I was four and my sister Marilyn was six when we toured the new Wayne County Hospital with our Uncle Bob and Aunt Elma. I remember a long walk, lots of lights and–at some point–treats. Which, if you’re four, is a pretty big deal, thank you very much.
Much of my time these days is spent writing for and about St. Anthony Central Hospital here in Denver. Telling the amazing stories of its Level I trauma center, specialty care and the people on the frontlines is a privilege for which I would pay…although I’m most grateful that the cash-flow runs this way, instead. 😉 Given its capabilities, St. A’s welcomes patients from throughout the region, with a sizable number coming from mountain towns and small communities on the plains.
I really love interviewing the latter, for the conversation always leaves me feeling like I’ve been home, again. And when they tell me how the care they received from their own doctor and hospital led to their being here for that next level of attention, I understand the emotional and well as physical dimensions of what they’re saying. Fifty-plus years ago, it was my dad being seen by University of Iowa cardiologists traveling to Centerville for clinic, specialty services set in motion by the one-and-only Dr. Eugene Ritter. Their combined care kept him home with us.
Which makes me so proud to read in The Herald each time Wayne County Hospital earns another award or reaches another goal.
The hospital’s website tells me that Wayne County Hospital opened in January 1955 as a 34 bed, non-profit, community owned, rural hospital serving the 10,000 residents of Wayne County and its neighboring communities. The cost of a private room was $10.50 per day…$6.50 per day, if you were a kid under 7 years old. The new hospital staff totaled 25.
Things are much different, today. It’s a great example of hometown health resources delivering at the local level and connecting with a larger system, as needed. I believe I only know four people involved: Board member Bill Wells (one of the “big kids” when I was growing up); Doris Alley Pollock (my classmate and–ta-da! a 30-year veteran); Bonita Snider Wells, sister of a classmate; and her physician husband Joel…who, the last time I saw him, was playing with tractors in the driveway of his Plano home. 🙂
I visited Wayne County Hospital a couple summers ago when we girls took Mom for a southern Iowa getaway. Doris took me for a quick tour.
It wasn’t a long walk, the lights didn’t seem exceptionally bright…and alas, no treats.
But, once again, it was a pretty big deal.
Photo: Congrats, Doris, on 30 years!