Princeton Medical Center leaders, staff, supporters and community members celebrated the hospital’s centennial last week with a gala and other special activities.
Originally called Princeton Hospital, the medical center first opened its doors on Nov. 24 of 1919, after the great flu epidemic of 1918 made the need for a full-time hospital in Princeton apparent. A small farmhouse on Witherspoon Street was donated and converted into a hospital with an operating room and two sun parlors with beds for 22 patients. The hospital admitted 363 patients during its first year, including 78 maternity patients.
In 2012, parent company Princeton Health moved the hospital from downtown Princeton to Route 1 north in Plainsboro. Princeton Health now provides health and wellness services to more than 1.3 million people in Central New Jersey. In January of 2018, Princeton Health joined the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Princeton Health employs about 3,300 staff members and has an active medical staff of more than 1,300 physicians. Princeton Medicine, Princeton Health’s group of employed primary and specialty physicians, employs more than 170 practitioners at 21 locations across Central New Jersey.
“Princeton Health has been honored to provide care to our community for the past 100 years, “ said Penn Medicine Princeton Health President and CEO Barry Rabner. “We are confident that with the continued support of our community and the skill and passion of our physicians and staff, along with our partnership with Penn Medicine, we will continue to be the provider of choice to people living in New Jersey.”
Hundreds of people took part in the centennial celebration, which was held at the Princeton Medical Center. Activities included interactive health and wellness exhibits, healthy cooking demonstrations, fashion shows, a close-up look at emergency vehicles for kids, and a drug take-back program where attendees turned in their leftover prescription medications for proper disposal. A teddy bear clinic and a family yoga class were also held. Following the community event, Princeton Health held a celebration and an employee talent showcase for doctors, employees, and volunteers, as well as a dinner for first responders. More than 750 people attended a gala celebration that featured the legendary Motown group The Temptations.