Although "Fisher-Titus" made its debut in 1957, the Medical Center's proud history dates back to 1916 when the 38-bed Norwalk Memorial Hospital (NMH) opened its doors at 269 West Main Street. The first facility was constructed thanks to the vision and generosity of local citizens, businesses and organizations that purchased "subscriptions" totaling $27,000 to build a community hospital for Norwalk and Huron County.
Fisher-Titus Medical Center's rich tradition of providing the community with high-quality health care continued in 1957 when Fisher-Titus Memorial Hospital opened at 272 Benedict Ave. in Norwalk, Ohio.
On June 19, 1956, community leaders and hospital officials gathered in green fields on the southern edge of Norwalk to break ground for the new Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Newspaper articles touted the future hospital as a marvel of modern architecture that emphasized a homelike atmosphere designed for ultimate patient comfort.
As leaders gathered to celebrate that day, speeches probably included reference to the new hospital's 1916 "roots" when NMH opened on West Main Street. Years later, when the hospital had outgrown the facility, local leaders again came forward with a "vision for the future." Now familiar figures, William and Lura Fisher-Titus and John Ernsthausen inspired area residents to support the growth of health care services for their community. After the Fishers challenged community members to match their $1.2 million donation, Fisher-Titus Medical Center became a reality in 1957 at the cost of $1.8 million.
The Fishers commissioned H.E. Beyster & Associates of Detroit to design the "most modern hospital in the nation." They believed "the best hospital for any patient is the one that feels the most like home." As a result, all the comforts and conveniences of modern living were incorporated into the 100-bed Fisher-Titus Medical Center - beginning with 17 acres of landscaped grounds and a central garden court where patients and personnel could relax.
Continuing the tradition...
Many additions have been made to the hospital since 1957. From 1962 to 1997, Fisher-Titus Medical Center was renovated, expanded and "rearranged" some 30-plus times - more than doubling the space of the original Fisher-Titus Medical Center and investing more than $30 million in those projects. In 1962, the physical therapy department opened and the radiology department was enlarged. In 1965, the hospital added its current administration wing, and in 1972 the "500" wing of the hospital opened - adding beds as well as a laboratory. In 1966, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Morse were largely responsible for the funding of the hospital's "Morse" wing - completed in 1978. This wing included expanded emergency and surgical facilities and a materials distribution center.
Additions to the Fisher-Titus campus began with a medical office in 1976. Since then, the mental health and kidney centers have opened and 15 medical offices were built (housing 37 physicians, offering a variety of medical specialties). Also, Norwalk Memorial Home was constructed and physically integrated with the Medical Center in 1985 and The Carriage House of Fisher-Titus, a 48-unit, 50,000-sq-foot assisted living facility, opened in 1997.
The tradition has continued into the new millennium as Fisher-Titus Medical Center renovates both inpatient and outpatient services to better serve Huron County and the surrounding area.
Fisher-Titus has invested more than $100 million over the past decade in significant facility expansions and capital equipment, including the 101,000-square-foot Fisher-Titus Patient Pavilion in 2005, a 42,000-square-foot expansion and renovation for Rehabilitation Services and Cancer Services in 2006 and the 22,000 square-foot Snyder/White Heart & Vascular Center in 2008. In June 2011, the medical center had an official ground breaking for the 29,500 square-foot expansion of emergency, admitting and outpatient laboratory services. The projected completion date is summer 2012.