The white clapboard building in the center of the APD campus has housed many different services, but it has only had two names: Community Care Center and the Robert A. Mesropian Center for Community Care. Affectionately called “the RAM-C” by staff, here’s the story — and the man — behind the building.
In 1987, when Robert A. Mesropian (1945-2002) was hired as president and CEO, the future of Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital was, at best, uncertain. Faced with a large deficit, it was projected the hospital would soon exhaust its reserves and be forced to close or merge with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Instead, Mesropian rallied the community to raise the monies needed not only to keep the hospital doors open, but to thrive.
Mesropian believed the strength of the institution relied heavily on the strength of its staff — the APD family. He worked hard to recruit a highly skilled and dedicated staff, and provide them with the resources to provide the highest quality care to APD’s patients.
From 1987 to 2001, the number of employees increased 40% to 450 caring and committed members. Specialists were recruited in emergency medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, anesthesia, podiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, occupational medicine, oncology, pain management, neurology, and neurosurgery. Increased staff, additions to existing facilities, new buildings, and real estate acquisitions doubled the size of the APD campus.
Over the course of 14 years, accomplishments under Mesropian’s stewardship included:
- A 1988 capital campaign raised $1 million and APD opened the Immediate Care Center, providing alternative emergency medical services.
- APD developed a full-service family medicine clinic, named the Community Care Center, in 1989 to offer primary care, internal medicine, outpatient therapy, and geriatric care.
- The Medical Office Building is built in 1990, allowing specialists to be located on campus.
- The operating room suites were expanded due to demand for surgical services in 1998.
- Harvest Hill was conceived and built in two phases: 52 modern apartments in 1996 and an additional 21 apartments in 2000.
Mesropian served as president for 14 years, before stepping down due to health challenges in 2001. Even after his retirement, he continued his philanthropic work on behalf of APD.
In 2006, APD raised $4.3 million, with a significant portion consisting of memorial donations from Mesropian’s patients and family members. The Community Care Center was renamed in his honor to the Robert A. Mesropian Center for Community Care in 2006. Today, the building is the home of Sleep Health and Integrative Medicine.
“We cannot be everything to everybody. We must focus on what we do best, and be the best at what we do.” — Robert A. Mesropian