White Haven Center was originally a Tuberculosis Sanitorium which was opened during the first week of August, 1901, with a Superintendent, a cook, and three patients.
It was located on a fairly level stretch of ground about halfway up the mountain, on what had been a farm. The buildings consisted of a farm house, which was fitted up as a kitchen, dining room and sleeping quarters for the employees, and a large barn, which was converted into a "pavilion", with accommodations for forty patients.
The original purchase of 215 acres was later increased by a gift from the Coxe Family of Drifton PA.,of $800.00, which brought the final acreage up to about 265.
Year by year new buildings were erected from August 1901 until March 1902, seventy-one patients were admitted at an average cost of $5.42 per patient, per week. From 1901 to 1941, the total number of patients treated at White Haven was 25,335, with an annual average of 617.
In 1907 one of the first training schools to provide those who recovered from Tuberculosis with means of livelihood was established at White Haven. In 1909 the first class was graduated and consisted of five nurses. From 1909 to 1942, White Haven graduated 275 nurses.
Jefferson Medical College accepted the gift of the Sanitorium, complete and outright in 1946 and operated it until March 1, 1956, when the diminishing number of Tuberculosis patients made it mandatory to close the Sanitorium.
It was accordingly sold to the State of Penna. to be used for the care of the Mentally Retarded and starting March 5,1956 was known as Pennhurst State School Annex #2, a sub-division of the Institution at Spring City, Penna. with over 463 patients between the ages of 16 to 60.
When the State of Penna took over White Haven, March 5, 1956, as a Pennhurst Annex, it was a school for the Mentally Retarded. It's first day of operation was two days later and 30 patients were in attendance during the week, as working patients, getting the site ready for occupancy. These patients came from Pennhurst, where they spent the week-ends.
The first permanent patients to arrive at White Haven, totaled 25, on March 23, 1956. This grew to a capacity of 463 by the end of the year.
During the 1960's the name of the Institution was changed from Pennhusrt to White Haven State School, and in 1962 was amended to White Haven State School and Hospital; and in 1961 was divorced from Pennhurst to become independently under State Supervision.
The new addition to the Institution, the first of three phases of construction was put into operation when the first assignment of patients, 37 patients, were transferred from the old site May 28, 1964.
On November 15, 1964, White Haven had a total of 528 patients. There are six residential buildings currently in use at the new site and each is set up to house up to 160 patients each. Many new departments have been added to White Haven since January 1, 1964, and has since changed it's name to White Haven Center, which it still is called today.
In 1960 White Haven Center employed 145 people in various classifications and as of July 16 1997 it employees 680 in total the staff to patient ratio is 1:8 which the Center meets or exceeds providing exceptional care for our Individuals.
The construction now long ago completed includes it's own boiler plant for heating the facility and hot water, it's own Maintenance building doing electrical, painting, carpentry, refrigeration, sheet metal, plumbing, and heating. Residential buildings providing around the clock care by a full compliment of trained staff including Residential Service Aides, Residential Services workers, Doctors, and Nurses. Administration building, Work shop Building, Gymnasium with an indoor basketball court, swimming pool, and weight room. Also an auditorium, a full Dietary Department with Dietitians and food service workers.
Currently in the State of Penna. there is a plan to cut the number of Individuals residing in facilities such as White Haven in half, from 3000 state wide to 1500 in the span of (FIVE YEARS) if not accelerated. As workers who are employed at this facility and some of us who have worked with these same people for up to 30 years, we feel it would be detrimental to remove these remaining people app. 360, most of them who are (PROFOUNDLY RETARDED) and in need of special around the clock care. These people have both severe medical and behavioral conditions.
We encourage all who read this to write any Penna. Representative and tell them to support HB-1000 and keep these facilities operational......
PHOTOS OF THE OLD WHITE HAVEN CENTER
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Email: SITE~MASTER ~ John Nagy