Harp Medical Center

Our History

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.

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.

Dr. J. Elmer Harp: A Beloved Physician Remembered for His Dedication to Community and Compassionate Care.

Dr. J. Elmer Harp

Honored Physician and Memorial Namesake

Continuing the Legacy: A Look at the Modern Medical Center

Dr. Harp's 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.

The team at Middletown Valley Family Medicine has remained committed to delivering top-notch care to patients across all age groups while fostering healthier communities. As a Board-certified healthcare center, they provide ongoing, comprehensive services catering to the needs of every family member. Their primary focus is on delivering superior quality and compassionate care in primary and non-urgent medical situations.

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