President Wilson signed a bill in 1919 authorizing the opening of a federally operated sanatorium for soldiers, sailors & marines at Dawson Springs, Ky. The hospital was originally known as U.S. Veteran’s Hospital #79, then later, Outwood Hospital. February 22, 1922 the hospital opened to accommodate over 300 tuberculosis patients. By the late 1950s the hospital saw a reduced number of patients due to advances in treating tuberculosis and difficulty recruiting doctors and nurses to work at the isolated facility.
In early 1962, the hospital and property were handed over to the state of Kentucky. The hospital was quickly prepared to begin accepting patients from the very over crowded Frankfort State Hospital and changed it’s name to Outwood State Hospital & School. Patient population stayed around 250-300 at any given time. By 1977 new “cottage-style” buildings were constructed to replace the aging dorm style buildings that had been in use and in need of refurbishing.
Today the hospital is still in use and now known as Outwood ICF (Intermediate Care Facility).
Contributed by Phil T.
Some newspaper images are from historical archives of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky). Some photos are provided from former annual reports of the hospital to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. All other photos were obtained, donated, or copied from state and hospital archives or personal collections. Please contact us before using any photographs or images on this website. We do not own the copyrights to all photos and those photos we do own require written permission before any use.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.