Inova Loudoun Hospital
Expansion, Philanthropy Mark First Century
Imagine undergoing a procedure at the brick house on Market Street. This house, the former home of one Captain Garrett, contained a grand total of six patient rooms and one bath. That was Inova Loudoun Hospital — then called Leesburg Hospital — 100 years ago.
Photos from top: Early hospital, hospital leaders, 1949, Horace Littlejohn, The Ladies Board annual Rummage Sale, hospital campus
This June is the 100th Jubilee for Inova Loudoun Hospital. Over the years, bigger and more modern facilities were built to replace that fledgling hospital. Today's impressive building stands as a 183-bed, nationally recognized acute-care hospital.
"We are so proud of the rich history of our hospital," says Randy Kelley, CEO of Inova Loudoun Hospital. "It's wonderful to think that even as we have grown and changed we have remained true to the community values of that house on Market Street."
Not everyone thought the rolling Loudoun countryside needed a hospital back in 1912. It took the work of a few committed residents, including two prominent local
physicians, Dr. William C. Orr
and Dr. John A. Gibson, pharmacist Horace Littlejohn and P. Howell Lightfoot to
put the plans in place. A 15-
member board of directors
leased the large brick
Garrett House, which is now
used for retail and office
space. It opened on June 5,
The founding of The Ladies Board soon followed. A Donation Day was held in which community residents were invited to inspect the hospital and bring donations in the form of money, towels, linens, groceries and other items. For many years, Ladies Board volunteers assumed responsibility for overseeing the housekeeping, supplying china, glassware and silver for the dining room and maintaining equipment and supplies for the kitchen, rooms and wards.
"Just as important as the establishment of the hospital was the founding of The Ladies Board," notes Joan Elliott, President of today's Ladies Board and a member of the Foundation Board. "We look to the pioneering spirit of those ladies as we continue our endeavors to support the hospital and our community."
Growing and Growing
It did not take long before the community outgrew the tiny hospital. Plans for construction of a new hospital began in 1914. Thanks in part to fundraising by The Ladies Board, the hospital purchased 13 acres of land for $3,600. Construction on Cornwall Street began in March 1917, and the new hospital opened in April 1918 with 26 beds, six private rooms, four wards, an operating room, a chemical laboratory and an X-ray machine.
And the hospital didn't stop growing. In 1926, the Nurses' Home was built so the nurses could have comfortable quarters, necessary facilities and a dining area. Then, following World War II, the overcrowded hospital needed even more space. In 1951, a new wing opened with state and federal funding, two separate gifts and fundraising.
In recent years, the hospital has adapted to the changing needs of the community. Some highlights:
- In 1960, the Arthur Godfrey wing and New East wing open, expanding the hospital to 85 beds.
- In 1974, a new three-story, $6.6 million hospital
is built. The Long Term Care Unit with 85 beds
opens the same year.
- In 1981, the 100-bed Long Term Care Center opens.
- In 1997, the hospital moves from Cornwall
Street to the Lansdowne Campus.
Loudoun Meets Inova
A pivotal event in recent years occurred in 2005 when Loudoun Hospital Center merged with Inova Health System. This new partnership brought much-needed financial stability. Since the merger, Inova Loudoun Hospital has established a cardiac catheterization lab, da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical program, breast surgery program and other state-of-the-art services.
Excitement is again in the air as the medical campus on Cornwall Street in downtown Leesburg undergoes a $32 million renovation. "It is symbolic that on the anniversary of the founding of the hospital, we are again growing to fit the needs of our community," CEO Kelley says. "Like our founders, we continue to look to the future and see the possibilities."
A Look Back
To learn more about the rich history of Inova Loudoun
Hospital, go here.