History

Parrish Medical Center - Founded in 1958

Parrish Medical Center marks 50 years of service to North Brevard in 2008.

Founded in 1958, North Brevard Hospital was a single-story, 28-bed facility set within an orange grove on the banks of the Indian River. That same year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began operations at Cape Canaveral.

Parrish Medical Center is named after the Parrish family of North Brevard who first donated land for a community hospital in the 1930s and made another major land gift in 1963. Parrish family members continue to remain involved with support for the hospital's mission.

In response to the unprecedented growth, the hospital initiated its plans for a major multistory expansion in 1961, starting with changing its name from North Brevard Hospital to Jess Parrish Memorial Hospital, in honor of the Parrish family who made a major land donation. Also after 1961, the NASA program grew in importance when President John F. Kennedy announced plans to place a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In 1963, the federal government acquired land on Merritt Island, where they developed the 52-story Vertical Assembly Building and the launch complex.

The following year, 1964, the hospital broke ground on its first major expansion, to include a seven-story, 96-bed patient tower. The seven-story patient tower was completed in 1966.

By 1981 the hospital needed to expand again, increasing the total number of licensed beds to 210. In 1990, the hospital changed its name from Jess Parrish Memorial Hospital to Parrish Medical Center. As the community continued to grow and change, so did the medical center.

In 1991 the medical center expanded its emergency department, and by the late 90s it was evident the existing facility could not continue to meet the community's needs. Planning began for a replacement hospital. Construction on the $80 million, 371,000 square-foot replacement hospital began in 2000.

Just two years later, in 2002, Parrish Medical Center opened one of the nation's first evidence-based healing hospitals. Today, hospital executives from around the world visit Parrish Medical Center to learn how to create healing hospitals in their communities.

Parrish Medical Center turns 50 in 2008, yet we show no signs of slowing down. Vibrant with vision, the medical center continues to leave its mark on the healthcare industry as a whole.

 
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