History of the Health System

Here is a timeline of our history that marks major events from the present day to the roots of our hospitals in the early 1900s:


  • The Eastern Connecticut Family Medicine Residency Program begins. It is the only family medicine residency program east of the river in CT.
  • The ECHN Family Health Care Center, home of the Family Medicine Residency Program, opens in Manchester.
  • ECHN implements a system-wide Mandatory Employee Flu Vaccination Policy to safeguard patients and staff.
  • The Women’s Center for Wellness receives accreditation from the American College of Radiology for Breast Ultrasound and Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy Services.
  • Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut (VNHSC) is named a HomeCare Elite Provider for the seventh consecutive year.
  • ECHN conducts a comprehensive community health needs assessment.
  • VNHSC celebrates its 100th anniversary.
  • Woodlake at Tolland celebrates its 20th anniversary.
  • The Auxiliary of Manchester Memorial Hospital celebrates its 90th anniversary.
  • The Rockville General Hospital Auxiliary celebrates its 70th anniversary.
  • The SBM Charitable Foundation Birthing Center celebrates its 10th anniversary.


  • The Women’s Center for Wellness moves to a larger space on ECHN’s South Windsor campus on Tamarack Ave.
  • CorpCare relocates from Manchester to ECHN’s South Windsor campus.
  • Walden Behavior Care outpatient treatment facility opens its doors on ECHN’s South Windsor campus.
  • ECHN Urgent Care at South Windsor opens on ECHN’s South Windsor campus.
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital now has a fully automated clinical laboratory.
  • A patient tracking system is installed to improve communications with families of patients having surgery at the hospitals.
  • Phase I of Meaningful Use for electronic medical record initiative successfully completed.
  • ECHN launches an app for iPhone users.
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital receives awards from HealthGrades: America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Critical Care. Critical Care Excellence Award; and Emergency Medicine Excellence Award.
  • Rockville General Hospital receives award from HealthGrades: Pulmonary Care Excellence Award; Stroke Care Excellence Award; and Emergency Medicine Excellence Award.
  • VNHSC is named to the HomeCare Elite Top 500.
  • Woodlake at Tolland receives a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) selects ECHN’s two hospitals for its campuses in CT. Fifteen medical students begin their third year training at ECHN in July.
  • Rockville General Hospital is the recipient of the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award and receives excellence awards for gastrointestinal care, gastrointestinal surgery, critical care, emergency medicine and patient safety as well as five-star ratings in several clinical areas.
  • ECHN’s Diabetes Self-Management Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.
  • High-dose rate brachytherapy is offered at the John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center
  • The integrative medicine program at the John A DeQuattro Cancer Center is expanded to include art therapy, therapeutic massage, reiki and yoga.

  • Dennis O’Neill, MD is elected Vice Chairman of the Board of the ECHN Board of Trustees
  • Both Manchester Memorial and Rockville General Hospitals receive the HealthGrades Pulmonary Excellence Award and five-star ranking in heart attack treatment, overall pulmonary services, treatment of respiratory failure and GI procedures and surgeries.
  • ECHN Sleep Disorders Center reaccredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • Rockville General Hospital receives ACR accreditation for full-field digital mammography
  • ECHN conducts a community health needs assessment of its 19-towm service area.
  • ECHN celebrates the opening of the new John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center, home of the Eastern Connecticut Cancer Institute, on the Manchester Memorial Hospital campus.
  • ECHN Rehabilitation Services location opens at the new Indian Valley YMCA facility in Ellington.
  • ECHN holds its first black-tie affair, the Healium Ball, to benefit the new cancer center and raises more than $800,000.


  • ECHN partners with Florida-based National Healing Corporation to provide expanded wound care services including hyperbaric oxgen therapy at the ECHN Center for Wound Healing on the Manchester Memorial Hospital campus.
  • ECHN breaks ground on its new 30,000 square foot cancer center.
  • A 30-bed rehabilitation addition opens at Woodlake at Tolland’s.
  • Evergreen Endoscopy Center treats its first patient
  • ECHN pursues the purchase of the assets of Johnson Memorial Corporation but withdraws its bid.
  • ECHN Sleep Disorders Center becomes the first facility in CT to offer A-Step (Accredited Sleep Technologist Training).


  • ECHN purchases the daVinci Surgical Robot System to bring robotic surgery to the community.
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital is among the nation's top five percent of hospitals, according to an independent study of mortality and complication rates for nearly 5,000 hospitals released by HealthGrades, the nation's leading health care ratings company. In addition, both MMH and RGH were recipients of the HealthGrades' Pulmonary Care Excellence Award.
  • A new fixed-site MRI unit arrives at Rockville General Hospital.
  • ECHN's Diabetes Self-Management Program is awarded the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate.
  • The Verispan Integrated Health Network lists ECHN on the "Best of the Rest" list for the top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation.


  • ECHN opens medical offices in Ellington, Tolland and Manchester.
  • The Sleep Disorders Laboratory is expanded.
  • ECHN implements an electronic health record system at the MMH and RGH Emergency Departments, improving efficiency and information flow within the ED and throughout the organization.

  • ECHN opens buildings in Tolland and Coventry that house various medical services and doctor offices.
  • The ECHN medical building at Evergreen Walk opens, featuring state-of-the-art medical imaging services, a wide range of rehabilitation services including a special aquatic therapy pool, and doctor offices; the Women's Center for Wellness also moves to this new building.


  • ECHN introduces neonatology services to the community, to provide another dimension of care for babies born with special health challenges.
  • The Wound Healing Center at ECHN is established within MMH for patients whose wounds have had trouble healing.

  • Phase One of the plans to expand and improve inpatient and outpatient services at Rockville General is completed. The goal of this ambitious project is to create a larger and more comprehensive emergency department and clinical observation unit, a special preparation and recovery area for outpatient services, a step-down unit for patients who move from intensive care, and much more.
  • The SBM Charitable Foundation Family Birthing Center at Manchester Memorial Hospital is opened, offering state-of-the-art LDRP rooms and an enhanced level of services.


  • ECHN and Community CancerCare begin virtual simulation services for cancer patients at The John A. DeQuattro Community Cancer Center.
  • High-tech digital mammography services are introduced at the Women's Center for Wellness. This revolutionary equipment provides more-detailed images than with standard mammograms and reduces the need for women to return for additional views.


  • The ECHN Board of Trustees votes to approve proceeding with a capital campaign with a goal of between $6 million and $11.7 million on behalf of three capital expansion projects in the system: the MMH Maternity Project, the RGH Facility Upgrade, and the Woodlake expansion.
  • The first cardiac catheterization procedure is performed in the new RGH Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
  • The new Centralized Sterile Processing facility located at 460 Hartford Turnpike becomes operational in late October, initially serving MMH and subsequently serving RGH. This facility is equipped with some of most modern sterilization technology available, becoming one of the top three such facilities on the Eastern seaboard.


  • ECHN's comprehensive cancer services based at Manchester Memorial Hospital are granted approval by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, a designation given only to those facilities that have committed to providing the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  • ECHN introduces PET scanning services through a mobile unit that is at MMH every Monday; PET (positron imaging tomography) is a revolutionary imaging technique used for early detection of cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and is particularly effective for the diagnosis of lung cancer.
  • Woodlake at Tolland becomes the new home to the Adult Day Center operated by Visiting Nurse & Health Services of Connecticut, Inc.


  • The ECHN Sleep Disorders Laboratory at MMH is granted accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and later expands from two beds to six.
  • ECHN signs an affiliation agreement with Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford to build upon the ECHN pediatricians' long-standing relationship with the specialists at CCMC.
  • A new hospitalist program is introduced at MMH and is expanded several months later to RGH.


  • The John A. DeQuattro Community Cancer Center opens on the campus of MMH.


  • ECHN introduces Medical Matters, a free 24-hour doctor referral line and program registration service.

  • A regional radiation therapy service for cancer treatment is approved by state regulators; it will be a joint venture between MMH, RGH, Hartford Hospital and Johnson Memorial Hospital.
  • The Glastonbury Wellness Center opens, offering a Healthtrax fitness center, doctor office practices, and ECHN services, including CorpCare occupational health, behavioral health, and a variety of diagnostic tests.
  • PromptCare at RGH opens.

  • Corporators of MMH and Corporators of RGH (several hundred community residents) vote to merge the corporate parents of the two hospitals to form Eastern Connecticut Health Network; these individuals become ECHN "members" and later "corporators."
  • The state Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) agrees to the merger of the hospitals' corporate parents; this is the first case in Connecticut of two financially sound institutions taking this step (other mergers in the state occurred because one of the partners was in financial distress).


  • MMH opens the first of three School-Based Health Centers in East Hartford.
  • Discussions begin on affiliating MMH and RGH.

  • Maternity Department at RGH renovated to align with the LDRP concept of care, providing women with labor, delivery, and recovery in the same suite.
  • The MMH Family Support and Resource Center begins operations. The center is a fully funded grant program offering parent education programs and family support services.
  • Woodlake at Tolland nursing home opens on Shenipsit Lake Road in Tolland.
  • The Women's Center for Wellness opens.

  • RGH becomes the first hospital in eastern Connecticut to introduce bone densitometry equipment designed to detect osteoporosis at its earliest stages.
  • MMH establishes the CorpCare Occupational Medicine Service.

  • MMH participates in the creation of a town-wide emergency medical system for the town of Manchester, leading to the establishment of a paramedic service.


  • The film "Promises in the Dark," starring Marsha Mason, is filmed partly on location at MMH.
  • The WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program begins at RGH. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program provides nutritious food and nutrition education to area residents in difficult financial circumstances.

  • The RGH Maternity Care Center is established to provide pregnancy-related medical and social services to pregnant women and teens, with fees charged on a sliding scale based on ability to pay.

  • MMH opens some of the first birthing rooms in a community hospital setting and is one of the first U.S. hospitals to offer the Lamaze method of childbirth.


  • The name of Rockville City Hospital is changed to Rockville General Hospital.


  • The first physical therapy service in the Rockville region is offered at Rockville City Hospital.

  • Visitors from 20 states and 16 foreign countries visit MMH to observe its "Progressive Patient Care" plan, which introduced the concept of an intensive care unit and step-down care to the hospital world.


  • Rockville City Hospital moves to the Maxwell mansion on Union Street, where it remains today.

  • The Women's Auxiliary, later to become the Rockville General Hospital Auxiliary, is formed.


  • The Women's Auxiliary, later to become the Auxiliary of Manchester Memorial Hospital, is formed.


  • Rockville City Hospital opens on Prospect Street. Patients were charged $2 a day.


  • Manchester Memorial Hospital opens on Haynes Street and is dedicated to the 45 Manchester men who lost their lives in World War I.


  • C. Elmore Watkins heads a community campaign that raises over $165,000 in less than a week for the construction of a hospital in Manchester.


  • Spanish influenza strikes across the United States, affecting about one in four of the entire population. Many communities, including Manchester and Rockville, respond by establishing temporary emergency hospitals, at Cheney Hall in Manchester and at the high school in the city of Rockville.


  • William Henry Prescott of Rockville donates $50,000 to establish the William Henry Prescott Fund, designed to begin the financing for a Rockville City Hospital.







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