The papers track the history and development of Pitt County Memorial Hospital and Brody School of Medicine, including scrapbooks, photographs, publications, and videos.
In the early 1920s, a group of forward-thinking doctors imagined better health services for the people of Pitt County. They were led by Dr. Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse, a former country coroner and one of the community's leading physicians. They led efforts to raise the thousands of dollars needed to start a hospital to serve the public. The new hospital was to be administered by the county commissioners, have an operating room, a laboratory, X-ray equipment, incubators for premature infants, and a separate building to house patients with tuberculosis. After finally obtaining a charter in 1923 to set up a hospital, the doctors set up temporary quarters above the H. L. Hodges Company (a 5th St feed store) to begin treating patients who needed them. In 1924, the Pitt Community Hospital opened on Johnston Street with 42 beds.
Following World War II and due in part to newly available money from the Hill-Burton Act, a federal bill to help establish more hospitals throughout the country, plans took shape to build a new hospital. Construction began in 1948, and in 1951 Pitt County Memorial Hospital opened not far from Greenville in the middle of farmland on West Fifth Street. It had 120 beds and four stories, with four operating rooms, a small emergency room, an examination room, and a closed ward for contagious illnesses. By the early 1960s, new technology began to appear, enabling surgeries once only dreamed of, to take place in Greenville, and specialists began choosing Greenville for their practices. Before long, the hospital had outgrown its walls and by 1961, the new "A" wing opened.
A professional survey in 1968 recommended adding more than 100 new beds. Unfortunately, state regulators rejected plans from hospital and county leaders: Pitt Memorial needed to rebuild, not renovate. They agreed to help secure federal funding for construction. Around the same time, people began whispering about establishing a medical school at East Carolina University, culminating with the arrival of the first class of four-year students in 1977. The new Pitt Memorial hospital opened at its current location in 1977. The new hospital began expanding almost immediately.
By the 1990s, changes in technology and economics led to trustees seeking to be released from county jurisdiction, allowing PCMH to operate separately while remaining true to public-interest guidelines as a nonprofit corporation. After many months of difficult political discussions, the county commissioners approved the change by a narrow margin. In June 1998, the hospital received its new charter as a private institution. Soon, a new organization, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, was created to integrate the hospital's many health care services. In 2011, the hospital underwent another name change, becoming Vidant Medical Center, and is the primary teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
The collection is grouped into seven series: Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH), publications, community related printed materials, audio-visual, oral histories, scrapbooks, and digital media.
The PCMH series includes information about the construction and expansion of the Pitt County Memorial Hospital, administrative records, 50th anniversary celebration material, and articles and information related to name changes.
Publications includes Torch, Volunteer Information Publication, and other short run publications created by Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
Community Related Printed Materials includes invitations, flyers, and programs to events for the hospital. Most of these items are related to the expansion of the hospital, with new wings or centers being created, or recognition ceremonies.
Audio Visual includes photographs, slides, and videos from specific events as well as general activities.
In preparation for the 50th anniversary, oral histories were collected from people who were important to Pitt County Memorial Hospital and the Brody School of Medicine. The oral history series contains the transcripts of these interviews.
Scrapbooks document the history and development of the hospital from its beginnings.
Addition of January 1, 2017 (1975-2001) includes supplement material regarding the construction and expansion of the Pitt County Memorial Hospital; publications; ground breaking, ribbon cutting, and open house events; 1977 aerial photographs of land surrounding the hospital; photographs documenting hospital ground breaking events; and newspaper clippings spanning the time period of 1975 to 2001.
April 2001: Pitt County Memorial Hospital history materals. Gift of Wayne Williams.
May 2001: (unprocessed) approximately 15 cubic feet of material relevant to the history of Pitt County Memorial Hospital; Transfered from Pitt County Memorial Hospital - Community Relations/Government Relations.
2002: Transfered by Medical Center News and Information.
2017 January 1: Four binders of materials relevant to the history of Pitt County Memorial Hospital, 1 ceremonial shovel, and 1 hard hat. Gift of Roger Kammerer.
Gift of Wayne Williams.
Transferred from Pitt County Memorial Hospital - Community Relations/Government Relations.
Transferred from Medical Center News and Information.
Gift of Roger Kammerer.
Processing revised by Ashley Williams, 2015. Addition series processing by Jenny Snyder, 2017. Revised by Layne Carpenter, 2018.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Wayne Williams Papers (LL 02.08), The William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Buck Sitterson Papers (LL 02.24), The William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Medical Center News & Information Collection (LL02.07), The William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Old Pitt County Hospital Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.