Health Care at Milton Hershey School
When Milton and Catherine Hershey founded The Hershey Industrial School (now Milton Hershey School) in 1909, they wanted to provide a healthy environment as well as proper medical care for the students. The school’s Deed of Trust specified that, “Due regard shall be paid to their health; their physical training shall be attended to, and they shall have suitable and proper exercise and recreation.”
In an article in the New York Times, Milton Hershey gave insight into why he established the school. “Without some kind of help they have no assurances for the future, not even a fair chance for health and schooling.”
In 1921, The Hershey Industrial School opened a small hospital in a house located along U.S. Route 322. The center was a six-to-eight bed facility that provided health care services to the ever-growing student population. After the influenza outbreak of 1923 when the school experienced 81 cases, Milton Hershey decided to establish a hospital with capacity to care for situations requiring greater bed capacity. The Hershey Hospital, located in Milton Hershey’s mother’s former home and another on Chocolate Avenue, opened in May 1924. In 1932, with the construction of the new Community Building, a new hospital and school infirmary opened on the building’s fifth floor. The next year, a new school infirmary opened on Route 322 and in 1941, it transitioned into a school and community hospital.
Today, we continue to fulfill Milton and Catherine Hershey’s vision by providing students with health and wellness care – including medical, dental, psychological, behavioral, and social work services. Learn more about our model for educating the whole child. It’s based on more than 108 years of experience serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
From the Vault Blog Series
The Milton Hershey School archives are full of fascinating pieces of school history—from memorials that honor the people who shaped MHS to musical instruments from 1915 that helped bring the school’s Visual and Performing Arts program to life. Follow along with our historical “From the Vault” series to view interesting artifacts and gifts that make up Milton Hershey School history.