The Whidden Memorial Hospital Legacy

Georgia Whidden

In 1897, Georgia Whidden donated her family’s estate to the City of Everett so the area would have a true community hospital. The original hospital had 13 beds. She stipulated that the hospital maintain a policy of “open admission of patients without distinction as to creed, color or race.” CHA is proud to carry on the legacy of Georgia Whidden and continue her vision of serving all members of society in a community hospital in Everett.

1931 Construction of the HospitalIn the early 1900s, the Boston area experienced a number of epidemics. The hospital was stressed, and even placed under a period of quarantine at one point, but emerged stronger as a result. As the area’s population grew, and medical care advanced, the hospital could no longer keep up with demand. In 1931, the new East Building was completed, expanding capacity by 100 beds and adding new laboratory and x-ray capabilities.

A School of Nursing was added in 1945, as World War II was drawing to a close. The School closed in 1979, but many of its graduates went on to staff local hospitals, including Whidden. In September 2016, the class of 1966 celebrated its 50th reunion at the hospital.

The 1950s – 1980s saw additional expansions, including the new Lewis Building in 1959, named after Frank E. Lewis, mayor of Everett from 1936-1947. In 1972, the West Building opened – it was the first building built without city funds, financed instead through bonds and private donations. This period also saw great growth in the medical staff, many of whom were board-certified or board-eligible, a standard far less common at that time than today.

Medical Staff Dinner 1960

The hospital changed ownership in 1996, during a period when many local hospitals were struggling to survive. By 2001, the hospital was about to close, but Cambridge Health Alliance stepped in to save the hospital and preserve essential local services, including the critical emergency department, for area residents.

CHA Everett Hospital Emergency DepartmentSince 2001, CHA has made many investments in the hospital. The emergency department was renovated and expanded, and today is one of the busiest in the state. Patient satisfaction scores are high, and wait times average just 6 minutes. The West 1 Medical/Surgical unit and Intensive Care Unit were completely renovated, and new radiology equipment, including 3D mammography and Open MRI, provide state-of-the-art testing to support treatment. The tradition of employing an excellent medical staff has continued, with many specialists and other providers added in the past few years. And, like all CHA locations, the hospital uses an award-winning electronic medical record system.

Plaque dedication to Georgia WhiddenOn November 1, 2016, the name of the hospital was changed to CHA Everett Hospital. However, the Whidden legacy lives on in a portion of the first floor that is now known as the Whidden Building. The new Whidden Building was dedicated at a staff event on October 26, 2016, where attendees shared memories of Whidden Hospital and celebrated the legacy of Georgia Whidden.

CHA Everett is proud to embody Georgia Whidden’s vision of a genuine community hospital that welcomes all members of the community.

Affiliated with:
Teaching hospital of: