FRMC Celebrates Over A Century Of History In Marion County

Fairmont Regional Medical Center unveiled a History Wall Display on December 13th in recognition of the hospital’s over 100 years of healthcare service in Marion County and 75 years on Locust Avenue.

“This hospital is so much a part of the fabric of this community,” said Fairmont Regional Medical Center’s CEO Peggy Coster. “For FRMC to have the history and legacy that it does is something we take tremendous pride in. North Central West Virginia is a very close knit, caring community and FRMC is a reflection of that.”

The original hospital that was to become known as Fairmont Regional Medical Center was founded by Dr. John R. Cook. Dr. Cook who was born in Virginia on January 24, 1863, descended from English colonists. At the age of 21, Dr. Cook completed his degree in medicine and surgery at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1884. In 1886, Dr. Cook was recruited to Fairmont, WV as the company doctor for the Montana and New England Mines that were to be later owned by the Watson family. In 1901, Dr. Cook purchased the J. Walter Barnes property on Gaston Avenue and 2nd Street. This Victorian structure served as a local community hospital that could accommodate up to 20 patients. In April 1904, a new four-story 100 bed hospital designed by architect Charles G. Badgley was opened and named Cook Hospital. Cook Hospital was one of the first community hospitals to become operational in West Virginia. Cook hospital quickly garnered a reputation as one of the finest medical facilities in the state. For its time, Cook Hospital was considered one of the best constructed, equipped, furnished and conducted medical institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In 1938, the Cook Hospital Board of Directors permitted a sale of bonds with Public Works Administration funding and transferred ownership of the facility to the City of Fairmont. The City of Fairmont soon began surveying potential sites for a new hospital to be built. Farm land off Locust Avenue was eventually chosen and purchased for a new Fairmont hospital.
On December 29th, 1938 the City of Fairmont broke ground for the new Fairmont General Hospital to be built at a cost of $730,780. United States Senator M.M. Neely, Fairmont Mayor Fred Wilson and other local dignitaries spoke at the ground breaking ceremony. The new hospital was completed and opened in 1939.

By the 1960’s, the need for a larger, modern facility became apparent. An $8.6 million facility was financed with the support of a $1.25 million community contribution, the largest public fund drive in the history of Marion County. Construction for the new hospital commenced in 1969 and was opened in 1970.

In 1987, the hospital would open a new Emergency Department and Special Care Unit. The Emergency Department, known for its personal care and efficiency, consistently ranks for having one of the shortest emergency room wait times in West Virginia.

During the 1990’s the hospital continued its growth and expansion with the opening of an Ambulatory Surgery Unit, Cath Lab and Rehab Suites, an Admissions Evaluation Unit, Customer Service Center and a Behavioral Medicine Unit.

At the turn of the century, the hospital opened a new Wound Healing Center, Geropsychiatric Units, a Digital Mammography Machine and a 64 CT Scanner to provide its patients the newest advancements in healthcare technology.

In 2014, Alecto Healthcare, LLC acquired the hospital and renamed the facility Fairmont Regional Medical Center. In 2015, Fairmont Regional Medical Center was named a Top Performer by the Joint Commission for the 5th Year in a row. FRMC was the only hospital in the state of West Virginia to be awarded this distinction 5 consecutive years.

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