CMC History

Celebrating 60 Years of Caring for Our Community:
“The answer to our community’s greatest need.”

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this month, we’re taking a look back at important moments in the hospitals history.

In September of 1961, Toms River’s new hospital, Community Memorial Hospital, opened its doors for the first time with 50 beds, 15 physicians and 90 employees. The hospital was the product of nine years of planning and fundraising by local Toms River residents, who saw their small town was starting to grow and needed medical services close to home. Over the next 60 years, the hospital has expanded and developed to meet the needs of the booming, diverse community we now serve, with 592 beds, more than 760 physicians and over 2,500 employees.

1956 cmc

Early hospital fundraising efforts included events such as the Auxiliary Association’s ‘Operation Coffee Cup’.

In mid-September 1952, a grassroots effort began among a small group of citizens in Toms River to build a 50-bed hospital to serve their community and the surrounding towns. The effort began as a conversation among friends, Frances Pierce and Irene Doan, two local residents who had made the ten-mile trip for treatment at the nearest hospital and recognized the need for a hospital within their own community. On September 23, 1952, Irene Doan held a meeting in her home to discuss the growing town of Toms River’s need for a hospital. Soon after, Town Hall meetings were held, and community support for a hospital became wide-spread. The Community Memorial Hospital Building Fund, followed by the Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary Association, sought donations and held events, auctions, and galas to raise funds for the hospital’s construction. Early fundraising materials referred to the hospital as ‘the answer to our community’s greatest need.’ Donations poured in from countless Toms River residents, and were even featured in local papers.

1961 cmc

A large crowd gathered for the hospital’s dedication in 1961.

Frances, Irene, and other Community Memorial Hospital board members officially broke ground on the hospital in 1959. In August of 1961, a crowd of 500 people gathered at Community Memorial Hospital’s dedication. A month later, the hospital would officially open and begin to care for patients. Within its first year, Community Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room would treat 1,352 patients. The hospital’s motto is ‘The Patient is Our Purpose.”

Community Memorial Hospital’s original Maternity, Medical, and Surgical nursing staff.

It soon became clear that Community Memorial Hospital would need to expand to meet the growing need for health care services in the Toms River area – the town’s population had more than doubled in a decade. An additional wing and new units were added, increasing the hospital’s number of beds to 110, and the Emergency Department’s size is tripled.

ed ribbon cutting

Community Medical Center recently opened the first phase of the Emergency Department’s renovation.

Patient Stories

  • “Consider stepping outside of your comfort zone and make a stretch gift that is meaningful to you.”

    Rolando “Roly”
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  • "I had a fabulous experience and I am recovering well. I had planned on taking a three month trip across the country but held off because of my hip. Now, I don’t hurt anymore, I feel great and I am ready...Grand Canyon here I come!”

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  • "You never know when illness or injury may affect you or a loved one. When it does, having the best care, close to home is invaluable."

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Patient Stories

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