephrata Community Hospital. Soon after that charter was arranged, Dr. Mengle passed away suddenly. The fledgling hospital, under the leadership of a community board of directors, was quickly placed under the medical supervision of Dr. C. Eugene Miller, Dr. W.H. Fake and later Dr. Paul M. Riffert.

Ground was broken for the "new" hospital on Martin Avenue in 1947. In 1948, well-known local judge Guy K. Bard presented an address at the ceremony marking the laying of the cornerstone. Construction continued throughout 1948.

Finally, the work was complete. The community was invited to an open house October 29-November 6, 1949, and more than a thousand people attended a sauerkraut supper served by the Auxiliary, raising $8,000! Later, volunteers cleaned the entire hospital, and on November 7, patients were transferred to the "new" hospital.

During the 1960s, services expanded tremendously. The busy maternity unit swelled to accommodate the baby boom. In all, twenty-five babies could be cared for at one time! Local physicians rotated through the emergency department, providing coverage for accident victims. Volunteer support remained constant, with assistance in nearly all areas of the hospital.

Quality health care services are still offered in the original building that opened in 1949. But major additions in 1961, 1972, and 1987 have expanded the hospital to include nearly all inpatient, outpatient and surgical services.

In the 1990s, the Hospital began to add outpatient centers throughout the community, making quality care more convenient and accessible. Our commitment to the health of the community also included providing treatment for charity cases or patients whose insurance does not cover costs.

Always a strong partner with local physicians, Ephrata Community Hospital has further strengthened ties with doctors through the formation of the Northern Lancaster County Medical Group.

Over the years, the vision of offering superior care close to home has become a reality. Though many things have changed, our mission remains the same: our primary goal is still to care for our community's health and well-being. We look forward to meeting the health care needs of our community in the years to come.