In the fall of 1901, nine physicians, with the help of public subscription, purchased the ‘Fessenden-Stakpole Homestead’ on the corner of Maple and White streets in Rockland. For $3,000 they bought the house and equipped it as an 11-bed hospital. This was the beginning of the Knox County General Hospital.
In 1959 and 1969, extensive renovations and additions brought the number of beds up to 89. Also in 1969, officers from Camden Community Hospital and Knox County General Hospital formed the Penobscot Bay Medical Center Corporation.
On Oct. 5, 1975, Penobscot Bay Medical Center opened its doors as a modern, 106-bed acute care facility. In June of the following year the former Knox County General Hospital began operations as the Knox Nursing Home, a 44-bed intermediate care facility. In August, 1976 the Physicians Building adjacent to PBMC was completed, providing office space near the hospital for PBMC physicians.
In 1982 Penobscot Bay Medical Center and Camden Health Care Center formed the Northeast Health System. Northeast health System grew to include Pen Bay Speech and Hearing, Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care & Hospice, Choice Skyward and Mid-Coast Mental Health Services. Other services, such as the PBMC Child Care Center and Health Connections (an employee health service) have been added to the growing list of community service organizations and agencies.
In 1992, the 1919 section of the former Knox County General Hospital was demolished to make way for the new, state-of-the-art Knox Center for Long Term Care. In 1994 the boards of the various Northeast Health components united to become one governing board. Also in 1994, the newly constructed Psychiatric & Addictions Recovery Center (PARC) opened at PBMC.
In 2000, PBMC celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of events and the unveiling of a quilt made by members of the hospital staff, trustees, and volunteers. The quilt hangs in the main corridor of the hospital. Meanwhile, extensive additions and renovations gave the hospital an entirely new face for the 21st Century.
In 2002, the Quarry Hill retirement community opened on the site of the former Camden Health Care Center. Convenient to intown Camden, Quarry Hill offers independent living amid the privacy of 26 landscaped acres, as well as services for assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s care.
On Aug. 2, 2005, Northeast Health System and Mid-Coast Mental Health Center announced that after careful consideration and determination of real benefit to our community and patients, the Boards of both organizations had approved the plan for MCMHC to be acquired by Northeast Health System and the name would be changed to Pen Bay Healthcare. As the name change from Northeast Health to Pen Bay Healthcare in June 2006 indicates, change is constant as we grow to meet the needs of our community. In 2010, MCMHC was acquired by MaineHealth in Portland.
In January 2011, Pen Bay Healthcare became a full member of MaineHealth and the hospital changed its name to Pen Bay Medical Center.
Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital entered into an alliance in 2014 and officially begin operating as a unified system on December 1, 2015. Each center remains the same, we’re simply offering our shared services and programs to the entire region. This collaboration allows us to enhance patient care, control the rising cost of healthcare and improve the health of people in the communities we serve.
Since the beginning of the Pen Bay Medical Center/Waldo County General Hospital collaboration process in the fall of 2014, we have successfully integrated more than 50 clinical and non-clinical programs. These consolidated programs help us provide high-quality, specialty care to our friends and neighbors in a more efficient way.
In May 2016, three leaders in home health care — HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care & Hospice and Waldo County Home Health and Hospice — joined together to form MaineHealth Care At Home. Pen Bay Medical Center provides comfort, care and support to people in their homes in the Midcoast through MaineHealth Care at Home.