Since our beginnings in 1884, Portsmouth Hospital has delivered quality care to the Seacoast community. Today, Portsmouth Regional Hospital ranks among the top hospitals nationwide.
1884: Citizens of Portsmouth founded Cottage Hospital, a 10 bed acute care facility on Court Street. (Today, this building is known as The Aldrich House.)
1885: A new hospital was built on Junkins Avenue near Mill Pond. For over 100 years, Portsmouth Hospital continued to expand and diversify to meet the community's healthcare needs.
Portsmouth Hospital, 1885-1987
For further information about the early history of Portsmouth Hospital, we encourage you to visit some fascinating books in the Portsmouth Public Library:
The Changing Humors of Portsmouth, The Medical Biography of an American Town, 1623-1983 by J. Worth Estes and David M. Goodman, copyright 1986.
Historic Portsmouth, by James L. Garvin, copyright 1974.
A Historical Calendar of Portsmouth,by Frances Mathes, copyright 1907.
1985:After an extensive long-range planning process, the Trustees of Portsmouth Hospital determined that the community's health was best served by the hospital becoming part of a sophisticated, national healthcare system. The Hospital was sold to HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) and the proceeds of that sale became the assets of a new private foundation, The Foundation for Seacoast Health. In addition to making grants to health-related initiatives, The Foundation continues its community oversight of Portsmouth Regional Hospital, appointing eight of the nine Hospital Trustees.
1987:Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Pavilion, a new state-of-the-art facility on Borthwick Avenue, opened. The Pavilion is the Seacoast's first and only in-patient behavioral health facility.
1987 - 1997: This was a period of great expansion in our medical resources. Over 100 new physicians joined our medical staff, adding many new specialties.
1987: In its inaugural year, Portsmouth Regional Hospital:
- Opened the Seacoast's first cardiac catheterization lab
- Brought mobile MRI services to the Seacoast
- Introduced Neurosurgery, Lithotripsy, Pain Management,
and Occupational Health
- Performed the Seacoast's first limb reattachment
1988: Portsmouth Regional Hospital was named Business of the Year by the Greater Seacoast Chamber of Commerce.
1989: Became the leader in Seacoast deliveries in 1989 and has maintained this lead.
- Began laparoscopic surgery -- one of the first hospitals in the state
- Participated in a national study demonstrating that emergency angioplasty could be done in community hospitals with better patient outcomes
Portsmouth Regional Hospital Groundbreaking, 1987
1990: Introduced several new medical specialties:
- Rehabilitation Medicine (Physiatry)
- Infectious Disease-- a Seacoast first
1992: Introduced Nephrology.
1993: Chosen as site to train foreign surgeons in total knee replacement.
1995: Opened the Sleep Center, a diagnostic and treatment center for sleep disorders.
1995: The Chest Pain Center opened, significantly improving outcomes for heart attack patients by shortening the time between diagnosis and treatment.
1997: Launched vital new patient resources:
- Diabetes Resource Center
- Inpatient dialysis
1998: Cancer Care Services opened a new medical oncology unit.
1999: The Heart & Lung Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital launched the Cardiac Surgery Program, a collaborative effort of cardiologists from five Seacoast hospitals. The program featured a new, state-of-the-art surgical facility and a world-class cardiac surgery team.
2000: Participated in Top Off, the Federal bioterrorism exercise. Portsmouth Regional South building in Hampton opened.
2002: Continuing growth in quality and services:
- The Emergency Center completed a major expansion from 8 to 22 rooms
- The Ambulatory Surgery Center opened, providing cost-effective, streamlined day surgery
- Heart & Lung Center performed its 1500th cardiac surgery case
- Our Neurosurgery service acquired a state-of-the-art image-guided surgery system -- the first in NH
- A joint radiation therapy program with Wentworth Douglass Hospital was proposed
2003: The former Pavilion building was renovated as the Shoals Building, and dedicated to three community leaders whose efforts brought a state-of-the-art hospital to the Seacoast in 1987: Terry Morton, Warren Wilder and Ferris Bavicchi. The Shoals Building is home to:
- Greatly expanded Heart & Lung Center, featuring:
- Two new cardiac catheterization labs
- A new cardiac diagnostic area
- Additional cardiac observation beds
- Improved facilities for Behavioral Health
- The Sleep Center
- PRH nurses ranked in Top 1% of all HCA hospitals
- Nationally recognized by the Institute for Safe Medication Practice for reducing medical errors.
- First in the Seacoast and one of the first in the nation to institute an electronic medication bar-coding system (EMAR)
- Surgical weight loss program introduced
- PET imaging and minimally invasive varicose vein treatment introduced
- Wound Care Center & Hyperbaric Services ranked among top in the nation
- Second digital mammography unit added
- PDT (photodynamic therapy) introduced
- PRH ranked #1 in Patient Satisfaction among all HCA hospitals
- Heart & Lung Center named a Cardiac Center of Excellence
- Dr. Sisto named 2005 HCA Cardiac Surgeon of the Year
- 64-slice CT scan introduced
- Electrophysiology specialty introduced
- $63 Million Facility expansion launched
- Bariatric Surgery Program received advanced accreditations