In 1945, there were proposals made by the Community Chest Committee to merge the Community General Hospital and the Reading Hospital (but not St. Joseph Hospital) and concentrate construction at West Reading for the next five years. The physicians of Community General Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital were opposed to any such merger. The plan outlined by the Nergaard Program would have changed the medical picture of Reading and such was not acceptable. It was pointed out by Doctor William Goetz, President of the Medical Staff, that construction was badly needed at St. Joseph Hospital and the proposed plan would have been a crippling one on the Hospital. In summarizing their opposition to the Chest’s proposals, the St. Joseph Hospital Physicians said that our institution was the first Hospital established in Reading and declared that it was in need of expansion and improvement more than the other hospitals. The Board of Trustees awaited the reactions and the decisions of the other hospitals. The merger was not made.

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