Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our First Five Years

As we look back on how the hospital's roots have built a foundation in our community, we can't help but appreciate how the hospital got its start. Our community literally started from the ground up and used its own resources, funds and connections to create what we have today. Here's a glimpse of the hospital's first  5 years...

Long before HIPAA was a gleam in the eye of Congress, the local papers contained "hospital notes" giving the names of hospital patients and their health status. You could also tune into the local radio station, where patients names were read. From these notes we find the first major surgery at Community Hospital which took place the week of Nov. 17, 1949.  It was an appendectomy. And of course, we can't forget our hospital's first baby, Bill Smith of Fairfax. He was one of three babies born the first week of the hospital's operation.

There were also big headlines in February of 1950 when the hospital purchased its first portable x-ray. Funds were provided by the Atchison County branch of the American Cancer Society.

In June of 1950, the hospital announced that its 500th patient had been admitted. In that same time, 60 babies had been born. The June 24, 1950 edition of the Fairfax Forum relates,

            "The number of patients that have used the facilities of the hospital is evidence aplenty    that the establishment of the hospital here is more than justified. There have been instances where there is little doubt that lives have been saved because the hospital service was at hand. No doubt other instances could be noted where the availability of the hospital prevented illness or caused it to be less serious. The satisfaction to both patients and their relatives in being near home during their illness has no doubt been a large factor in speedier recover, to say nothing of the large amount of money saved by not being compelled to make long trips and several days visits to hospitals in other places."

The community had ceased to be no less appreciative of the efforts made to build a hospital as they celebrated 5 years of operation in 1954. The program for the 5 year anniversary celebration states:

            "Not until Fairfax was left without a medical doctor in the late 40s did the full force of the situation hit the community. Through the years young doctors would come to the community, establish a good practice, only to leave for towns where hospital facilities were located. The answer seemed to be "Build Our Own Hospital" but how?"

With the help of the Fairfax Kiwanis Club, the community pulled up their bootstraps and built the hospital with their own funds. This effort received both local and national acclaim. In the May 1951 issue of Readers Digest, Fairfax Community Hospital received mention for their efforts to build a hospital and successfully recruit physicians.

In 1954, the hospital celebrated its 5 year anniversary with the news that expansion was needed. It was decided to add onto the original building about 70 feet to the east. The second story would provide 8 private and two double rooms, increasing the number of beds by 12, making a total of 60 adult beds in all. The lower story would be used for offices and storage. S. J. Petersen was in charge of the construction work. 

Such a positive first 5 years was just the beginning of how Community Hospital-Fairfax would continue to prove it was a perfect fit in Northwest Missouri. 

Join us soon for another stroll down memory lane and please feel free to share your memories or connections in the comments section. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Doors Open...

Ready for the next installment?

As you will remember, funds for hospital were raised by selling shares. The original offering was for $105,000 and the local Kiwanis and other volunteers sold $100 shares. It was soon discovered that a second offering would be needed and it was again, quickly raised. 

March 10, 1949-The Fairfax Forum
New Drive for Hospital Funds Launched--Building Open House Friday, Saturday
Construction funds from the original stock issue were exhausted last week and the Fairfax Kiwanis club has asked the hospital board what the club could do to help keep the construction work going, so the board at its Sunday meeting instructed the Kiwanis club to appoint soliciting committees, to start the canvass Wednesday morning, March 9, and to raise the money this week. It was the unanimous opinion of the board members present that this amount ($50,000) could be raised before Monday morning.
It should not take argument to sell this issue of stock. All surely are agreed that the community is too near the goal of good medical and hospital care to halt at this state. Let's finish the job. Meet the solicitors with a smile and your check book. They'll see you in a day or two.

October 27, 1949-The Fairfax Forum
Fairfax Community Hospital Open House November 5-6
The Fairfax Community Hospital Corporation and Community Hospital Association announce that open house will be held at the hospital from two to six o'clock on Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, and after that the hospital will be ready to receive patients.
It has been a long wait-three years-since the initial moves were made to build a hospital, and now the modern building and equipped hospital is a reality. While small, compared to city hospitals, its building equipment and conveniences will rank among the best to be found anywhere. No one should miss the opportunity to see it during the two days of open house.

October 27, 1949-The Fairfax Forum
Employ 4 Nurses for Community Hospital
Four nurses have already been employed for the Fairfax Community Hospital which will open soon, and only one more is needed to complete the staff of five registered nurses needed for the operation of the hospital under the schedule adopted by the Community Hospital Association which will operate the institution. A class of 10 women are taking nurse's aide training.

November 10, 1949-The Fairfax Forum
Medical Staff for Hospital Announced

Seven physicians have accepted invitations to become members of the active medical staff of the Fairfax Community Hospital. Dr. Paul Musgrave, Dr. G.R. Wempe, Dr. Ed Niedermeyer, Dr. E.B. Settle, Dr. B.F. Byland and Dr. H.C. Hautman.
Dr. E.L. Neidermeyer

3000 Visit Hospital on Open House Days: Building crowded Sunday afternoon as people come to look it over. 
Words of praise came from almost all visitors. If there was criticism it was of the silent variety. Many good will messages were received and many, many beautiful flowers were sent by well wishers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Honoring Our First Home...

You read the news in the local papers today that the original hospital building will be torn down in the next month. This week, we brought a little of the old hospital to the new hospital by hanging a few pictures. 

A few of our favorite physicians and an architectural rendering of the old hospital after the 1970s renovation now grace the walls of our new building. Over the next few weeks, we hope that you will join us as we do some remembering. Here is the beginning of our walk down memory lane:

April 25, 1947-The Fairfax Forum
 Hospital Corporation to Issue Certificates
Authority was received Tuesday from the Missouri Securities Department by the Fairfax hospital committee to proceed with the issuing of stock certificates to those who have subscribed for stock.

July 4, 1947-Fairfax Forum
 Hospital Board of 9 Members Elected: Stockholder's Meeting Held Last Thursday Night Attended by About 250 Persons
There has been no decline in interest in the move to establish a hospital in Fairfax, if the enthusiasm shown at the stockholders' meeting, held last Thursday night is any criterion. The meeting was attended by Approximately 250 people and 735 of the 1050 shares of stock were represented in the voting......The stockholders then proceeded to vote, and the nine men receiving the highest number of votes were declared elected. These men are: John F. Sly, S.J. Peterson, F.C. Whitford, W.S. Walker, Jack L. Pearce, Cline Hawkins, R.D. Seymour, H.O. Scarlett and L. Roy Sims.

November 14, 1947-Fairfax Forum
 Hospital to be Located on Taylor Lots in East Fairfax-Ground with 250 Feet Highway Frontage is Donated to Organization by Mrs. Anna Taylor-Grading May Start Soon

The Fairfax Community Hospital is to be located on lots known as the Taylor lots, with frontage on Highways 275 and 59, between the Baptist church and the vocational agriculture building. Grading and excavation will probably start soon........The community will commend Mrs. Taylor for her generosity in donating the lots for the institution and she has the thanks of all. Her husband, the late Dr. A.P. Taylor, was a practicing physician in Fairfax for many years, and for several terms served as major of the city. She feels that it is one way in which she can help carry on the work in which he spent his life-that of relieving the suffering of humanity and promoting the health of the general public. Her splendid move in making the donation will speed the work and service that the stockholders in  the hospital hope to bring to the community.

August 24, 1948-The Fairfax Forum
Lay Cornerstone In Masonic Ceremony-Missouri Grand Lodge Officers Here for Impressive Event
The cornerstone, a beautiful piece of variegated granite, bears these words "Fairfax Community Hospital, 1948." It was presented to the Kiwanis Club, who sponsored the cornerstone laying ceremony, by Clinton Allen of the Allen Monument Works, Maryville.

August 6, 1948-The Fairfax Forum
 Start Laying Brick On Fairfax Hospital: Building Supervisor Hopes to Have Structure Enclosed by Cold Weather

The first brick on the new Fairfax Community hospital building was laid Tuesday, and progress on the building can now be watched with more understanding and interest by the general public than during the excavating and foundation laying period. Walls are to be 12" masonry, 18" blocks inside 4" brick facing.....Operating and nursery rooms are to be air conditioned....There will be 16 patient rooms, with accommodations for two patients to the room, one 4-bed ward, and a nursery that will accommodate 12 babies.

Join us as we look back on the journey of Community Hospital-Fairfax in a series of blog posts. Leave your comments and memories below!