Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) was presented with an official proclamation in honor of the organization’s 125th anniversary by Barney Seney, Mayor of Putnam, during the Woodstock Fair on Sunday, September 1. The proclamation honored DKH’s longstanding service to the community and applauded its distinguished history.
“On this occasion of Day Kimball Healthcare’s 125th anniversary, the community enthusiastically celebrates its devoted and compassionate staff, physicians, and volunteers who selflessly care for their patients and families every day,” said Mayor Seney.
September 1, 2019, marked a major milestone in the history of Day Kimball Healthcare. Founded for the community, by the community, DKH began as the inspiration of two sisters, Elizabeth and Gertrude Vinton, of Pomfret who identified a need for healthcare providers in the area and had a vision to open an infirmary in Putnam.
The Windham County Infirmary, Northeastern Connecticut’s first in-residence infirmary and predecessor to Day Kimball Hospital, opened in a blizzard on February 26, 1894 in a small, rented house on Bolles Street in Putnam. The Infirmary boasted 20 beds, one housemaid, one matron Mrs. A.E. Ogilvie, a single nurse, Miss Alma D. Paine, and two doctors, J.B. Kent and F.A. Morrell.
After the Infirmary had been in operation for some time, a friend of Elizabeth Vinton, Mrs. M. Day Kimball of Boston Massachusetts, and one of the contributors to the Infirmary offered a gift of $5,000 for the erection of a hospital building, as a memorial to her son, Moses Day Kimball, lately deceased, on condition that it be known as Day Kimball Hospital. Other Kimball family members and community supporters contributed additional donations.
In August 1894, the members of the board of the newly formed Day Kimball Hospital Corporation of Windham County took over all property in possession of the Windham County Infirmary, and on September 1, 1894, the building reopened as Day Kimball Hospital.
Throughout the years, DKH has grown to become the region’s major provider of healthcare. What was once a stand-alone hospital is now an integrated health system anchored by Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, Day Kimball Medical Groups in 13 locations in Northeast Connecticut, Day Kimball Healthcare at Home, and healthcare centers in Danielson, Dayville, Plainfield, and Putnam.
“Now, 125 years later, we can look back on a history that has had a profound impact on healthcare in Northeast Connecticut through the application of advances in medicine, technology, patient safety, and patient care,” said Joseph Adiletta, DKH Board Chairman. “This milestone and the success of the hospital are the result of incredible contributions of our employees, including nurses and physicians, and the support of the community. They are the reason we have been able to sustain our founders’ vision year after year. With this rich history as our foundation, we look forward to another 125 years of providing high quality, compassionate healthcare to our community.”
Today, the nonprofit community healthcare system is the area’s largest employer, with more than 1,000 staff including nearly 300 associated, highly skilled physicians, surgeons and specialists and contributes more than $258 million in economic impact according to a report from the Connecticut Hospital Association.
Highlights of DKH’s achievements include Baby Friendly designation; American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers; Gold Seal of Approval for Hip and Knee Replacement; Accredited Sleep Disorder Center; Cigna Center of Excellence designation for pulmonary medical care; Anthem Blue Distinction Specialty Care.
Photo Caption: (l to r): Valerie Schrump, Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) Internal Medicine Service Line Manager; Melody Cassio, Day Kimball Medical Group General Surgery & Pulmonary Medicine Practice Manager; Barbara Chubbuck, DKH Critical Care, Hematology, Oncology Coordinator; Putnam Mayor Barney Seney; Valentine Iamartino, president of the Woman’s Board of Day Kimball Hospital; and Michelle La France, DKH Manager of Public Relations and Community Outreach receive proclamation honoring Day Kimball Healthcare’s 125th anniversary on Sunday, September 1 at the Woodstock Fair.