Classes & Events

50th Anniversary Celebration

Washington County Memorial Hospital opened its doors for operation in December 1963 with Hill Burton funding.  The original hospital board of trustees consisted of Linnie Jarvis, Robert Nickelson, Vincent Paul, Lowell McFarland, and V.R. Qualls. The hospital has gone through many transformations over the last 50 years with doctors, building expansions, and a wealth of competent, caring staff.

The development of the original hospital started in 1958 and took approximately 5 years before the hospital cared for its first patient. The basement of the Jarvis Store was the setting of the first board meetings. During these planning stages, hospital dignitaries took great care to access a suitable piece of land for the hospital to be built upon.  Careful consideration was given to the development of services, physicians, and infrastructure.  In 1960, Thomas Knott was elected to the board of trustees.

Among the first physicians to provide care to Washington County Residents were, Dr. Lake, Dr. Cresswell, and Dr. Thurman.  The hospital’s founding fathers had a vision of providing much needed care to our growing mining community.    A little known fact is that the first Administrator hired also served as the Lab and Radiology Supervisor. The first official medical staff of Washington County Memorial Hospital were; Dr. George Cresswell, Dr. Joseph Thurman, Dr. Edward Lake, Dr. Thomas Warren, Dr. James Vester, Dr. Merritt Beck, Dr. George Gasser, and Dr. Stanton Hardy.

The local newspaper, the Independent Journal, was one of the first sources of advertisement utilized and is still a main avenue for hospital marketing today.  Marva Lubker served as the hospital’s first Director of Nursing and Virginia Stephens was the designated Bookkeeper and Secretary to the board.

Today’s hospital is vastly different in structure from the original hospital.  Yet the same motivation drives the hospital the vision remains the same….. to provide quality care to the communities in which we serve.

Washington County Memorial Hospital to have served its community for 50 Years and will strive to serve it for the next 50 and beyond.

Melvin Warden
Board Chairman