The hospitals of the Blue Mountain Health System provide a wide array of inpatient and outpatient services at both the Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton campuses. Blue Mountain Health System also offers many educational and community services. Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital and Palmerton Hospital, not-for-profit health care organizations, were founded to meet the needs of their communities. Both embody the spirit of community hospitals which have public service at the heart of their mission. Blue Mountain Health System, in announcing the historic partnership, promised, "We will preserve the rich histories that these individual hospitals created over the years." Palmerton Hospital has not stopped growing since the day ground was broken on June 8, 1907. It took less than a year to complete the first structure - a modest eleven bed facility which was created by The New Jersey Zinc Company as a non-profit institution after a severe typhoid epidemic had ravaged the community. By 1911, it had expanded to 30 beds and by 1926 it reached its present capacity of 70 beds. For 31 years, from 1910 to 1951, the Palmerton Hospital operated a School of Nursing to meet the community's increased patient care need. A new era dawned in 1963 when New Jersey Zinc officially presented the hospital to the community. Faced with challenges to modernize, the hospital and the community joined hands in a capital campaign which led to the construction of an entirely new patient care wing. Many renovations and modernization projects ensued throughout the next 40 years. Earlier this year, the hospital entered into a partnership with a private company to build a three-story, 39,000 square-foot assisted living facility on 18 acres along Princeton Avenue. Today, Palmerton Hospital employs approximately 360 people and its medical staff of more than 130 physicians represents more than 30 medical specialties. Gnaden Huetten draws its heritage from the pre-colonial Moravian settlers who in 1746 established a mission, gnadenhuetten, at the mouth of the Mahoning Creek in the vicinity of what today is Lehighton. Following World War II there was a desire by the citizens of Lehighton to establish a memorial in tribute to those Carbon County residents who lost their lives serving their country. On February 12, 1946, the Lehighton residents voted to establish a hospital that would serve as this living memorial. When the articles of incorporation were signed on February 7, 1947 Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital was born. Ground was broken and construction began in June of 1949. Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital was dedicated on March 31, 1951 with the following proclamation: "This shall stand forever as a living memorial to the sacred memory of the men and women of Carbon County who gave their lives so that the world might be one step nearer the peace all men prayerfully hope for." Over many years and many renovations and construction projects, Gnaden Huetten has evolved into an acute care hospital with 111 licensed beds, a 91-bed skilled-nursing facility, and a home health care agency employing approximately 680 people. As a combined organization, Blue Mountain Health System provides a full array of services: from wellness programs, to its two hospitals, to a rehabilitation facility, to long-term care, to home health care, to adult day care and assisted living. It is Carbon County's second largest employer with over 1,000 employees and assets over $80 million. By combining resources, Blue Mountain Health System will be able to fulfill its mission: "to promote, maintain and restore the good health of all the people in the communities we serve through partnerships for excellence in health care service delivery."