December 1963

The need for a hospital in Hart County and the surrounding area was recognized and planning began. At the time, the estimated cost of the project was $600,000 for a 30 bed hospital; it was agreed that $300,000 was to be raised by the community and the remainder would be provided in the form of money from a federal grant.

January 1964

The current site of Caverna Memorial Hospital was approved.

May 1964

A "kick off" dinner was held at the Hart restaurant in Munfordville.  This began the process of fund raising for the new hospital, and by the end of the following month, $349,000 had been raised by the community.  Among the early fund raising organizers were local attorney Charles Richardson and local teacher, Preston Mansfield.

July 1965

The ground breaking ceremony was held to signal the beginning of construction for the new hospital.  Construction would span more than a year and a half.

May 1967

Construction of the new hospital was complete, and an open house was held.  The open house saw more than 2,500 people tour the hospital.

June 5, 1967

Caverna Memorial Hospital opened and the first patient was treated.

From its inception, Caverna Memorial Hospital has been a busy place!  The early days saw the Emergency Room treating all types of injuries; the Operating Room was conducting surgeries; the maternity ward was busy delivering babies; and most of the time the inpatient rooms were full with patients.  At one time there were triplets and twins delivered within a short period of time along with other babies and the nursery was full of babies.  Many of Hart counties resident’s were born in this hospital. 


A lot has changed, and there has been one expansion since then.  The ER entrance used to be at the rear of the hospital.  The front where the ER and radiology departments are was added on in 1999.


The hospital has changed a lot too.  It is no longer the busy acute care facility it once was.  Times have changed, medicine has changed.  There are larger more advanced facilities close by.  Travel is easier that it was in the 1960s.  To remain an asset to the community the hospital changed to what is called a “Critical Access Facility."  This means that our job is to receive the patient, stabilize and send them to a larger hospital for more advanced care, treat and send them home or schedule follow up with their primary care physician. Our average length of stay for a patient in the hospital is no more than 4 days.


We held our 40th anniversary celebration in 2007.  We had an open house and hundreds of visitors.  Of the people who visited, the triplets along with their Mother and the first patient on the display here visited.  The triplets wanted to know about the place they were born and their Mother told them about being here and the first patient told us about her experience of being the first patient.


Land was purchased in 2009 and the total hospital property increased to 48 acres.  The plans included the possibility of a fitness center for use by the residents of Hart County and a Medical Office Building.  The ground was surveyed, tested to ensure that we can build and an architect started on plans for a medical office building. 

In addition to all of the specialists we have two physician’s offices.  One office in Horse Cave, the other in Munfordville. 


The Munfordville office was moved in September 2010 to a new building with a lot more space and updated equipment. 


The new medical office building, the Community Health Center, opened in 2014. The Horse Cave physician office moved into the new medical office building.


Significant regulatory changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act and payment reform at the federal and state level made it increasingly difficult for small rural hospitals to remain independent. In August 2015, the boards of directors for Caverna Memorial Hospital and The Medical Center at Bowling Green agreed to the acquisition of the Caverna hospital by the Bowling Green-Warren County Community Hospital Corporation d/b/a The Medical Center with the transaction expected to be completed by the end of  the year. In December, Caverna Memorial Hospital was acquired by The Medical Center and became The Medical Center at Caverna.