Good Samaritan Hospital: History and Legacy

Reverence. Integrity. Compassion. Excellence.

In 1932, these values drove a committed group of nuns, citizens, and area leaders to bring much-needed health care services to the Dayton community with the newly opened Good Samaritan Hospital. And while the original Good Samaritan Hospital no longer remains, those values continue to be infused throughout Premier Health today.

The Origins

In 1928, the city of Dayton partnered with the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati to raise $1 million to finance the construction of Good Samaritan Hospital. The Sisters were (and still are) widely recognized for their health care expertise, as well as their noble values. The hospital opened in 1932, thanks not only to the Sisters’ efforts, but those of the businesses and citizens of Dayton as well. Each had worked together to make their shared vision a reality, with the latest in health care technology now available to Dayton residents.

The Early Years

The Nurses Training Act of 1943 provided a free education for students who promised to enter the nursing profession upon graduation. It was through this legislation that Good Samaritan Hospital was able to train and retain some of the top nursing students in the country, allowing the hospital to put an even greater emphasis on patient care. The Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing was one of 1,125 schools enrolling approximately 170,000 students nationwide, thanks to the Nurses Training Act.

Along with hiring top-quality nurses and doctors, Good Samaritan Hospital set out to change the face of health care in other ways. Good Samaritan Hospital’s Madonna Pavilion was the second-largest obstetrics program in Ohio when it opened in 1954. An article in the July 23 edition of the Dayton Daily News that year promised, “Mothers and Babies Will Get the Best” at the Madonna Pavilion, a testament to the hospital’s mission to build a healthier community.

Madonna Pavilion not only provided more beds for obstetrical patients, it reflected new ideas about the entire labor and delivery process. The hospital would later open The Family Birthing Center in 1986, which at the time was the only obstetric service in Ohio combining labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum in one birthing suite.

Good Samaritan Hospital focused on offering services that weren’t available at other area hospitals. In 1959, doctors at the hospital pioneered the first open-heart surgery in the city of Dayton. The hospital opened Dayton’s first cardiac care unit in 1966.

Expanding To Meet Community Needs

Over the years, Good Samaritan Hospital continued to have a substantial impact on the well-being of the community it served. Highlights include:

  • 1992: Good Samaritan received the largest McKinney-Vento Grant awarded at that time to open the Samaritan Homeless Clinic (McKinney grants provided federal money for homeless shelter programs.) The clinic addressed not only medical needs, but also the psychosocial and life skills necessary for homeless people to make the transition back into society. Today, the clinic, located at 921 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., is part of the Five Rivers Health Centers organization.
  • 1995: Good Samaritan North Health Center opened, at the time the largest and most innovative outpatient care center in the country. The new facility enabled wellness and healing through a patient-centered model of care, and was the first free-standing ambulatory health center in the country to use this model.
  • 1999: Phase II of Good Samaritan North Health Center was opened, bringing the total square footage to approximately 330,000, with more than 75 physician practices and medical specialties.
  • 2003: Samaritan Pavilion was opened at Good Samaritan Hospital, featuring an emergency department, intensive care unit, and two additional surgical suites.
  • 2009: Good Samaritan Health Center-Huber Heights opened. The two-story ambulatory care center included primary and specialty care physician offices, full-service imaging, a laboratory, comprehensive women's health care services, a physical therapy facility, and other ambulatory services.
  • 2009: Good Samaritan Hospital and Dayton Heart and Vascular Hospital joined to form Dayton Heart & Vascular Hospital at Good Samaritan, collaborating to continue a long-standing tradition of heart care excellence and innovation.
  • 2010: Robotic gynecologic surgery was added, eventually expanding to include urology, thoracic, and general surgeries.
  • 2015: A four-story, 96,000 square foot addition was completed at Good Samaritan North Health Center, including a 22-bed emergency department on the ground floor.

Times Change; Good Samaritan Says Farewell

Over time, the impact of national changes in the health care industry, compounded by the challenge of serving a city that for decades had undergone substantial economic transformation, made it clear that Premier Health had to make significant changes to continue to serve the entire region and reach patients in innovative ways in their communities. Operating two hospitals within five miles of each other had become unsustainable.

In 2018, Premier Health made the difficult decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital’s Philadelphia Drive location. The hospital’s services remained in Dayton, shifting to nearby Miami Valley Hospital – a move designed to maintain nearby residents’ access to care, minimize disruptions for staff, and reaffirm Premier Health’s commitment to serve Dayton, including its inner core. Good Samaritan North Health Center and other Good Samaritan Hospital locations remained in operation, and became part of Miami Valley Hospital.

Premier Health’s goal was to ensure each Good Samaritan Hospital employee had an offer to remain employed within the Premier Health system. Recognizing that some employees might choose not to do so, the health system also offered a voluntary retirement and other transition programs.

The decision to close the hospital was a difficult one, but one that Premier Health viewed as necessary to ensure the system’s long-term ability to best serve its patients and communities. Premier Health remains committed to the values that first led the Sisters of Charity to bring much-needed, high quality health care to Southwest Ohio.

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