Sullivan County Memorial Hospital History
Sullivan County Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit organization serving the health care needs of Sullivan County and the surrounding area with primary areas of acute, emergency, outpatient and long-term care. The idea of a hospital being built in Sullivan County was the culmination of numerous area residents following World War II. A steering committee was formed from this group to evaluate the need and the feasibility of building a hospital in Sullivan County. The steering committee members confirmed the need for medical care in this area and a 48-bed facility was built in 1953, and opened in May 1, 1953. The hospital proved to be greatly needed in the area, and an addition was completed, in 1984, including additional private rooms, an expanded emergency department and an enlarged ancillary service area were added. Sullivan County Memorial Hospital continues to operate the only fully staffed medical facility in Sullivan County and provides a 24-hour emergency department. There are three acute physicians and five consulting physicians providing services through outpatient rural health clinic.
The mission of Sullivan County Memorial Hospital is to provide a broad range of high quality primary medical services and long-term care, and to coordinate the availability of other medical services to area residents.
In 1996, the SCMH Physicians’ Clinic opened in the former intensive care unit of the hospital. It is staffed by two physicians, three nurse practitioners and a team of nursing and support staff. It has been a positive experience for our area residents and provides another source of primary medical care to patients of all ages, including treatment and diagnosis of medical illnesses and injuries, annual physicals, well-patient visits, employment exams, school/sports physicals, immunizations and pain management. Home visits are also arranged as necessary. In 2001, due to community request SCMH expanded when a second clinic opened in Green City and another part-time clinic was opened in Newtown in November 2002.
As of November 2000, Sullivan County Memorial Hospital is a 15 bed Critical Access Hospital with 14 more beds designated as long- term Medicaid certified. Staff continually strive to meet the health care needs of our communities and to provide new and appropriate services through patient surveys and continuous quality improvement studies. Services include inpatient acute care, skilled nursing care beds, outpatient services, a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services, including computed tomography (CT) scanning, ultrasounds, bone density scanning, pulmonary function testing, Cardiac Rehabilitation – Phase II and III and Pulmonary care, outpatient scheduled surgical procedures and observation care, as well as patient and community education programs.
With the ever changing health care trends you can rely on SCMH professionals and medical staff to be your resource for up-to-date health information. Whether you need a presentation to the public on topics such as diabetes or heart disease, or you would like information on specific procedures such as mammography or bone density screenings, SCMH representatives will do their best to accommodate you. Providing current and accurate health education to the communities we serve is very important to the staff. This is a free service provided by the hospital with advance notice, preferably four weeks or more.
As one of the many small rural hospitals in the nation, SCMH has faced a great deal of financial challenges over the past 60+ years. There have been continuing issues concerning poor reimbursement, the high cost of providing quality services and maintaining trained staff. Many challenges hinge from the expense of keeping technology current, but with small volumes of patients. The residents of Sullivan County showed strong support in the 1940’s-1950’s by making the hospital a reality; with the continuing support of the area, we will continue to serve health care needs well into the future.