The history of Pennsylvania hospitals throughout the last 100 years is rich and full as they worked closely with HAP to improve the health of the people they serve.

HAP Centennial Banner

The Arc of History

HAP Centennial 1921-2021

When HAP was founded 100 years ago, its objective was to promote the welfare of the people of the commonwealth, and that remains HAP’s goal today. During 2021, HAP reflected on the tremendous strides and struggles throughout each decade, highlighting milestone moments including the creation of the Quality Care Assessment, advances in quality improvement, emergency management, advocacy, and research capabilities, the merger with the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, HAPevolve’s creation, and HAP’s triumphant return to downtown Harrisburg after a multi-decade self-imposed exile to the suburbs. HAP's 100-year anniversary was used as a springboard to amplify thought leadership from hospital leaders and, of course, to reflect upon HAP’s leadership and Pennsylvania hospitals’ response to COVID during our 100th year.

Most important, however, is to use the anniversary to connect the past to our bright future. In fact, the anniversary year logo symbolizes the “arc of history” and our tagline reinforces that we’ve been working “100 years toward better health,” which means we’re not there yet.

Every member of the HAP staff is grateful to be part of this history. HAP is dedicated and committed to representing the hospitals and health systems of the future as they strive to improve the health status of every Pennsylvanian.

HAP Centennial Timeline



The COVID-19 Pandemic

HAP galvanizes support to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide additional aid for Pennsylvania’s hospitals.


Celebrating 100 Years

HAP celebrates its centennial and “100 years toward better health.”



Quality Care Assessment

HAP partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to develop the Quality Care Assessment.


New Mission

HAP’s new mission statement affirms its commitment to be the leading advocate for improving the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians.

May 2016

Healthy Me PA Launched

HAP launched Healthy Me PA, a grassroots digital community designed to bring together Pennsylvanians who care passionately about health and health care.


A Strong Workforce

HAP helped to lay a foundation for the health care workforce of the future by building legislative support for a resolution to survey health care workforce trends and needs in Pennsylvania.


Rural Health Care

The state enacted legislation creating the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center, which will serve as the governing body of the new HAP-supported Rural Health Model.



Protecting Health Care

HAP becomes a founding member of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care.


Reforming Liability

HAP helps secure landmark medical liability reforms


Faces of Caring

HAP launched the “Faces of Caring” campaign to highlight the devastating impact that proposed Medical Assistance cuts would have on patients, hospitals, and communities.


Budget Funding Restored

HAP launched a budget advocacy campaign that resulted in the restoration of $145.1 million in hospital funding that was slated to be cut from the state budget.


At the start of the decade

A New Vision

HAP launched its plan for the future, known as Health Care Vision 2000. The plan would become the cornerstone for the association to build its future, with a strong emphasis on leadership, partnerships, and service to the hospital community.


New Leadership

Carolyn Scanlan joined HAP during 1995 and served as HAP’s president and CEO through 2012. In a 1995 letter to members, she wrote: “Working together, we will reach our destination—the best health care system possible for the people we serve.”


MA Rate Agreement

HAP negotiates a nearly $205 million increase in the Medical Assistance rate agreement with the commonwealth.



New Leadership

James Neely’s tenure as HAP’s CEO came to an end during 1983. Neely’s successor, John A. Russell, previously served as CEO of Hershey Medical Center and as HAP’s senior vice president, hospital services.


PHC4 Created

As debate swirls about hospital rate-control policy, HAP serves as a trusted voice to create the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.


New Headquarters Building

HAP moved to its new headquarters in Swatara Township. The 84,000-square-foot modern headquarters was home base for HAP until 2016, when the association returned to downtown Harrisburg.



Celebrating 50 years

Celebrating its 50-year anniversary, HAP has grown from 34 charter members to more than 3,000 and from 30 institutional members to more than 300.


New Leadership

James Neely began his tenure as HAP’s CEO.


Malpractice Insurance Crisis

HAP advocates to address a growing medical malpractice insurance crisis, beginning decades of advocacy about this important issue.


HAPAC Formed

The newly formed Hospital Association Political Action Committee (HAPAC) raises funds to support 116 candidates for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.



State Medical Assistance Plan

HAP urges Pennsylvania to establish the Medical Assistance to the Aged program, delivering more than $30 million annually to support care for people 65 and older.


During 1940

An Early Response

In response to the threat posed by the widening war in Europe, a massive national defense program by the U.S. was started. HAP immediately participated in the program with the purchase of a $5,000 ($92K today) National Defense Bond.

During 1940

Committee on Preparedness

HAP established a Committee on Preparedness to coordinate with an American Hospital Association committee working on plans for the active participation of hospitals as the nation readied for almost certain entry into World War II.

During 1941

The Legislative Committee

Legislative priorities included: obtaining increased state aid for hospitals; encouraging voluntary participation in the State Medical Care program; and supporting amendments to restore the hospital as “a party in interest” under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

December 7, 1941

War Conference

Marking its 20th anniversary, HAP, along with the rest of the nation, quickly became caught up in war efforts after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. HAP’s annual conference was labeled “War Conference” and focused the personnel shortages.

May 1944

Second War Conference

HAP’s annual conference labeled the “Second War Conference” held at Pittsburgh’s William Penn Hotel focused on public health after the war, and plans for postwar hospital construction and planning.

August 1944

A First

HAP sponsored a public relations institute in State College. It was the first ever sponsored by a state hospital association.

During 1946

The Hill-Burton Act 

The Hill-Burton Act triggered a hospital building boom throughout the nation. Cognizant of the act’s impact, HAP prepared legislative initiatives that would pave the way for participation by PA’s hospitals.

During 1946

The HAP Emblem

Moving to enhance HAP’s growing presence in state affairs, the delegates approved an official HAP emblem; a keystone with an eagle perched on top.

During 1947

Unprecedented Construction

An unprecedented program of hospital facility construction and expansion was underway throughout PA. HAP played a major role in the program, with efforts bringing to the state millions of federal dollars.

During 1947

State-Aid Patient Rate 

HAP successfully lobbied to increase the state aid patient rate from $4 to $5.50 per day (approximately $64 today).

During 1948

Drafting a New Plan

Inconsistent management of hospital expansion became a cause for concern. HAP helped draft a plan for construction and coordination of hospital facilities under the direction of the Department of Welfare.

April 1948

Broadcasting Success

HAP’s growing stature was noted when the annual meeting, held at Philadelphia’s Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, was televised; the first TV broadcast of a hospital association convention.

During 1948

Middle Atlantic Assembly

HAP joined the hospital associations of New York and New Jersey to create the Middle Atlantic Assembly, designed to assist hospitals in improving service, encouraging professional education, and aiding public health education.


January 1, 1950

A New Affiliation

HAP affiliated with the American Hospital Association, prompting HAP’s trustees to take a critical look at HAP’s headquarters in the PA Chamber of Commerce building in Harrisburg.

During 1951

Hospital Auxiliaries 

HAP, recognizing the importance of volunteers, played a role in the formation of the Pennsylvania Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. A year later, HAP added a Council on Hospital Auxiliaries to its organizational structure.

August 1952

The Rabbit Hutch

HAP moved to the second floor of the Masonic Building at Third and State Street, however, the sale of the building a short time later resulted in HAP relocating to 610 N. Third Street. The new, unappealing, offices were labeled “a rabbit hutch” by staff.

During 1953

A Realistic Reimbursement

HAP successfully lobbied for an increase in the daily rate of reimbursement by the state to hospitals for inpatient care, taking it from $6.50 to $7 (approximately $68 today).

During 1954

Adequate Aid

HAP, heavily involved in a broad spectrum of hospital interests, still focused its its primary efforts on the state legislature. HAP undertook a public relations program as it intensified its campaign for adequate state aid for hospitals.

July 1955

Another First

The newly HAP-affiliated Pennsylvania Association of Hospital Auxiliaries held a workshop at The Pennsylvania State University. It was the first to be held in the United States.


March 4, 1935

State Appropriations to Hospitals

Gov. George Earle provides $1 million in hospital aid after action is demanded to save 71 hospitals in critical financial condition and 17 more that would close without immediate assistance.

November 1, 1936

A Permanent Presence

A growing legislative agenda called for a permanent presence in the state capital, thus establishing HAP’s first Harrisburg office in the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce building, 222 North Third Street.


December 7, 1921

First Meeting

A few administrators in PA hospitals perceived the advantages of a statewide association, and organized a meeting in Harrisburg. From their aspirations would grow The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania.

May 18, 1922

First Annual Conference

Attended by PA’s prominent health care institutions, meetings dealt with cooperative hospital purchasing and economics, nursing problems, and hospital relations with the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare.

December 3, 1928


A meeting held at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital led to the creation of the Northeastern Section of HAP; the first of what would become four HAP regional councils, each addressing geographic policy issues and concerns.