Health & Family

Carolinas HealthCare System marks its 75th anniversary this week

Carolinas Medical Center started as Charlotte Memorial Hospital 75 years ago this week. It’s now the flagship of Carolinas HealthCare System, an $8 billion organization with more than 40 hospitals across two states.
Carolinas Medical Center started as Charlotte Memorial Hospital 75 years ago this week. It’s now the flagship of Carolinas HealthCare System, an $8 billion organization with more than 40 hospitals across two states. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

Carolinas HealthCare System celebrates its 75th anniversary this week with two events commemorating the public institution’s history of providing health care for the Charlotte community.

On Wednesday, the public is invited to the premiere of a documentary about the hospital system at 7:30 p.m. at the Halton Theater at Central Piedmont Community College, 1206 Elizabeth Ave. A free dessert and coffee reception will follow.

The 27-minute documentary, “A Legacy of Caring: 75 Years of Carolinas HealthCare System,” was produced by WTVI in cooperation with the hospital system. The film includes video messages from doctors, nurses and patients as well as many historical photos.

Charlotte Memorial Hospital, now called Carolinas Medical Center, opened on Oct. 7, 1940, at its current site after St. Peter’s Hospital closed at Sixth and Poplar streets. That single charity hospital has grown into the sprawling, $8 billion hospital system that today includes more than 40 hospitals, about 175 doctors’ offices and 60,000 employees across two states.

Among important dates across the years: The first Charlotte heart transplant in 1986. The merger with Mercy Health Services, including Mercy Hospital and Mercy South in Pineville, in 1995. And opening of Levine Children’s Hospital in 2007 and Levine Cancer Institute in 2012.

On Saturday, hospital officials will celebrate the anniversary with a festival from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in front of Carolinas Medical Center. The event, to be held in parking lots A and B at Kings Drive and Medical Center Drive, will include free food, free health screenings and information, tours of the CMC campus, and children’s activities, such as face painting and bounce houses.

Details: www.carolinashealthcare.org/75years.

Karen Garloch: 704-358-5078, @kgarloch

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