Wabash History

Over 130 Years of Experience Proves The Wabash Memorial Hospital Association is a Timeless Entity

The Wabash Memorial Hospital Association exists as a not-for-profit Trust, operating under Public law 93-406, commonly known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or E.R.I.S.A. The Association commenced operations in 1884 as the Hospital Department of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway. The Association continues to operate a pre-paid health care plan and is one of the oldest, continuously operating Railroad HMOs in our nation.

The original Hospital System separated from the railroad company and became independent as the Wabash Employee’s Association in 1884. Its purpose was to maintain hospital and outpatient clinics to render medical and surgical service to its associated railroad employees and their dependents. At one time, during the peak of the Wabash Line railroad activities, it operated hospitals in Kansas City, MO., Springfield, Danville, and Decatur, IL., and Peru, IN. In addition, contracts were negotiated with hospitals and dispensaries in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa and Indiana to serve the wide distribution of Wabash employees. Any employee becoming ill or injured was given necessary treatment any place “on-line” until the condition was stabilized and they could be transferred to an association hospital.

Wabash Hospital

Today, the Association continues to be overseen by railroad personnel with a ten person Board of Managers representing the different craft unions and retirees of the railroad. Just under four thousand active and retired railroaders and their dependents are members of the Association.