In today’s column, Mr. Scott Haff, great-grandson of Dr. Charles Haff, this writer and Larry Oberly look back to the sad closing of the Haff Hospital.
The year is 1960. After much study, Dr. Haff had concerns about the future of the hospital. One morning, a group of officials from the state welfare department came to inspect the hospital. The hospital had to make major renovations to conform with the new state standards. Since this was a private hospital, Dr. Haff did not have the financial resources to make the improvements.
Dr. Haff did not want to see Northampton lose the hospital, but could the hospital survive?
The Allentown Osteopathic Hospital was aware of Haff’s problems and made a proposal to Haff and the community to continue the operation of the hospital.
Dr. Haff offered to sell the hospital to Northampton. Anthony Billera, George Schisler and Stanley Smith co-chaired a committee to raise funds. After much discussion, Allentown Osteopathic purchased the hospital for $250,000.
On Jan. 31, 1962, Allentown Osteopathic assumed ownership and changed the name to Northampton Medical Center. Dr. Haff opened a new office at 326 E. 21st St. He retired in 1976 and passed away in 1987.
The osteopathic hospital was unprofitable, as many former patients decided to go to other hospitals for their medical needs. The hospital ended emergency treatment services and changed its services to a detoxification and rehabilitation center but eventually closed the hospital.
From 1980 to 1990, the old hospital was converted to a medical center. Many of our readers used the services of the skilled family physicians there until they moved to a new location.
In 2001, the Northampton Area School District purchased the building to utilize as its administration center.
The Haff Hospital served the area from 1922 to 1960. Many residents received medical treatment at the hospital, but as the years move on, the legacy of the Haff Hospital has faded into our local history.
This writer and Larry Oberly will see you in two weeks.