Dr. Harrison Alexander, a Derry dentist, died during the Great Depression leaving money and land to the Town of Derry for the purpose of creating a community hospital. In 1930, a group of public-spirited citizens organized the Alexander Hospital Corporation as a New Hampshire non-profit corporation. The Alexander Hospital Corporation became Trustee of Dr. Alexander’s will, and began the effort toward establishing a community hospital.
In 1933 Mrs. Charles Hood donated her ancestral home (built by her grandfather, Benjamin Eastman) to the community hospital effort. At that time, the Alexander Hospital Corporation began doing business as the Alexander Eastman Hospital.
In 1934 The Hospital began serving the Derry community, and continued its operations for the next 48 years. Funding for hospital equipment was largely supported by the use of funds from the Dr. Alexander trust and by other community donations.
In the 1960s the community identified the need to expand and upgrade the facility. The town of Derry donated Dr. Alexander’s land for a new hospital site, and the Alexander Eastman Hospital’s supporters raised money in the towns of Derry, Londonderry, Windham, Chester and Sandown; eventually constructing a new 37 bed hospital on Birch Street in Derry.
In 1983, The Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a for-profit health care corporation, sought to acquire the Alexander Eastman Hospital. The Alexander Eastman Foundation amended and restated its charter to allow the hospital to be sold, renamed and expanded as Parkland Medical Center.
The proceeds of the sale of the Alexander Eastman Hospital, in addition to accumulated gifts and bequests of individuals and businesses whose earlier support demonstrated their interest in the health care needs of the community, are now held as charitable assets by the Alexander Eastman Foundation in order to benefit residents in the communities from which patients of the Alexander Eastman Hospital were drawn.
In addition to the charitable assets that resulted from the sale of the Alexander Eastman Hospital, the Foundation continues to benefit from testamentary trusts established by Dr. Harrison Alexander, Leon P. Widger and Charles and Jessie Brooks.
In operating the Foundation, Trustees are guided by the concerns which motivated those donors and the founders of the Alexander Eastman Hospital. Grants and scholarship assistance are provided to promote good health and well-being for residents of the greater Derry area and to improve the quality and availability of health care in the community.
The Foundation has a membership of up to 100 incorporators who work and/or reside in the greater Derry area. Incorporators are volunteers who bring interesting community health projects to the attention of the Foundation and gather annually in the Spring to meet grantees and learn about health care issues and policy in New Hampshire.
If you are interested in volunteering as an Incorporator, please contact the board chair .