Harp Medical Center
The history behind the medical center begins with the wish of the community to honor the legacy of Dr. J. Elmer Harp, Middletown doctor from 1926 - 1976. His devotion to his patients and his community led the citizens of Middletown to plan and build the medical center, encouraging doctors to join the community.
After extensive planning and raising of funds, ground was broken on August 21, 1977. Dr. Michael Behre and Dr. Michael Rudman were the first doctors to form the family practice to occupy the new medical center. They started out with a temporary office on West Main Street and moved to the new medical center on January 23, 1978.
There have been changes and additions over the years. Dr. Behre retired in 2016. Dr. James Roessler joined the practice in 1978 and retired in 2017. Dr. Susan Boyle joined in 2017 and retired in 2022. In 1992 Dr. Kevin Hohl joined, and Dr. Adriana Hohl did so in 1996. Dr. Andrea Kaleta was added in 2010 and Dr. Erin Farrish in 2023. Ann Galloway (2012), Zachary Butt (2018) and Jill Coda (2022) joined as Nurse Practitioners.
Dr. Harp was born in 1899 in Washington County in the Beaver Creek area. He graduated from St. John's College, Annapolis, and was a graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School in 1923. He began his practice in Myersville. However, after two years there he located in Middletown with his first office in his home on East Main Street. After having his office for thirty years in his home, he moved it to just west of Main's Meat Market (now the Main Cup Restaurant) renting space from John Seachrist for 20 years.
Many former patients of Dr. Harp's remember him as being far more interested in giving good care than reaping financial rewards from his work. When asked the amount of the bill, it has been said that Dr. Harp would say "How much change do you have in your pocket?" and take what they gave him.
In the early days of his practice, many babies were delivered at home. On snowy nights he would drive to an expectant mother's home and sometimes have to walk the last portion to the house as the road was snow covered. Often the baby did not arrive very soon, so he spent the night in the home waiting for the birth of the child. Sometimes his payment for a delivery was a chicken or a ham.
The following is quoted from a newspaper article by Barbara Besley:
After his passing, it was said he was one of the "best friends" the Middletown Valley ever had. Therefore, a group of citizens immediately felt something should be done to show the community's appreciation for his life of service and in memory of him. Suddenly, the community realized they were without a doctor—not just any doctor, but one who lives on in the hearts of those who knew him.
Thus, began a project which became the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Medical Center, located next to the Middletown town park. This center surely serves as a fitting working memorial to a "beloved physician."
The Medical Center contains a memorial room containing Dr. Harp's instruments, an examining couch, and his black satchel. The groundbreaking shovel is displayed in the foyer and a portrait of Dr. Harp is located in the waiting room.
For many years students from the Middletown Valley of Frederick County Maryland have been offered scholarships by the Board of Directors of the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Medical Center to pursue medically related careers. Three of these scholarships have been provided through the estate of Jane Harp in honor of her father, for whom the Center is named. The fourth scholarship was established by William H. Browning Jr. to honor his friend Gloria M. "Stretch" Grossnickle who participated in the founding of the Center. Each of the scholarships will be for $3,500. Over the years, scholarships totaling more than $400,000 have been awarded.
Dr. J. Elmer Harp Family Memorial Scholarship
The estate of the late Miss Jane E. Harp, daughter of Dr. J. Elmer Harp, funds the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Family Memorial Scholarship. It was established to honor Dr. Harp, a general practitioner who served Middletown Valley families for over 50 years. Each year, the Board of Directors of the Medical Center selects three persons who are pursuing a career in the medical field to receive this scholarship.
The Gloria M. "Stretch" Grossnickle Scholarship Fund
This fund honors Mrs. Grossnickle, who was a charter member of the Harp Board of Directors and served until her death. Her friend, Mr. William H. Browning, Jr., established the fund to honor her. Each year a scholarship is awarded to one person pursuing a career in the medical field.
In the past these scholarships have helped send Valley residents to medical school. But not all recipients have been training to become doctors. The awards are targeted at anyone pursuing medically related fields, including, for example, nursing or physical therapy.
Applications may be downloaded and MUST be submitted by mail to:
Board of Directors of the Harp Medical Center
P.O. Box 856, Middletown, Md., 21769
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All applications must be received by April 30th.
APPLICATION TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
- Completed application form.
- Copy of completed Financial Aid Form (FAFSA) and any other financial form required by colleges.
- One recommendation from an academic source.
- Copy of authorized high school or college transcript; a GED certificate may be substituted if deemed necessary.
- List of other scholarships received and/or applied for.
- Copy of letter(s) from college(s) acknowledging acceptance.
- List of community/civic activities in which applicant has participated.
- Applicants must be pursuing a career in the medical field.
- Applicants must be completing their senior year of high school, be enrolled in schools of higher learning, or must be non-traditional students who are pursuing a post-secondary education.
- Applicants must have applied to one or more post-secondary institutions or be presently enrolled in a college or university at the time of application.
- Applicants must be residents in the Middletown Valley geographic area from: Washington County line (north), Braddock Heights (east), South Mountain (west), and the Potomac River (south).
- Among other factors, applicants will be evaluated based on demonstrated financial need.
Residents of Maryland's Frederick or Washington Counties who are 18 or over may become members of the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Medical Center, Inc. through nomination by a current member and election by a majority of members. Annual dues for members are $10, and the annual meeting is held on the first Wednesday of October. Members are charged with electing the corporation's directors, and transacting any other business that may be brought before the membership.
AddressS. Church & Franklin St.
Middletown, MD 21769
- Kevin Hohl
- Adriana Hohl
- Andrea Kaleta
- Erin Farrish
- Amy GallawayNurse Practitioner
- Jill CodaNurse Practitioner
- Zachary ButtNurse Practitioner
- Board of Directors
- J.T. Routzahn, IIIPresident
- J. Calvin GladhillVice President
- Kevin M. DelauterSecretary
- Francine HeatonTreasurer
- Griffith L. Garwood
- M. Lee Ropp
- Charlotte Rae Warrenfeltz
- Lauren Baker