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History of CMC

It Started with a Dream
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What began as the dream of Dr. May Cravath Wharton years ago is now a full service medical facility dedicated to growth and to the promotion of health for those it serves. There were no doctors in Cumberland County, Tennessee when Dr. May Wharton moved to the area in 1917. The closest hospital was 85 miles from her home. In her autobiography Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands she recounts her many travels by mule or horseback through rugged terrain to meet the profuse medical needs of the mountain community. Through the efforts of May Wharton and her staff the Cumberland Medical Center was established in 1950. Cumberland Medical Center is growing with the community and its healthcare needs. Since 1950, CMC has dedicated itself to the Cumberland Plateau; that dedication has lead the hospital into the 21st century.

Below, Cumberland County student Seth Eckelson presents a documentary film which captures the historical significance of Dr. Wharton’s dream of providing quality healthcare to the community which culminated with the opening of Cumberland Medical Center in March 1950.

A Hospital Established and Growing
1921 – Dr. May Cravath Wharton opens a two-bed clinic located at Pleasant Hill. This facility soon proves inadequate.
1922 - The Uplands Cumberland Mountain Sanatorium, a 30-bed hospital at Pleasant Hill, is founded.
1950 – As the medical needs of the community grow, plans for a regional health center are formed. These plans result in the founding of Cumberland Medical Center of Crossville, a 50-bed general hospital.
1960 – With growth in the community, Cumberland Medical Center strives to keep up by adding 32-bed C-Wing.
1969 – The second floor of Cumberland Medical Center opens. In addition to 40 more beds, a five bed ICCU area and a new Surgery Department, the Outpatient Department, Emergency Room and Cafeteria are renovated and improved and waiting rooms and offices are added.
1973 – North Wing is constructed adding 32 more beds. X-Ray and Nuclear Medicine Departments are added. This project provides a new cafeteria and laundry and a more spacious kitchen. The new wing brings the bed count to 159.
1974 – A new outpatient clinic opens in August adding five suites of examining and consultation rooms, waiting rooms, nurse’s station, clinical office, and ambulance office, as well as new emergency rooms.
1975 – The hospital basement level, referred to as North Wing, is complete. Included in this addition is the relocation and renovation of the Board of Director’s room, Physical Therapy Department, Respiratory Therapy Department and Pharmacy Department.
1977 – An expansion is completed that includes new Laboratory, ICCU, and additional patient rooms that bring the total number of patient beds to 216.
1980 – A major project is completed that consists of the renovation and expansion of an existing 34 bed medical/surgical wing (C Wing) to a 32 bed obstetrical/GYN suite. The expansion includes a double corridor arrangement of 16 semi-private patient rooms, a full term nursery, two labor/recovery rooms, two delivery rooms, a father’s waiting room and adequate staff facilities. The project also includes extension of a medical/surgical wing (2North) to add 21 beds. These beds replace 21 beds lost in an earlier renovation, for a zero gain in beds.
1984 – CMC Medical Equipment Services opens
1986 – The Radiology Department is expanded to add a Computed Tomography System (CAT Scan). A new building is built on the hospital’s sub-basement level to house the new service.
1991 – Health C.A.R.E. Link opens at Fairfield Glade providing service to a fast-growing population.
1992 – Robert Couch retires after 33 years as President of Cumberland Medical Center.
1992 - Edwin S. Anderson is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer at CMC.
1993 – Cumberland Medical Center adds CMC Home C.A.R.E. to its growing list of services.
1994 – July - $10 million expansion and renovation project is complete and opens to the public. This project includes a new surgical suite, expanded physical medicine and rehabilitation department, new admitting/outpatient registration area, complete renovation and expansion of the emergency department, sterile processing and distribution, and the installation of an in-house MRI unit.
1994 – Cardiac Rehabilitation program begins at CMC.
1994 – Cumberland Medical Center opens the Subacute C.A.R.E.Unit.
1995 – CMC Primary Care Center opens. The name is later changed to CMC Physician Group.
1996 – Lithotripsy and Cardiac Catheterization Services are made available to the community.
1996 – The Regional Cancer Center opens providing cancer treatment for the Upper Cumberland region.
1996 – CMC offers bone mineral density testing to fight osteoporosis.
1996 – Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is started for patients with chronic lung disease.
1997 – The CMC Wellness Complex opens providing opportunities for health and fitness programs
for members.
2000 – CMC Celebrates 50 years of Service!
2000 – Senior Perspectives, a day treatment program for adults 60 and over opens broadening CMC’s service to the community.
2001 - Edwin S. Anderson retires January 2001 as President of Cumberland Medical Center
2001 - Jim McMackin assumes President/CEO role of CMC January 2001
2002 – New patient tower housing an expanded ICU and adult/peds private beds
2003 – Cath Lab opens and expands services to the plateau.
2004 – CMC at Physicians Associates opens allowing for off campus patient registration and physical therapy
2005 – Outpatient Diagnostic Medical Imaging Center opens
2006 – CMC opens new patient tower with all private rooms, new LDRP suites, conference center,
gift shop, cafeteria, and administrative suites.
2007 – Hospital announces a partnership with Saint Thomas in offering the Chest Pain Center at Cumberland Medical Center
2007 – CMC Auxiliary donates $176,739.00 to hospital to purchase medical equipment to be used in the hospital.
2008 – Jim McMackin retires as President/CEO of Cumberland Medical Center. Ed Anderson comes out of retirement to assume duties as President/CEO.
2008 – CMC breaks ground on expansion for CMC Regional Cancer Center.
2009 – Cumberland Medical Center offers Elekta Synergy Radiation Cancer Treatment Therapy to community.
2009 – CMC opens a Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Center
2010 – Dr. Barry Wagner assumes the leadership role at CMC as CEO
2010 - Ed Anderson is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors
2010 - J. W. Brown is named Chairman Emeritus of the CMC Board of Directors
2010 – CMC initiates a hospitalist program
2011 – CMC initiates an orthopedic surgicalist program
2011 – CMC Auxiliary donates $100,000 for the purchase of state of the art ultrasound equipment
2012 - CMC Regional Breast Center Open Featuring the Full-Field Digital Mammography System
2012 – CMC engages Thompson Cancer Survival Center to oversee the management of the regional cancer center with Jordan Johnson serving as director and Dr. Zach Fowler as radiation oncologist
2012 - Construction begins on the Medical Arts Building at Fairfield Glade
2012 – Dr. Barry Wagner resigns as CEO; Larry Moore is named interim CEO
2013 – Ed Anderson is named CEO
2014 – CMC opens the Medical Arts Building at Fairfield Glade featuring physician offices, laboratory, and medical imaging services including digital mammography
2014 – CMC becomes a member of Covenant Health
2014 – Ed Anderson retires as CMC’s CEO and Jeremy Biggs is named Chief Administrative Officer of CMC
2015 – CMC breaks ground on a new $6.4 million dollar Emergency Department
2016 - Covenant Health names David Bunch president/CAO of Cumberland Medical Center as Jeremy Biggs becomes president/CAO of Covenant Health's Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge
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Dr. May Wharton riding her mule to care for the sick of the mountain community.
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After World War II, Dr. Wharton was instrumental in gaining federal, state, and private funding for the modern Cumberland Medical Center. Located in Crossville, it opened with fifty beds in March 1950.
Her last project at Pleasant Hill was the creation of the May Cravath Wharton Nursing Home in 1957, later incorporated as Uplands, Inc., a retirement village with homes and apartments.
By now, Dr. Wharton's achievements had been recognized with awards from the Tennessee Medical Association and Carleton College. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Chattanooga in 1957.
Wharton died at the age of eighty-six on November 19, 1959.
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Dr. Wharton over looks the site where constuction would soon begin.
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The site prior to construction of Cumberland Medical Center in 1950.
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Cumberland Medical Center  - 1950
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Cumberland Medical Center expands in growth in the early 50s.