Prior to 1922, the Meyersdale area had no designated hospital facilities. Patients who were seriously ill traveled to Cumberland, Maryland by means of the railroad or dusty roads to be admitted into a hospital. In 1922, Dr. C. C. Glass, an enterprising young physician, saw the great need for a hospital in Meyersdale. Dr. Glass and his wife, a registered nurse, opened up the Hazel McGilvery Hospital later that year. The hospital was named after Dr. Glass's wife and head nurse.
In 1944 Dr. J. W. Wenzel, another Meyersdale physician, closed his tiny hospital located on Salisbury Street in Meyersdale. This put an even bigger burden on the Hazel McGilvery Hospital, which was already overwhelmed with patients. The need for a community hospital was first discussed at a Rotary Club meeting in 1944. The Meyersdale Borough got involved in turning the Rotary's vision into a reality in 1945.
On March 25, 1946, ground was broken for Meyersdale Community Hospital. William G. Baltzer, a contractor from Shanksville, Pennsylvania was in charge of the building project. Thanks to the efforts of local residents and countless fund raisers, funding for the hospital continued to meet the expenses of the building project. A highlight of the fund raising process was the return of the world renowned baritone and Meyersdale native, John Charles Thomas. In 1948, Thomas performed a concert in Meyersdale with all the proceeds benefiting the hospital building project. It turned out to be the highlight of the initial fund raising campaign.
After six years of planning, building, and fund raising, Meyersdale Community Hospital was established in 1952. The hospital was dedicated to the people of Meyersdale and surrounding communities who saw the need for skilled health care in an isolated area.
In 1970, construction began on expanding the hospital. Two wings were added to the hospital to provide a new delivery room, intensive care unit, recovery room, nursery, additional inpatient beds, laboratory facilities, dietary facilities, and dining facilities. Construction of these two areas was completed in 1972.
After several months of negotiation, Meyersdale Community Hospital and Conemaugh's Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown signed a master affiliation agreement on May 26, 1994. The agreement officially established the Conemaugh Health System. The affiliation gave Meyersdale the wherewithal to continue its primary care mission and gives it the backing of the regions only trauma center and teaching hospital. Shortly after the affiliation, Meyersdale Community Hospital changed its name to Meyersdale Medical Center.
In 1992 and 1996, Keith Buterbaugh, a Broadway star and Meyersdale native, performed two benefit concerts for Meyersdale Medical Center. He has starred in many Broadway productions, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's, Phantom of the Opera. Interestingly enough, Mr. Buterbaugh is a relative of the late John Charles Thomas.
Another major renovation project took place in the winter of 1997. This time the focus of building plan was the construction of a new emergency department, expansion of surgical services, and rehabilitation services, and the improvement of nearly every clinical area. The $2.75 million project was developed through a special planning committee and the Conemaugh Health System. In the Summer of 1998, the project was finished.