The first Lawrence Memorial Hospital was opened in the 300 block of Maine in a converted frame residence on January 17, 1921. During the Depression, it was organized under applicable state statutes as a municipal hospital with a governing authority of five Lawrence citizens appointed by the City Commission and Mayor. In 1979, the governing board was expanded to include seven members who served on a voluntary basis without a pay. In 1994, the Lawrence City Commission expanded the hospital board to nine trustees.
With funds supplied by Mrs. Elizabeth Watkins, the original 50-bed building was constructed and occupied in the fall of 1929. In 1937, an addition to the north, again made possible by funds donated by Mrs. Watkins, was constructed to bring the total number of beds to 75.
In the spring of 1956, a south addition was completed with funds from the federal government through the Hill-Burton program. Facilities for all departments of the hospital were included in this expansion which brought the total number of beds to 146. In December 1969, another addition opened to provide expanded service facilities and to increase the total number of beds to 165.
In August 1975, ground was broken for the construction of a new building to virtually replace the original facility and bring the total hospital bed capacity to 200. Only the 1969 addition was retained for hospital use. Patients were transferred to the newly completed structure on May 21, 1977. The old hospital building was demolished in 1999.
In 1986, Lawrence Memorial Hospital completed construction of a two-story addition to house Same-Day Surgery and education space including a 100-seat auditorium.
A three-story Medical Office Building, which was built adjacent to the hospital, opened in December 1994. A $14.5 million addition to accommodate expansion of outpatient services opened in April 1996. In February 1997, a $2.5 million construction project expanded the Emergency Department and completely renovated the Maternity Care Unit. The Radiology Department was expanded in 1998, including the addition of a permanent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility.
Also in 1998, renovation of the Intensive Care Unit and the Medical Unit, both on the second floor, was completed. In 1999 the Third Floor Surgical Unit was remodeled. In 2000, the Fourth Floor, which houses the Center for Rehabilitation and the Skilled Nursing Facility, was renovated. The Pediatric Unit was remodeled in 2001. A Treatment and Procedure Center opened on the second floor in 2002. An upgrade of the Cardiac Catheterization/Special Procedures Lab was completed in 2002 resulting in an all-digital state-of-the-art facility.
LMH opened an off-site outpatient facility, known as LMH South, in 1999. The hospital signed a 15-year lease to occupy the former Columbia/HCA Surgery Center, located at Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive. Services provided at LMH South include LMH South Therapy Services, LMH Sleep Center and other outpatient radiology services including general X-ray, CT scanning, mammography, bone densitometry, ultrasound and MRI.
An expanded Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program began in 2003 with funding received from a grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank Trustee. Expansion of the LMH Regional Oncology Center, including the addition of Radiation Therapy Services, was completed in the summer of 2003.
In 2004, LMH opened the Bob Billings Cardiac Evaluation Center which provides dedicated space in which to evaluate stable emergency patients with chest pain, congestive heart failure and other cardiac conditions that need to be monitored.
LMH launched the LMH Heart Center with the introduction of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention services in 2005. PCI, also known as Angioplasty or a balloon, is a life-saving treatment for those suffering from a heart attack or other cardiac-related problems.
In March 2009, LMH completed a three-year $45 million expansion which included new facilities for Emergency and Surgery and additional space for Maternity, Intensive Care and Critical Care. A new 18-bed wing was added which allowed the hospital to convert semi-private patient rooms to all private. The expansion was funded with hospital revenue bonds and a capital campaign which raised more than $8.1 million from the community. A 49,000-square-foot medical office building, located on the south side of the hospital campus at 1130 W. 4th Street, opened in 2010.