Our History

The history of LewisGale Regional Health System’s current location in Alleghany dates only to 1979, the year the hospital opened with 204 beds.

Availability of medical services in the region, however, stretches all the way back to 1897 when the C&O Railroad established its Chesapeake and Ohio Hospital at the Gladys Inn in Clifton Forge. This 50-bed hospital—with just a surgeon, intern and five nurses—served as the community’s first hospital until 1916, when construction began on a larger, 90-bed C&O Hospital.

Only 15 years later, when the City of Covington saw the need for its own hospital, Dr. William Preston Burton spearheaded efforts to build the area’s second hospital—the 12-bed Covington Hospital that opened in 1931. Near the same time, Clifton Forge’s original C&O Hospital experienced its own growth and, in the mid-1930s, broke ground on a new 50-bed wing.

The following decade brought both expansion and tragedy to the area’s medical community. In 1941, a new Covington Hospital replaced Dr. Burton’s original 12-bed facility. When Dr. Burton was killed in a plane crash in 1946, the citizens of Covington and Alleghany County honored his commitment to and achievements for the area by purchasing the five-year-old Covington Hospital as a memorial and renaming it the Alleghany Memorial Hospital.

The 1950s saw two hospitals continuing to serve the region—Alleghany Memorial and the C&O. In 1953, the C&O began another expansion of its 1916 building, this time enlarging the facility to 205 beds.

Changes for both hospitals arrived with the 1970s. In 1971, the C&O Hospital was renamed the Emmett Memorial Hospital to honor Dr. John M. Emmett, a leader in the institution’s development. By 1976, however, the community recognized the need to merge the two hospitals and formed The Alleghany Regional Hospital Corporation. Groundbreaking for Alleghany Regional Hospital began in 1977 and, two years later, the facility opened with 204 beds at its current location in Low Moor.

Alleghany Regional Hospital changed again in 1993 with a 30,700-square-foot expansion and the renovation of outpatient service areas. In 1995, Nashville-based HCA purchased the hospital. Proceeds from that sale were used to establish the Alleghany Foundation. With current assets of more than $60 million, the Foundation has funneled grants totaling more than $20 million back into the community.

At the turn of the 21st century, additional changes to the hospital name came with the new ownership—from Alleghany Regional Hospital to LewisGale Hospital Alleghany. Today, LewisGale Hospital Alleghany is the second-largest private employer in Alleghany County and its parent company, HCA, is the fourth largest private employer in Virginia. Our team of healthcare professionals remains committed to improving the well-being of our community by providing the best healthcare possible.