Home > Hospital Information > About Us > The 70-Year History of Aultman Orrville Hospital

Aultman Orrville Hospital 70th Anniversary Logo“It is my hope that the hospital, your hospital and mine, will stand there for many, many years. A beacon for all the sick and disabled of Orrville and vicinity, regardless of race, color or creed.” – George T. Dunlap

1945

  • After a long, successful career, George T. Dunlap, 81, a successful businessman in the printing industry, offered a large donation to the city of Orrville for purposes of building a hospital in memory of his late wife and his parents.
  • To accept the donation, the Orrville Hospital Foundation was established by local business leaders. Willard Smucker was elected as the first chairperson of the foundation.

1949

  • On Sept. 20, 1949, workers broke ground and began construction on Dunlap Memorial Hospital.
  • Jennie Leickheim, a lifetime Orrville resident and close friend of Dunlap, turned the first piece of soil at the groundbreaking ceremony.
       

Photos of Aultman Orrville Hospital Through the Years1951

  • Dunlap Memorial Hospital officially opened July 3, 1951, with 44 beds.
  • Dolores Pebley was Dunlap Memorial’s first administrator, Dr. O.P. Ulrich was the first chief of the medical staff and Dr. Edwin Feltes was the chief surgeon.
  • The first unofficial hospital patient was Hugh L. Forman, who happened to be the son-in-law of George T. Dunlap.
  • Rhea Clinton was the first baby born at Dunlap Memorial.

1953

  • Dunlap Memorial received accreditation by The Joint Commission. 

1954

  • A new hospital, Orrville Osteopathic Hospital, opened its doors. It would later be known as Wayne General.

1958

  • Howard Place became the second hospital administrator for Dunlap Memorial.
  • Emergency and outpatient services were expanded thanks to a $260,000 remodeling program. This included renovation and expansion of the X-ray, physical therapy, laboratory, medical records and emergency departments.

1965

  • An additional two wings were added onto the hospital building to include a remodeled obstetrics department, a new lobby, chapel and offices.

1967

  • Harvey Norris became hospital administrator in 1967. He served in that role for more than 20 years.

1972

  • A cardiac monitoring area was added to the hospital that treated patients with acute heart problems and provided intensive care 24 hours per day.
  • Dr. Robert E. Reiheld, a family medicine physician, became the second chief of medical staff at Dunlap.

1976

  • A new medical library was named in the honor of Dr. Robert Hecker. Hecker held the longest tenure of any physician in the city of Orrville at the time of his death in 1970. He was on staff at Dunlap Memorial Hospital and practiced medicine in the community for 39 years.

1985

  • Due to factors such as healthcare regulations, low patient occupancy and duplication of services, Orrville’s two hospitals, Dunlap Memorial and Wayne General, agreed to merge into one facility at the Dunlap Memorial site.

1988

  • The Hospital Auxiliary was initiated as a volunteer services group. After just two months, the Hospital Auxiliary had 20 active volunteers. Membership dues were $3 per year. 

1989

  • “Assure the Future” Campaign
  • Dunlap Memorial recognized the need for enhanced outpatient services. Hospital officials proposed a $3.8 million expansion to meet these service needs. The hospital tasked the Orrville and eastern Wayne County communities to meet a fundraising goal of $1.3 million to assist the overall goal.
  • In six months, the “Assure the Future” campaign exceeded the goal by $70,000. At that time, it was the largest fundraising effort in Orrville’s history.

1990

  • The Podiatric Surgical Residency Program was established. The program lasted for 15 years.

1992

  • The renovation and expansion of the hospital was completed, resulting in a $4.8 million overhaul.
  • Expansion highlights included additional examination and treatment rooms in the ER; a 24-hour emergency room staffed by physicians and nursing; larger operating rooms and new recovery rooms; radiology equipment including ultrasound, breast-imaging technology and CT-scanning machine; and a new wing of inpatient beds.

1996

  • Lynn Horner became president and CEO of Dunlap Memorial.

1997

  • Pain management and cardiac rehab services were added.

1999

  • Dunlap Memorial Hospital joined the Independent Hospital Network – an idea initiated by Aultman Hospital. The network originally included Alliance Community Hospital, Aultman Hospital, Dunlap Memorial, Pomerene Hospital and Union Hospital.

2001

  • “Investing in Our Future”
  • In 2001, Dunlap Memorial kicked off a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million to help reach a goal of $10 million in new construction. The hospital again exceeded the goal.
  • The entire project totaled over $12 million and included a new emergency department, laboratory, medical records area, community room, medical office building, physical therapy and rehab areas, and a sleep lab. Areas renovated included obstetrics, imaging services, the medical-surgical floor and endoscopy.
  • Completed in 2004, the newly constructed area was accordingly named the Willard E. Smucker Wing.

2004

  • To continue to stay viable for the community, Dunlap Memorial became licensed as a critical access hospital.
  • Dunlap Memorial received approval to provide post-acute skilled nursing care.
  • The hospital also became a clinical site for students at Aultman Hospital’s School of Radiology.

2006

  • In February 2006, Dunlap West opened at an off-site facility in Orrville. This facility specialized in athletic training, exercise prescription and wellness services.
  • In 2006, Rod Steiger became the new president and CEO of Dunlap Memorial.
  • The Birth Center began to offer water births.

2008

  • Dunlap Memorial Hospital adopted a new name and became Dunlap Community Hospital.

2010

  • After serving as vice president of medical affairs for five years, Marchelle Suppan DPM, MBA was appointed president and CEO in November 2010.

2011

  • Dunlap Community earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for reaccreditation.
  • On July 26, 2011, the board of the Orrville Hospital Foundation signed a letter of intent for Dunlap Community Hospital to become a subsidiary of Aultman Health Foundation. The arrangement meant that Dunlap Community Hospital would remain not-for-profit in Orrville and would continue to provide high quality, cost-effective health care to the community. This agreement would also give patients and the community access to advanced services provided by Aultman Health Foundation.

2012

  • Dunlap Community Hospital officially became a subsidiary of Aultman Health Foundation through signing an official agreement.
  • With the new agreement came a new name: Aultman Orrville Hospital.

2016

  • Dunlap Family Physicians became a Rural Health Clinic.
  • Aultman Orrville Birth Center had a record number of 503 deliveries.

2017

  • Ryan Jones, MBA was appointed president and CEO in July 2017.

2018

  • Jennifer Kessel, MBA was appointed president and CEO in June 2018.
  • The Aultman Orrville Hospital Auxiliary celebrated 30 years of service.
  • The first Patient Voice Council was established.
  • Aultman Orrville Dunlap Family Physicians implemented school-based telemedicine program with Rittman Exempted Village School District.

2019

  • ANCC Pathway to Excellence designation recognizing a healthcare organization’s commitment to creating a positive practice environment.
  • Launched the first robotic assisted knee replacement program – AOH was the first hospital to implement this technology in the six-county area. The first procedure was performed by Dr. Steven Widmer.
  • For the first time in the history of AOH, the medical staff grew to over 200 physicians and advanced practice providers caring for our community.

2020

  • Celebrated 20 years of Midwifery Services at Dunlap community/Aultman Orrville hospital.
  • Carrollton Health Center, Bolivar Health Center and Tuscarawas Health Center all accredited as Rural Health Clinics.
  • Addition of daVinci Robotic Assisted Surgery for General, Gynecology, and Urology service lines. The first procedure was performed by Dr. Mark Lafferty.
  • Becker's Hospital Review
  • More Heart Wayne County
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Birth Center
  • Physical Therapy
  • Play Faster
  • Mammography Services
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