In 1912, nine women in Wayne, Pennsylvania, formed the Neighborhood League of the Main Line. Their purpose: "To promote moral, social, and physical betterment in the community." Today's Penn Medicine at Home (formerly Neighborhood Health) at Chester County Hospital traces its roots to this event.
One of their first accomplishments was the hiring of a visiting nurse, who cared for "infants with summer complaint, disease of the pelvic organs, brains and nerves, kidney and bladder, typhoid fever..." and the like. A social worker was added in 1913.
The organization quickly evolved and became part of the community's essential mix of health services, as evidenced by words such as these.
"...what a comfort it is to know that I can call on her [the homecare nurse] whenever it is necessary...Is it not these kindnesses which count, is not such an organization worthy of the encouragement and support of the community? Are we not helped materially and spiritually when we make an effort to help our deserving home folks?"
- Letter from Homebound Resident, 1921
The evolution of Neighborhood Health progressed nonstop through wars, the great flu epidemic, the Great Depression, polio, radical social change, Medicare, moon landings, managed care, along with technological and medical breakthroughs too incredible and numerous to count. Nearly 100 years after the simple beginning in 1912, the vision of those nine founders remains valid and vital. The Chester County community still benefits from their bold, visionary work.
In 1995, Neighborhood Health became a subsidiary of Chester County Hospital, and in 2013, a member of Penn Medicine alongside Chester County Hospital. Neighborhood Health continued providing excellent care to the Chester County, PA community as part of Penn Home Care & Hospice Services, Penn Medicine’s entity providing home-based care.