Back in December of 1943, a group of Mennonite missionaries arrived at the municipality of Aibonito’s La Plata sector and set up a clinic within a tobacco warehouse owned by the local government and donated to them as part of the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Act Program. In this clinic, Mennonites provided medical care to a great number of patients who suffered from contagious diseases that commonly afflicted the population of the island’s mountain region. This clinic became a hospital in 1944.

During the following years, services were extended to the nearby areas: La Cuchilla in Barranquitas, Rabanal in Cidra, and Pulguillas in Coamo, where clinics were set up to provide care on an outpatient basis. In 1956, hurricane Santa Clara rendered these facilities useless.

Thanks to the financial assistance provided by community initiatives, the Mennonite Church and the Hill Burton federal program, a new and modern 34-bed hospital was inaugurated in 1956. After a growing demand for services, in 1957 the hospital increased its capacity to 50 beds. Presently, our Aibonito Hospital features 150 beds.

In 1975, the Mennonite Missions Board ceded the Hospital to the town of Aibonito and at that time the institution became a Community Hospital governed by a Board of Directors. This Board features 13 members: six are elected by the community, three are nominated by the Mennonite Missions Board, three are selected by the Mennonite Church Convention, and one is chosen by the Medical Faculty. All members provide their services free of charge. Mennonite General Hospital, Inc is one of Puerto Rico’s 13 non-profit community hospitals and is the only one providing service to the population of the island’s central-mountain region.

In 1989, the institution acquired the former Font Clinic’s facilities in order to make its services more accessible to the people residing in the towns of Cayey and Cidra.

 

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