As World War II ended, Milan was a booming county seat in northern Missouri with soldiers returning home and families thriving. A group of residents came together with a major concern in their bustling community: the need for a hospital. In 1952 the first Board of Trustees included P.M. Marr as the Chairman and Lawrence Borron, W.A. Couch, Joe J. McCarty and J.A. Shatto as members.
Sullivan County Memorial Hospital opened as a 48-bed facility on May 1, 1953. Residents of Sullivan County and surrounding counties quickly realized the importance of the hospital to the community. Babies were delivered, lives of those injured in farm, home, and vehicle accidents were saved in the Emergency Department, and quality medical care was provided to surgical and a variety of other patients. All who came through the doors found a caring, nurturing, healing environment and many jobs and careers were created with the opening of SCMH. The hospital continues to be one of Sullivan county’s top employers.
Through the decades, the hospital stood strong and kept pace with changes in the world of medicine. An addition was built in 1984 adding more patient rooms, expanding the Emergency Department, and increasing ancillary services. In 1996 the former Intensive Care Unit became the Physician’s Clinic, with a full-time staff providing such services as sports, school and employment exams, well-patient care, pain management and immunizations and chronic disease management. The professional medical staff at SCMH has always served as a valuable community resource, providing information and quality care.
The new millennium found revolutionary changes in place at SCMH, which by then had become a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital with an ever-widening array of services related to inpatient acute and skilled care as well as outpatient, diagnostic and therapeutic services. In the 1990’s a Long-Term Care Medicaid Unit utilized one wing of the hospital, where those reaching the sunset of life continue to be “cared for like family.”
SCMH has demonstrated outstanding ability to stay current in the ever-changing medical space. In 2001-2002 the hospital expanded to community outreach clinics in Green City and Newtown. Patient records have long been maintained electronically. A Health Care Career Day for High School students was implemented as well as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) program as part of SCMH’s “grow your own” philosophy and proactive approach.
Community support has remained strong throughout SCMH’s seven decades of service. Grateful citizens recently voted overwhelmingly to continue a sales tax supporting the hospital and the SCMH Foundation offers residents of Sullivan and surrounding counties an opportunity to provide financial support to the facility via tax-deductible donations. The SCMH Foundation sponsors an ongoing fund-raising campaign to maintain, repair, and when needed, replace the facility so that current and future citizens are assured quality medical help will always be there when needed.
Beginning it’s 8th decade of service, the Sullivan County Memorial Hospital employees and current Board Members, Melba Fordyce- Chairperson, Bill Lewis, Angie Curtis, Gary Drummond and Jim Heaton, are as dedicated now to providing quality health care to the community as when the doors opened in 1953.