Chesapeake General Hospital first opened its doors and began treating patients on Jan. 25, 1976.
During the 1960s, citizens and physicians in Chesapeake grew tired of driving to neighboring Norfolk or Portsmouth when they needed to be hospitalized. So, Dr. Stanley Jennings, now a retired Chesapeake physician, began a grassroots effort to establish a hospital in what was then the fledgling city of Chesapeake.
In the early 1970s, after getting city officials onboard, community members began door-to-door solicitations and organized benefit sporting events, cake sales, dinners and other fund-raisers to raise $1.2 million for the hospital's construction. The city's newly established Chesapeake Housing Authority secured additional funding through a $1 million Hill-Burton federal grant.
In 1973, construction began on the hospital. Donald S. Buckley is appointed CEO, and began operating out of a trailer at the construction site on Battlefield Boulevard. He served as president/CEO until his retirement in 2005.
Today, the hospital is the anchor for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center (CRMC), an integral part of the Chesapeake and surrounding Hampton Roads communities, and the only independent medical center in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
By 2010, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center includes its 310-bed anchor hospital, the Sidney M. Oman Cancer Center, the Breast Center, the Diagnostic Center of Chesapeake, The BirthPlace, the Surgery Center of Chesapeake, The Lifestyle Center for fitness and health, two sleep centers, an assisted living facility, home health and hospice and a physicians' practice group. Chesapeake Regional also is also a partner in the 19-bed Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head, N.C., with University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina.
CRMC employs approximately 2,400 employees and has a medical staff of 600.
CRMC has the busiest emergency department in Hampton Roads, and one of the busiest in the state.
CRMC is governed by the Chesapeake Hospital Authority, made up of 11 members appointed to terms by the Chesapeake City Council and who are charged with ensuring that community needs are addressed at the hospital. CRMC does not receive any funding from city coffers.
For more information about the services offered through Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, go to www.chesapeakeregional.com.