Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CH-F in the 1960s

We're still walking down memory lane: 

The 1960s was a prosperous time for Community Hospital-Fairfax. With the passage of Medicare and the enrollment of local citizens, healthcare was in high demand. Dr. Wannamaker and Dr. Humphrey had joined the medical staff of Drs. Settle, Carpenter, Bare, James L. Coffey, J. Heath Coffey (a nephew), and Niedermeyer. I-29 was under construction.

Despite its 65 beds, in 1968 Community Hospital-Fairfax was again in need of more space. A third addition to the building was needed. The 17 member board of directors met to discuss an expansion in March of 1968 and determined $150,000 was needed to make the needed additions. A generous donation of $10,000 in 1967 by F. Williams helped the hospital to purchase the Finch site. The proposed wing was to expand onto this property and be used for an extended care unit with 22 beds. Visitors in the last few years will remember this addition as the solarium, nurse’s station, obstetrics wing and the two hallways with patient rooms extending east and north from the nurses' station.

Local leaders continued to dedicate considerable time and effort to the hospital's prosperity. Ralph Hackett was the President of the hospital board of directors, Charles Moore took charge of the building board and S. J. Peterson directed the construction. Doris Wells was the hospital administrator.

In 1969, the Fairfax Forum called the new addition an "ultra modern wing." The article also describes each room as carpeted, with a television and piped oxygen. The board of directors encouraged contributions to room furnishings and engraved plates were added to each room to recognize the donor. These plates have been saved and are available for viewing in the new hospital.

In the fall of 1969, the hospital opened the new wing. 600 hundred guests came to view the facility which was described as having deluxe accommodations. The Fairfax Forum reports "comment most often heard by visitors was the attractive use of color in patient rooms and the many comfort conveniences." 

These happy times were soon to be followed by a difficult decade for the hospital. Stay tuned to learn more. 

If you are interested in learning more about the hospital, consider our e-newsletter. Sign up here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Spreading Encouragement for Breast Cancer Awareness

 In October, breast cancer is front and center, so the color pink gets a lot of attention. But pink is just a color after all. Behind the pink are the heroes battling breast cancer that we are proud to know and love.

Today, all of us at Community Hospital-Fairfax wanted to spread more than just awareness. 

We want to send encouragement  to our friends and family facing breast cancer and a big hooray to those who have beat it. We love you and are here for you.

Robin Salfrank, Administrative Assistant

Jackie Martin, RN

Stacy Stillwell, LPN

Shannon Pruitt, PT

Barb Taylor, RN

April Stoner, Patient Accounts Supervisor

Mike Clifton, Housekeeping

CH-F Radiology Staff:
Tracy Beason, RT (R)(M), Beth Mackey, RT (R)(M) & Rikki Wilson, RT (R)

CH-F Surgery Team:
Dina Ridley, RN, Stephanie White, LPN, Trisha Quimby, RN, 

Medical Records:
Nora Driskell, Gay Martin, Judy Raya, Sam Silkett

Myra Evans, CEO

Did you know?

Community Hospital-Fairfax prides itself on being  close to home, right where you need us. In 2011, we brought digital mammogram technology to our patients, making the procedure more convenient and enabling doctors to see test results quickly. We are also introducing a PET/CT scan; equipment with the power of two imaging machines in one procedure that not only pinpoints abnormalities but can also determine benign tumors from cancerous tumors. 

These tools and more make Community Hospital-Fairfax the answer when your health is in question.
  And as we celebrate October as Breast Cancer Awareness, we also celebrate the health of our community every month and every minute of the year.

You can schedule a mammogram today by calling the Radiology Department at 660-686-2360. Patients must have a doctor's referral for an appointment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Well Wishes for Elsie Fae

If you are from our corner of Northwest Missouri or read our local newspapers, there is a chance you have heard the name Elsie Fae Rhoades. Her weekly newspaper column, filled with witty comments and funny stories, has made her a staple in our community. 

Elsie Fae’s claim to fame reaches far passed our region into Iowa, where she was a teacher in Shenandoah for many years.

Last month, news of Elsie Fae sustaining injuries in a car accident spread fast, prompting friends and family to pass on a link to the Community Hospital-Fairfax website, where letters of encouragement and well wishes could be submitted online and sent to Elsie Fae as she recovered.

As I sat at my desk one morning, I couldn’t help but gasp at the list of emails in my inbox. Forty six messages? That couldn’t be! Surely they were “spam” mail. But as I begin browsing through them, I realized they were everything but.

“Get well” wishes had flooded my inbox from the form set up on our website where friends and family could send notes to patients. Normally, they trickle in one at a time and then I transform the message into a printed card and deliver it. But this time, there was obviously going to be a need for a much larger card.

My heart was so warmed for Elsie Fae as I read all of the notes from family members near and far and Shenandoah alumni.

From Cedar Rapids to Georgia and California, Elsie Fae’s name far outstretched the boundaries of the hospital.

Being a lover of literature myself, my favorite messages included a past student (SHC Class of ’69!)  who said she vividly remembered Mrs. Rhoades’ lesson on Dante’s Inferno and another bragged they were still able to quote Macbeth thanks to their amazing teacher...

I kept reading, so enthralled by the love and support:

“You are a strong woman!”

“Praying you have a speedy recovery!”

“Wishing you continued healing, from two Shenandoah grads!”

“You touched and influenced the lives of hundreds of Shenandoah High School grads! Wishing you a fast and speedy recovery!”

“Mrs. Rhoades, You have been in my prayers. I'm happy to hear of your continued progress. Keep up the good work and God bless!”

“Wish you nothing but the best, speedy recovery. You have meant so much in my life, in particular my tough high school years, you were a fabulous teacher!”

“Hope you continue to feel better each day. You are such a strong women and I will never forget the kindness and great friendship with my mom. Much love and "Get well Soon!"

Forty emails later and I was convinced that if words at the power to heal, Elsie Fae would be up and out of the hospital in no time. I typed all of the well wishes into a 6 page get well card and practically skipped down the hallway to deliver it to nurses for them to pass on.

If you know someone in the hospital, never underestimate the power that encouraging words can have. If a loved one is at Communtiy Hospital-Fairfax, consider making an impact by sending a get well card by visiting our website at and click on “Send a E-Message to a Patient” on the right side column.

You’ll never regret sending encouragement.

Written by Jennifer Herron