Sadler Health Center marks 101 years of service in Sept 2022. Beginning humbly as an idea to serve children in the community in need, the center now looks ahead to serve over 16,000 people of all ages with comprehensive medical, dental, behavioral and support services in 2023.
One hundred and one years ago this September, the members of the Carlisle Civic Club gathered in their president’s home to discuss how they could care for the babies and children of the community. From these humble beginnings, today, Sadler Health Center serves everyone, regardless of age and ability to pay, with comprehensive community care in Carlisle, Loysville and soon, expanding to Eastern Cumberland County (Mechanicsburg).
As recorded in the Carlisle Civic Club meeting minutes of September 30, 1921, the subject of “Child Welfare” required some action in addressing the health of the most vulnerable in the community.
“The room for the tuberculosis dispensary in the Sentinel building, being not in use all day, will furnish a good place for mother’s meetings and for babies to be brought in who also need examination and attention,” the meeting minutes record from that day. “The Child Welfare work will care for babies and little children under six years old.”
This concern to help families who had difficulty paying for services began as a small outreach in coordination with the Carlisle Hospital. Doctors volunteered their time at this clinic and funding was underwritten by the hospital. These public-health clinics in the early years were held at Allison United Methodist Church under the direction of Nurse Nancy Johnson.
The program proved to be a needed asset to the community and services beyond childhood care were being requested.
The Sadler Caring Center, recorded as officially starting service on January 31, 1984, opened as a center for low-cost or no-cost treatment and health education programs. Located at 117 N. Hanover Street, there was room for clinics, offices for home care nurses, the Child Health Center and the Life Wise program. The building itself also had offices for Family and Children’s Health Services of Harrisburg, the American Cancer Society, United Way of the Greater Carlisle Area and the American Home Health Care Services.
Today, Sadler Health Center continues across the street at 100 N. Hanover offering comprehensive medical, dental & behavioral health care in addition to support services such as insurance enrollment, COVID-19 testing & vaccines, a community health response program and referrals for basic needs such as transportation, housing and food. In addition, Sadler Health opened a dental office in 2009 in Loysville to serve Perry County.
In 2021, Sadler served 8,714 patients who came to Sadler for 31,393 visits, consisting of much needed care, resources, and immunizations.
To meet the growing needs of the community, Sadler’s newest health center is being renovated in Mechanicsburg that will offer medical, dental, women’s health, behavioral health, vision and pharmacy services. Its projected opening for patients is for 2023 and is expected to serve 8,000 patients when fully operational.
To learn more about Sadler Health Center, please visit SadlerHealth.org.
(Information from The Sentinel newspaper, “The Carlisle Hospital: The Most Important Building in Town” by Susan E. Meehan. Photographs courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society & “The Carlisle Hospital: The Most Important Building in Town” by Susan E. Meehan.)