Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center is part of one of
the largest healthcare systems in North Carolina, but its beginnings
In the summer of 1887, Rev. Henry O. Lacy, rector of St.
Paul's Episcopal Church, could see a growing city – and a growing
need for healthcare. The Ladies Twin City Hospital Association, a
group of volunteers, took up Rev. Lacy's cause and began making
But they did more than talk. They took action. Before
six months had passed, the women used money saved from their
household funds to open up a hospital inside the Martin Grogan home
on North Liberty Street, where up to 10 patients could be
hospitalized for $5 a week.
The women went door-to-door, meeting-to-meeting, raising
money from anyone who would give them a contribution. The mayors of
both Winston and of Salem were each asked to give $12 a month toward
Within four years, the Grogan House was badly in need of
repair. The women stepped up their fundraising efforts by showing
people in the two towns how their money had been used in the past – and
by being able to describe in detail how many people had been helped.
They raised $5,000 and opened the Twin City Hospital: 12 private
rooms, two wards and an operating room.
Later, overcrowded and still without significant funding
or equipment, Twin City Hospital moved to Brookstown Avenue. In 1912,
Winston voters approved bonds for a modern hospital to be constructed
on East Fourth Street. Within two years, the modern Twin City
Hospital accepted its first patient.
That's the way things stood, at least structurally,
until 1959. That year, voters approved a bond referendum to build a
modern hospital on 77 acres along Silas Creek Parkway. Forsyth
Memorial Hospital, owned and managed by Forsyth County, opened in
Progress – and change – have been the constant through
the decades. In 1984, the hospital property was deeded from Forsyth
County to Carolina Medicorp Inc. (CMI), a non-profit organization.
The transfer required that the new organization provide indigent care
for citizens of Forsyth County.
The 1980s brought rapid change: during those years, CMI
purchased and began operating Medical Park Hospital (now named Novant
Health Medical Park Hospital), Forsyth Medical Center Hawthorne
Outpatient Surgery Center (now named Novant Health Hawthorne
Outpatient Surgery), Martinat Outpatient Rehabilitation Center (now
named Novant Health Rehabilitation Center), and Behavioral Health
Resources. By decade's end, the hospital building itself had grown by
adding a West Tower.
The biggest changes, however, lay ahead. In 1997, CMI
and Presbyterian Healthcare in Charlotte merged to form Novant Health, a leading provider of medical care in
the southeastern United States.