A Hospital Founded by the
Community, for the Community
Abington Memorial Hospital opened its
doors in 1914. A familiar community
symbol, the hospital’s steeple, was
added in 1930. In 1940, Mrs. George
F. Tyler presented the hospital and
community with a carillon in memory
of her granddaughter, Josephine
In the early 1900s, Abington was rural with many working farms, and the nearest hospital was eight miles away in Philadelphia. Injured residents traveled on rough roads, usually in horse-drawn carts or buggies. Along with progress and population growth, came more trips to the distant hospital. Causes of injuries were varied, ranging from farm and auto accidents to trolley car mishaps, as trolleys shuttled weekend visitors to and from Willow Grove Park, and the introduction of the automobile lead to ever-increasing traffic on Old York Road.
Recognizing a Need
Having one of the area’s first cars, local landowner George W. Elkins, Sr., was occasionally called upon to transport injured patients. Legend has it that one of his passengers died en route, bringing home the need for a hospital in Abington. Elkins shared his concern at a local pinochle game, and the players stopped the game to arrange a town meeting. Another prominent resident, Mrs. Charles Kruger, who had opened her home for use as an emergency hospital on occasions, joined Elkins to help with the planning.
In 1913, the cornerstone of Abington
Memorial Hospital was laid. Posing for
the event are Leon H. Gilbert, first
secretary to the Board of Trustees, and
George W. Elkins Jr., the hospital’s first
president and son of our founder.
Community Rallies to Establish
On May 7, 1912 a town meeting was held, and community members passed a resolution to establish Abington General Hospital. Elkins donated land and money for the new building in memory of his wife, Stella McIntire Elkins, and the hospital was renamed in her honor. Area residents and women’s groups joined in fundraising with holiday bazaars, street fairs and door-to-door campaigns and a Women’s Auxiliary was formed (renamed Women’s Board in 1941). On May 15, 1914, Abington Memorial Hospital opened its doors to the community.
Today, Abington Memorial Hospital offers
highly advanced, comprehensive
healthcare services, including the Pilla
Heart Center, Rosenfeld Cancer Center,
Orthopaedic and Spine Institute,
Pennock Emergency Trauma Center,
Neurosciences Institute, Muller Center
for Senior Health, and the Institute for
Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
From “First Aid Station in a Cornfield” to Regional Referral Center
What some doubters called “a first aid station in a cornfield” has grown from a 48-bed hospital into a 665-bed, regional referral center, teaching hospital and trauma center, attracting patients from Philadelphia, surrounding counties and beyond, serving more than 44,000 inpatients, 123,000 emergency patients and with over 560,000 outpatient visits annually.
Transforming the Local Healthcare Landscape
As the area’s leading healthcare provider, Abington Memorial Hospital established needed outpatient campuses over the years and acquired the former Warminster Hospital and Central Montgomery Medical Center.
1983 - Abington Health Center – Schilling Campus, Willow Grove, PA - This 40-acre campus, founded in 1983, includes outpatient services, medical and administrative offices and conference and educational facilities.
2007 - Abington Health Center - Warminster Campus, Warminster, PA - The former Warminster Hospital has been transformed into a convenient outpatient center. In 2009, the hospital opened Abington Hospice at Warminster, a specially-designed inpatient unit to meet the needs of terminally ill patients and their families.
2008 - Lansdale Hospital, Lansdale, PA - Abington Memorial Hospital purchased the former Central Montgomery Medical Center, renaming the facility Lansdale Hospital, under the trusted umbrella of Abington Health. Expanded services include the state-of-the-art Orthopaedic and Spine Institute, a rehabilitation unit, sleep center, wound care center and same day surgery center.
2009 – Abington Health – Next Generation
With the formation of Abington Health in 2009, the commitment to excellence has expanded, bringing the trusted services of AMH to even more residents. Today, Abington Health includes Abington Memorial Hospital, Lansdale Hospital, the Warminster and Schilling campuses, and Abington Health Physicians, a network of more than 200 primary care physicians and specialists with convenient locations in Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties.
Abington Health is one of the largest employers in Montgomery County