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The history of L+M Hospital, which officially opened on April 8, 1912, is very much tied to the history of New London, where, like its hospital, the community and surrounding towns have always strived to enhance the quality of life.

This dynamic continues today. The region thrives with jobs, tourism and the arts, and its hospital, affiliated since 2016 with Yale New Haven Health, remains committed to providing the greatest of care for all residents and visitors across southeastern Connecticut, Fishers Island, NY, and beyond.

The original Joseph Lawrence Free Public Hospital was made possible thanks to a $500,000 gift from Sebastian Lawrence, a wealthy ship owner who wanted to establish a hospital in memory of his parents, Joseph Lawrence, a renowned New London whaling captain, and his wife, Nancy Brown Lawrence. That original hospital had 30 beds, a maternity ward, a nursery, and about a dozen doctors.

Today, the affiliated medical staff for L+M Hospital totals more than 760.

Smaller hospitals had served New London prior to 1912, including Memorial Hospital, built in 1893 on Garfield Avenue. In 1918, Memorial Hospital moved from Garfield Avenue to merge with the Joseph Lawrence Free Public Hospital on Montauk Avenue; it was first called Lawrence and Memorial Associated Hospitals; eventually, the name was eventually changed to what it is today.

The hospital opened its own Nursing School in 1928, with initial funding primarily from the hospital’s Auxiliary, including a substantial gift from Auxiliary President Nanine Lawrence Pond. The new nursing school was named after Pond, and while it closed in 1976, and same building is now home to L+M’s Psychiatric and Behavioral Health services.

L+M Hospital acquired its first X-ray machine in 1914, and the medical advances for patients have never stopped. Along with modern X-ray, today’s imaging modalities include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), CT and PET-CT scans, ultrasound and nuclear medicine – diagnostic tools that enable doctors and specialists to identify and treat conditions ranging from lung and breast cancers to arteriosclerosis.

Similar to the hospital’s technological advances, the training and expertise of the hospital’s medical and nursing staffs has continually kept pace with latest best practices, ensuring that even the most complex medical conditions can be addressed by specialists within Yale New Haven Health and also the affiliated Yale School of Medicine.

Today, L+M is the region’s only hospital offering emergency care for heart attack victims, as well as elective cardiovascular procedures. The region’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is also located at L+M, just down the hall from the Maternity unit.

The L+M Emergency Department, combined with a second emergency site at Pequot Health Center in Groton, treats upwards of 90,000 patients each year.

Other specialties include advanced cardiac care, acute inpatient rehabilitation, a comprehensive Urology program and minimally invasive robotic surgical capabilities. The hospital also gives back millions of dollars in community benefits each year, with much of that commitment helping to provide care for under-insured and uninsured populations.

From its original 30 beds, the hospital is now licensed for 308 beds. The hospital employs more than 2,000 people, most who live in the region and are proud to be part of a dynamic community hospital that offers world-class care.