Kimball Medical Center Centennial Celebration Continues June 2
It started as the 16-bed, nine-doctor Paul Kimball Hospital on May 1, 1913. Now Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood starts its second hundred years with a celebration that began with a “family birthday party” on the grounds and continues June 2 at First Energy Park .
“We’re having a ‘Kimball Community Day,’ during the Lakewood Blueclaws matchup against the West Virginia Power, says Kimball Foundation Vice President Pauline Gaffney. “Anyone who was born at Kimball, or anyone in the community” has an invitation, she says.
Game time is at 1:05, but “there’ll be lots going on at the stadium that day,” she continues. “Bring your kids. There’ll be rides, laser tag, and face painting…then we’ll have a game with entertainment between innings. It’s going to be all about Kimball.”
When it opened, Kimball was Ocean County’s first hospital. It grew gradually and methodically, adding a total of eight operating rooms between 1969 and 1985.
Along the way, it developed a reputation for rapid response to crises it its own back yard, says Pauline. Kimball doctors dispatched themselves to the beach near Asbury Park where the luxury liner Morro Castle burned in 1934.
Just three years later, they hurried to Lakehurst when the airship Hindenburg burst into flames on approach. They would go on to respond to successive disasters all the way through Hurricane Sandy.
Kimball Medical Center entered a new phase through its merger into the Barnabas Health system. The move allows for expansion of its pediatric and geriatric services through partnership with Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch.
It also provided the financial cushion to open the Jacqueline Wilentz Breast Cancer Center on the Lakewood campus.
More observances and events to illustrate Kimball’s history are being planned for the remainder of the year. Visit the Kimball web page here.