History of Roosevelt Warm Springs

“Someday, perhaps, Warm Springs will be a vast establishment with hundreds of people.  If it is, and we continue the same kind of spirit that exists today, there is no question that no place in the world would give finer results, both to the body and the spirit”.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt  1927

Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded Roosevelt Warm Springs in 1927 as a polio treatment center but the history stared long before that.  The know history of the warm springs had it recorded beginning with Native Americans, whose tribal confrontations often led injured warriors to the mineral-rich water at the base of Pine Mountain for what they considered its healing properties.

In the years that followed, the warm springs gave rise to a spa where water emerging at 900 gallons per minute and 88 degrees year-round helped turn the place into a well-known stagecoach stop.  A large public swimming pool was installed to permit better access the warm, buoyant waters and the place became host to Georgia high society throughout the early 1900s.

Roosevelt made 41 visits to Warm Springs, many came after he became governor of New York in 1928 and president for four terms beginning in 1932.  The spring water provided relief and improved his polio weakened muscles.  This led him to purchase the property with two thirds of his personal fortune and establish the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation in 1927.  It soon became a world-renowned polio treatment center and remained so after Roosevelt’s death in Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.

1974 the State of Georgia assumed operation of the Foundation hospital, turning it into a medical rehabilitation facility specializing in brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic and stroke rehabilitation, as well as other general rehab services.

July 2014, the Roosevelt Warm Spring hospitals transitioned from ownership by State of Georgia to Augusta University Health.  This brought together the Roosevelt legacy at Warm Springs with the state’s academic health system.  “Augusta University Health has the unique knowledge and experienced needed to preserve one of our state’s oldest and most revered assets,” said Gov. Nathan Deal.  “This move will assure that Georgians continue to receive compassionate and high-quality health care services.”

 Today, inpatient care is maximized through a two hospital approach,  The Roosevelt Warm Springs Long Term Acute Care Hospital provides services for the more medically complex patients while the Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital continues the hands-on-therapy and interdisciplinary teamwork second to none.

“Patients and families choose Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation & Specialty Hospitals because of the level of care provided by the clinical and administrative staff, a team that truly embodies the ‘Spirit of Warm Springs’ ” CEO Augusta University Health  2014.