GREENVILLE, Ky. (5/23/13) – The year was 1938. Racehorse Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in a race to see who was the better horse. The March of Dimes was formed and everyone was headed out to see the new Walt Disney movie, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". That same year Muhlenberg Community Hospital (MCH) first opened its doors.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, hundreds gathered to celebrate the hospital's 75th anniversary with an Open House. Well over a hundred "Muhlenberg Hospital babies" had their picture taken to the make the occasion. Several speakers stood at the outdoor entrance to the hospital to mark the celebration.
MCH CEO John Countzler told the crowd that "from the beginning Muhlenberg Community Hospital has been a pioneer in healthcare for the citizens of Muhlenberg as well as surrounding counties. As you all know healthcare is a very personal relationship between the patient and the provider," Countzler emphasized, adding that "all of us here at MCH cherish that and to do our best to treat the whole patient. This hospital has persevered over obstacles through the past 75 years, and we'll continue to persevere today, and in the coming challenges of tomorrow. We're proud that many of you work here today, and that we have many multi-generational employees and other medical staff members."
Next to speak was Greenville Mayor Ed DeArmond, who lightened the affair by asking "Where is Brent Yonts at? I just wanted to borrow his coat so everyone could see me up here." State Representative Yonts is well known in the county for his flashy, bright colored sports coats.
DeArmond received a huge round of applause when he noted that "this is truly an historic day. I'd like to congratulate all the various doctors, nurses and staff people who have served this hospital over the past 75 years."
"I was born in this hospital back in 1949," DeArmond continued. "I was the only baby up there on OB for two days. Dr. Brockman had told my parents I would be a "Thanksgiving Baby". I was a couple of weeks late, but I weighed over 10 pounds when I was born." DeArmond joked.
On a more serious note, DeArmond asked the crowd if they had "ever thought about all the lives that have been saved in this hospital? All those who would not have been saved if it were not here? Think about it. I know we all know someone saved here. My brother would have died if Dr. Simpson had not made a life or death decision here. Many of you may not know I'm a retired state trooper with over 30 years’ service. I have served in counties that did not have a county hospital, and it's meant the difference between life and death. I watched people die from not having a hospital close by. So when I had the chance to move back home to Muhlenberg County, I really saw the difference a professional medical facility can make," DeArmond said.
Retire Dr. Gary Givens, who served as a physician at MCH after returned from Viet Nam also shared his fond memories of his many years saving lives at the hospital as well. However Givens lightened the mood with numerous tales of nurses calling him in the middle of the night over the years, and still having nightmares of files other nurses chased him with because he still needed to fill out paperwork.
All in all, it was an emotional ceremony marking 75 years of personal history among so many who have experienced the birth of a child, the passing of a loved one, and the caring touch provided by so many over the years at a hospital so rich with history.
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