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. 

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