100 years is worth celebrating

Published 4:03 pm Saturday, May 13, 2017

A hospital holds deep meaning for a community.

It is where some of life’s most happy, sad, exciting and terrifying experiences take place.

Clark County’s own hospital, Clark Regional Medical Center, has provided care to our community and those in surrounding counties for more than a century now.

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This week, Clark Regional Medical Center officially celebrated its 100-year anniversary.

Clark Regional’s story began with Clark County Hospital, which was opened on the corner of Lexington and Wainscott avenues in March 1917.

At that time it cost $25,000 to construct the hospital and about $600 a month to keep it running.

Local physicians and clergy got involved and a group called the King’s Daughters initiated fundraising for the hospital. The public could contribute $10 to become part of the nonprofit, and in 1915 the hospital was granted a charter from the Commonwealth.

Most of the money for the hospital came through donation from people who saw a need in our community and wanted to serve other counties east of Lexington. And they were right.

Within a month of its opening the beds in the new hospital were already filled.

An addition was built in 1930 and another was added in the 1950s.

The the 1960s the board of directors voted to build a new facility on the land at 1107 W. Lexington Ave. where it stood for nearly 50 years.

It was there that many in our community took their first and last breaths, learned devastating news, found healing and recovery, welcomed loved ones and said painful last goodbyes. Others dedicated their life’s work to the well-being of their neighbors.

Today, Clark Regional stands a little further down Lexington Avenue and operates from a state-of-the-art facility built in 2012 by LifePoint Health, which purchased the hospital in 2010.

This facility offers more advanced technology and space for expansion to meet our community’s health care needs.

But, as Bill Carpenter, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health noted Wednesday at a luncheon celebrating the anniversary. A hospital is so much more than the technology, it stretches far beyond the walls of the facility.

As beautiful as our new hospital is, what we have to be most of proud of is a legacy of commitment to quality care right here in Clark County. Many communities are not that lucky.

Much of that commitment comes at the hands of the many men and women who made it their mission to open our local hospital, keep it running and transfer it to the hands of a viable, responsible and well-equipped company at the appropriate time.

It has certainly taken great care and consideration and a lot of hard work to keep CRMC not only up and running for the last century, but thriving and striving for greatness.

As the hospital ushers in its second century of meeting our health care needs, we feel confident there are great things on the horizon. We congratulate the hospital and its staff for coming this far and we thank all those who have had a hand in bringing us here.

Here’s to another 100 years!