Long Branch’s Other Hospital
The E.C. Hazard Memorial Hospital …
This largely forgotten city charity healthcare institution at Washington and Dewey Streets — known as the “hospital with a heart” — was opened by Elmer Clarke Hazard, MD, in December 1920 (beginning with 10 beds in an old two-story frame barn). By June 1923, the E.C. Hazard Memorial Hospital was incorporated with 150 beds.
At its peak just around World War II, the facility was a general hospital/ER with a nursing school and it specialized in pediatrics and obstetrics. A $250,000 expansion wing was opened in September 1956; former heavyweight boxing champions Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano were both on hand for the dedication, according to a Long Branch Daily Record report.
The eldest son of a tomato ketchup factory owner and fancy groceries magnate, Dr. Hazard was born in NYC in December 1879. He graduated the University of Maryland Medical School in 1904. “Life is far more valuable then money,” was the good doctor’s healing philosophy.
Much-admired around the city, Dr. Hazard “created a place where the poor, the suffering, and the needy could go for help without having to worry about the financial burden involved,” according to a June 1958 Long Branch Daily Record editorial. At one time this small city hospital led the whole nation in the percentage of charity patients treated (and also led the state and county in charitable care cases for decades).
Dr. Hazzard died in November 1954 after a long illness. His brother, Bowdoin Hazard, was the hospital’s administrator for over decade. He died in Feb. 1957 after his car was hit a by a train at the Joline Avenue crossing.
In February 1959, the Home for the Chronic Sick of Irvington, NJ acquired the facility for $300,000; Joseph Fox, PhD was the executive director. The facility was hit by a fire in May 1968 and Dr. Hazard’s original house was torn down in 1969. The facility ceased operations in 1974.
Today, the only hospital left in Long Branch is Monmouth Medical Center on Third Avenue. Founded in 1887, it is part of the RWJ Barnabus Health network.