The NCH Healthcare System History

The Special Care Wing with its 26 beds opened in January 1970. Also in 1970, a $2.2 million second phase of the Dual Progress Program started construction on an expansion to six floors of the hospital. On Jan. 27, 1971, a third-floor medical-surgical wing opened with 50 beds. With the latest expansion, NCH’s total bed count reached 191 then to 300 with the opening of the North Tower.

Later in the 1970s, a $16.5 million fundraising effort brought in funds for the new six-story South Tower and expansion of the laboratory, surgical suites and physical and respiratory therapy areas.

The expansion of the South Tower and the environmental services building were completed in 1980 and bed expansion passed the 400-bed mark.

The days of being a purely “downtown” hospital ended with NCH’s development of the North Collier Health Center, a round-the-clock satellite of NCH that opened on Oct. 15, 1984. The operation offered emergent and primary care to northern Collier County and south Lee County.

On Feb. 4, 1985, the Marco Island Urgent Care Center opened under NCH management. A variety of services for minor illnesses and injuries were offered to the island community.

The ongoing expansion of NCH saw the completion in 1986 of the then-current downtown program that included the demolition of the original NCH building and work continued into 1987 for refurbishing of such components as a supply department and the main lobby.

Space leased to Naples Day Surgery in 1986 brought the first helicopter landing pad to the NCH campus, thereby reducing critical care time. Previously, medical flights had to land at such locations as vacant property next to the downtown library branch (several blocks south of NCH) and then transportation via ambulance to the hospital.

Continue to: The Future Continues (1990's)