Grandview Hospital, one of the first osteopathic hospitals in the state of Ohio, was founded 90 years ago in a two-story home on West Second Street.
Doctors Heber Dill, William Gravett and Frank Dilatush founded the hospital in 1926 to practice medicine advanced by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, known as the father of osteopathic medicine.
Dr. Still believed “the body should be treated as an integrated whole, recognizing that all systems are related to and dependent upon each other for good health,” according to “Patients & Patience,” a history of Grandview Hospital written by Geoff Williams.
The hospital, originally called the Miami Clinic and then renamed the Dayton Osteopathic Hospital, opened 26 years after the first osteopathic doctor arrived in Dayton at the turn of the century.
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Dr. James Laws, medical director of Cardiac Services at Grandview Medical Center, has been training and practicing at Grandview Hospital for 45 years, half of the institutions’ 90 year history.
Laws, who studies and lectures on the history of the hospital, found a telephone book from 1919 that listed five “osteopathists.”
“They were listed just under ornamental iron work and just in front of oysters in the yellow pages,” he said.
The West Second Street hospital opened with just five beds for patients, a $25 operating room table a simple laboratory and a microscope.
Patient care cost $5 per day, which included medication, an osteopathic treatment and food, according to Williams’ narrative. A bath cost extra.
Over the next two decades, the hospital outgrew its space. In 1947, a new 65-bed hospital was dedicated on Grand Avenue.
The new hospital was the first in Dayton to have a “room in” plan. Newborn babies were able to stay in the room with their mothers instead of a nursery.
According to Dr. Laws, delivering babies is one of the foundations of osteopathic medicine and a big reason the practice at Grandview Hospital ballooned during the mid-1950s.
“In 1957 Grandview was delivering five babies a day 365 days a year. Now that’s a lot of babies being delivered,” he said. “When you get a baby delivered you got that family if they liked you half way.”
Grandview Hospital has expanded numerous times since those first years of caring for patients in a house in downtown Dayton.
One of the things Laws is most proud of during his 45 years at Grandview is the fully osteopathic heart surgery program he helped found in the mid-1980s.
“Never has that program been less than the best in this city,” he said. “It had quality as its primary goal, and everyone involved in it was struggling to see it was the best it could be.”
Today Grandview, which completed another expansion in 2013, is one of the largest osteopathic community teaching hospitals in the United States.
“In my opinion Grandview Hospital is kind of like the Harvard of the osteopathic medical profession because of the quality of good physicians that are attracted here,” Laws said.
“They’re well educated and they’re smart and they’re good and they’re ready to roll,” he said. “And man, they want to be doctors bad.”
ABOUT THIS FEATURE
HISTORY EXTRA is a weekly pictorial history feature showcasing the Miami Valley’s rich heritage. If you have a unique set of historic photos found in your parents’ or grandparents’ attic that depicts the past in the Miami Valley, contact Lisa Powell at 937-225-2229 or at Lisa.Powell@coxinc.com.