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Johnston Memorial Hospital

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 About JMH


First Hospital in Abingdon Established

Dr. E.T. Brady, a leading Abingdon physician, established the first hospital on Court Street in December 1905. The small wooden structure had a 12-bed capacity and was a private endeavor. Dr. Brady served as Chief of Staff with two physicians and four resident nurses.


Hospital Changes Ownership

Because of insufficient patronage, the hospital was forced to close its doors in 1910. Community leaders ventured to Richmond and convinced George Ben Johnston, MD, and Amis Willis, MD, to buy controlling interest in the hospital. They chose F.H. Smith, MD, as the administrator.

Surgical Conditions

F.H. Smith, MD, noted the primitive surgical conditions he found at the early hospital. "We had no sterilizing plant. The surgeons brought with them a trunk full of sterile supplies, and took back other material for sterilization. Yet, there were only four deaths in the first year.



The hospital became incorporated.


New 40-bed hospital Opens

In July of 1919, the doors of a new 40-bed George Ben Johnston Memorial Hospital opened with over 500 people attending the formal opening. The hospital was built with the community support and dedicated to the memory of its founder, who died in 1916. The original 1919 building is still used by several departments at Johnston Memorial Hospital. The well-constructed wing houses the administrative offices, endoscopy suite, and health information management departments. The original structure has undergone several massive renovations during its many years of service.

Laboratory Services

The 1919 structure brought modern laboratory services to Johnston Memorial Hospital (JMH). When the hospital first opened, physicians conducted many of the diagnostic tests in what were described as a "scant laboratory", with minimal equipment and technology. The JMH laboratory of today is a state-of-the-art facility under the direction of pathologists. The laboratory has contained a chemistry lab, hematology lab and an independent blood bank.


Radiology Services

During the 1920s, a Radiology Department was added to Johnston Memorial Hospital, helping make the hospital one of the leading diagnostic facilities in the region. The Radiology Department came under the administration of the hospital chief of staff.


Obstetric Physician

During the 1920s and 1930s, the first physician specializing in obstetrics joined the medical staff. A Children's and Baby Ward were opened and furnished by contributions from the JMH Ladies Auxiliary and the Hospital Club of Abingdon.


Cadet Nursing Corp

During World War II, several nurses and physicians were called into military service. This decade saw the advent of the Cadet Nursing Corp, a group of nurses' aides, who served on the floors in many capacities.

Modern Surgical and Delivery Room Construction Begins


In the late 1940s, construction began on a new wing for modern surgical and delivery rooms.


Construction Complete of Operating and Delivery Rooms

The decade of the 1950s was a time of major expansion at the Abingdon hospital. A new wing housing modern operating and delivery rooms was opened. Renovation projects included a modern kitchen and dietary department.

1958 Pediatric and Physical Therapy Wing Added


Johnston Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

The 1960s was the last full decade in the operations of Johnston Memorial Hospital's School of Nursing. Since its beginning, JMH had served as a training residence for nursing students from throughout the region.


New Wing Added

Construction on a new wing began in 1967 and was completed in the 1970s.This addition increased the hospital's bed capacity to 154 with 12 newborn bassinets. New services offered during this decade include surgical intensive care and outpatient surgery.


The JMH Nursing School Graduates Last Class


Construction on New Wing Begins

Construction on a new wing began in 1985 which included a state-of-the-art emergency department and new facilities for Radiology, Respiratory Care, and Outpatient Surgery.


A Non-Invasive Cardiology Department was added in 1989.


Renovations Completed

A number of changes occurred during the 1990s including the completion of a multi-floor parking facility, new entrance and lobby area, and a renovation of the first floor.


Open MRI

In September of 1998, Johnston Memorial Hospital added the region's first and only open MRI to its Radiology Department.


Emergency Department Renovations Completed

In February 1999, a complete renovation and expansion project was completed in the Emergency Department.


Endoscopy and Surgical Suite Renovations

Renovation of the second floor of the 1919 Building was completed in April to house expanded endoscopy services. In addition to a sixth Operating Room, additional storage space and new locker rooms for surgeons and nursing staff was added.


PET Scanning Services

A Mobile Diagnostic Pad added for the implementation of mobile Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanning Services.

Sleep Lab

JMH added Sleep Medicine services including a state-of-the-art sleep lab.


Central Energy Plant

A Central Energy Plant was constructed which combined hospital heating, cooling, and emergency power generation into a separate facility.

JMH Women's Imaging Center

JMH Women's Imaging Center was established and located in Glenrochie Professional Building.


Second MRI Installed

Second MRI unit was installed in the new radiology facility attached to the hospital.

JMH Rehabilitation Services

Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy clinic opened off site.


JMH Diagnostic Imaging Center

JMH opened a diagnostic center in the Urgent Care Center to perform X-rays, and lab draws outside the hospital

Renovations to Outpatient Surgery Waiting Area

Renovations were completed in the waiting area to provide additional comfort to patients and their families


Cancer Center

JMH opened a new cancer center, located at Johnston Meadows, to provide comprehensive care to cancer patients

Bristol East Diagnostic Center

To provide additional imaging services to the community, JMH opened a diagnostic imaging center in Bristol, VA just off Exit 7

Joint Trails Program

Joint Trails, a progressive knee and hip joint replacement program, opened on the 3rd floor of Johnston Memorial Hospital


Urgent Care Center

JMH opened the Urgent Care Center to provide convenient and timely treatment for cases that don't require emergency room care

Diabetes Care Center

The Diabetes Care Center was opened to provide the latest in diabetes care, treatment, and education


Surgery Center

The outpatient surgery center opened to provide same day surgical procedures in a comfortable, healing environment. 

Johnston Memorial and Mountain States Health Alliance Partner

The partnership between Mountain States Health Alliance and Johnston Memorial Hospital was made official in April 2009, ushering in a new era of health care for the residents of Southwest Virginia.


The Center for Comprehensive Wound Care

The Center for Comprehensive Wound Care specializes in addressing the underlying cause of difficult-to heal wounds and treating them to control infection and improve the overall health of patients.


The New JMH Built