A History of Kane's Hospitals

Kane's first medical facility, The Woodside Cottage Hospital, was originally a one-story building located near the corner of Biddle and Y Streets. Dr. Elizabeth Kane and her two sons, Dr. Evan O'Neil Kane and Dr. Thomas L. Kane, organized it in 1887. The building served the community for about five years, until a need for expansion became evident. Land was donated on Greeves Street, where the Methodist Church now stands, for the project.

The hospital was moved intact to this new location, with the patients and staff still inside. The original building was raised up to become a second story, with a new first story built underneath. The name was then changed to the Kane Summit Hospital, and it was organized as a nonprofit corporation. A nurse's training school was instituted in 1898 and was operated until early 1929. Dr. Mary J. Hays directed this school, in which many of our local nurses of the time graduated.

Thomson House Hotel before becoming Kane's Summit Hospital

In 1901, Dr. Elizabeth D. Kane gave the “Thomson House” Hotel and its lands to the corporation. The hotel was renovated to become a modern treatment facility. In 1913 a two-story brick building was added for the isolation of contagious diseases. The facility became widely known as a tuberculosis hospital. A laundry building was added in 1917. Dr. H. M. Cleveland took over the hospital in 1938. He downsized the building by removing a large portion of the hospital's upper floors. He renovated the building to give it its present look. It had an operating room and 23 beds after the remodeling. Dr. Dutter and Dr. McCarthy were the two physicians who provided the medical care for many years. The Summit Hospital ceased operations on July 5, 1970, after the death of its only remaining medical practitioner, Dr. Dutter. The building was put up for sale and purchased by the Kane Community Hospital in 1971. The buildings are now used as offices of Kane Community Hospital. The medical complex is now known as Summit Park Medical Center and is used for KCH Billing, KCH Home Health Care, and offices of family medicine, gynecology and women's health, internal medicine and general surgery.

Kane Doctor Amazed Medical World in 1921

The operation - a common appendectomy, performed many times throughout history before this day in 1921, becomes an extraordinary event in the little town of Kane. Doctor Evan O'Neill Kane, whose father was the founder of the town, wanted to prove something to the medical world. It was his belief that ether was being used far too often when less dangerous local anesthetics could be used. So he set out to perform an appendectomy using only a local anesthetic. This would not be amazing in itself until the patient is known. The patient was Dr. Kane, the 60-year-old Chief Surgeon of Kane Summit Hospital. He removed his own appendix.

To accomplish this he was propped up on the operating room table with a mirror over his abdomen. Three other doctors looked on, in case of trouble, as he began to make the necessary incision for the removal of the vermiform appendix. In those days this procedure called for a much larger incision than today's Band-Aid surgery. With his skilled hands he located the inflamed tissue and carefully removed it from his intestine. Assistants then sutured the wound. This was neither Dr. Kane's first self-surgery, nor his last. In 1919 he amputated one of his own fingers. Then in 1932, at age 70, he performed an operation on himself to correct an inguinal hernia that had bothered him since he was first injured in 1926 while riding horseback. This was the most dangerous of the three operations that he did because of the close proximity to the femoral artery. The suture needle must penetrate within one-eighth of an inch of this important artery.

With nerves of steel he performed flawlessly in the one hour and fifty-five minute operation. Dr. H. M. Cleveland and a team of nurses were there to assist, but only helped during the most trying moments. Dr. Kane was calm and relaxed during the whole operation. He even joked with the nurses as he worked, asking them if they were comfortable. About an hour into the operation the moment of truth arrived. He said, "The risk is here and I must face it," in a relaxed tone as he prepared to thread the Kangaroo suture under his abdominal muscle and to within millimeters of the important vessels. Everyone held their breath in silence until the crisis had passed. Dr. Cleveland declared the operation a success and Dr. Kane recovered quickly enough to assist in the operating room 36 hours later. Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane was an important part of Kane's local history.

Kane Community Hospital

In 1927, the people of Kane began to realize that a newer hospital would be needed to replace the aging Summit Hospital. The Summit was one of the oldest wooden buildings of the town and its age was causing it to become very costly to maintain.

Mr. W. S. Calderwood began to organize the community project. He formed committees to plan and seek funds for the project. The first sweep of the area found $90,000 in pledges for the project. It was decided that $200,000 would be needed in order to start the plans in motion. The Kane community pulled together, as they always seem to do, and came up with $205,000 in only four days.

The committee chose a site for the project at the now Buyer's Fair Plaza, but this site proved to be too difficult to procure. A second option became evident at the Campbell Farm Site, which was promptly purchased for a reasonable fee.

Work began almost immediately. The Bid for building the hospital went to the Hyde-Murphy Company of Ridgway, Pennsylvania. They finished the construction on November 1, 1928. The hospital was originally designed to be a fifty-bed hospital but numerous additions have been made over the years.

In 1972 an addition was made which included a new lobby, business offices, additional patient rooms, and solariums on the west wing.

In 1980 a brand new ER, surgical department, intensive care unit and additions to laboratory and radiology were made with a 2.5 million dollar loan for construction and modernization.

In 1999 KCH was recognized as a Top 100 rural hospital of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

In 2000 a new building to house physician practices was established on the hospital campus known as the KCH Physician Building/Annex behind the Hospital.

KCH and Hamot Heart Institute launched a new partnership to provide enhanced cardiac diagnosis and services at KCH, establishing a specialty cardiology clinic with Hamot cardiologists coming to Kane to see patients.

Also in 2000 KCH also became the major sponsor for the premier event of the American Cancer Society Kane Area Relay for Life. (In 9 years the Kane Area Relay has raised over $525,000.)

KCH Diagnostic Imaging was renovated to include an MRI suite to house the first open fixed MRI in the region.

In 2002 KCH launched a successful surgical weight loss program that remains a unique specialty program. Patients from all around the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond have been offered a new lease on life and health. By July 2003, 249 surgical weight loss surgeries had been performed with patients from 18 states. The number of surgeries now exceeds 800.

In 2002-03 our ICU was renovated with an additional ICU bed and ICU step down room created to accommodate our growing Surgical Weight loss program, and enhanced our surgical procedure capacity.

The Main lobby was renovated and contains our reception area. Friends of KCH Gift Shop off the main lobby was created for employees, patients and their families.

Also new ER and Surgical Waiting rooms were created to provide home-like comfort for family and friends. Our cardiac and respiratory departments merged to form Cardiopulmonary Lab relocated at the center of patient care on the first floor, where Hamot Heart Cardiologists see patients at KCH Cardiac Clinics in modern, state of the art facilities.

KCH added automated medication administration system, Pyxis, to reduce the chance of medication errors. Continued expansion and improvement of computer technology adding wireless portable nursing units. Installed state of the art patient monitoring equipment in ICU and Medical Surgical Units.

KCH was awarded “Most Wired” rural Hospital for advanced technology

In 2003 Summit Park Medical Center was renovated to serve more patients consulting physicians of family and internal medicine, gynecology and women's health, and surgery.

In 2003, KCH started a partnership with Kane Rotary, (later with Sheffield and Johnsonburg Rotaries, and Ridgway's Helpmates, Inc.) to produce a community Multiphasic Blood screenings and simultaneous health fair. The partner community organization staffed the non-medical positions of the operations and earned the proceeds for gifting to each communities needs.

In 2004-05 KCH continued upgrades in Diagnostic Imaging and renovation of the area resulting in the region's leading edge diagnostic center with 32-slice CT, CT angiography; a nuclear medicine program with dual-head camera; all digital x-ray, fluoroscopy, and chest system; open MRI; the latest advances in ultrasound, the gold standard in full body bone density, capsule endoscopy (camera in a pill), and mammography.

Upgrades and renovations in the KCH ER were completed for disaster preparedness, patient privacy, and immediate triage and bedside ER registration.

KCH has a commitment to leading edge technology, which included KCH's Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS). PACS made it possible for filmless technology. KCH no longer prints x-ray images on film, unless requested by the physician. All images are kept on file in a computer database, allowing your physician to view your images from anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night.

In 2005 KCH purchased the Johnsonburg Health Center and moved its doctors to the larger facility. A dental clinic was added and additional outpatient services including PET/CT.

In 2006 residents of the KCH Service area have access to leading edge diagnostics, a 38-in patient hospital, Nutrition & Wellness Center, Community Clinics in Kane, Sheffield, Johnsonburg and Ridgway.

In 2007 KCH launched their Cardiac Rehab & Wellness, complete with community fitness center and Healthways exercise programs such as SilverSneakers®, a very popular site for those seeking a healthy lifestyle.

Throughout 2008 KCH's strategic planning efforts engaged hospital leadership and physicians in a search for a partner to help ensure care and services in the community remained viable well into the 21st Century. A year of due diligence helped KCH streamline efforts and become a worthy candidate for uplink.

In 2008, the family practice of Linda Rettger, M.D. and Eric Asp PA-C became a hospital-based clinic --Mt. Jewett Family Practice. This brought the total of hospital based primary care clinics to five communities -- Kane, Mt. Jewett, Sheffield, Johnsonburg and Ridgway.

KCH Today

Hamot Medical Park building in Johnsonburg became a joint venture between Hamot and KCH in mid 2009.

In 2009, KCH's 80th anniversary year, stereotactic breast biopsy equipment was purchased with the help of grants. The breast biopsy, MRI, Digital Mammography and Ultrasonography together will create a breast health center that will launch by April of 2010.

Also in 2009 KCH's long-awaited digital mammography arrived in time for a six-week celebration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month allowing reduced rate mammography with the new digital equipment.

During the 2009 Holidays, KCH Leadership enhanced their commitment to the Kane Area beyond free health fairs and reduced rate screenings, by donating $1,150 to the Kane Area Food Pantry and Toys for Tots.

In 2009 KCH made perhaps its most critical decision in eight decades. That was to not just have a clinical association with their decade-long partner, but to enter into a business partnership and become Hamot's first affiliated community Hospital. The ceremony for this relationship took place November 19, 2009.

In 2010 KCH leadership helped purchased and donated $500 of product toward the assembly of health hygiene kits for Haiti's earthquake victims, a community outreach.

MRI suite renovations made way for the mid-February arrival of KCH's new MRI, for final installation, evaluation and testing, ready for patients by March 1. The MRI is also the final of four diagnostic modalities for the launch of KCH's Breast Health Center launch.

KCH entered into a multi-year telecommunications deal with Zito Media Communications in 2008 to provide the Hospital with an ultra high speed Internet connection via the company's newly built fiber optic ring in McKean County.

In January 2010, Kane's upload speed jumped to 700 times faster than a T1 line, allowing the Hospital to transmit huge CT scan files to larger hospitals for diagnosis in mere seconds, a process that used to take an average of 45 minutes.

This enhanced speed helps, for example, stroke victims who need immediate diagnosis of cause to determine treatment options in those golden early moments when action for optimal recovery is critical.

Working with Hamot Medical Center leadership, KCH leadership and physicians will implement a plan to enhance care and services at KCH.

In 2010 KCH will integrate operations with our new partner. Hamot emergency medicine physicians will begin managing and staffing physician operations of the KCH ER and establish a fast track after hours for patients needed lower level care.