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100 years celebrated

October 28, 2010

Sarah Flynn looks over a display at the museum Wednesday night, celebrating a Century of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in the Plymouth community.

PLYMOUTH — Wednesday night was a celebration as healthcare professionals and volunteers joined together at the newly remodeled Marshall County Historical Society and Museum to celebrate 100 years of community outreach by a hospital that has had a few makeovers but yet sets a high standard for regional healthcare.
One hundred years ago, two doctors saw a great need in the Plymouth community.  Dr T. A. Borton and Dr. N. B. Aspinall built a three-story building at 310 N. Michigan St. (present site of the Plymouth Building).
With a vision towards the people of their community, these two men set the standard for Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center/Plymouth (SJRMC) that still reaches out to their community today.
In 1914, the location was moved to six acres of land across from Centennial Park.   For the next 72 years Parkview Hospital stayed in that location.  With much community input and support, the hospital thrived and in 1986, with another new name and new location, Saint Joseph Regional Med-ical Center/Plymouth was born. 
Partnering with Trinity Health and with a holistic approach towards treating the body, mind, and spirit of its patients, SJRMC continues to meet the needs of the people of Marshall County.
What is the key to the success of this hospital, the gel that holds it together?  When asked this question, President Lori Price said, “The community support, the physicians and the staff.” 
Price later credited community support and cooperation as a prime factor which allows the hospital to treat people who are financially challenged, and which also allowed SJRMC to open the Saint Joseph Health Center, a community outreach.
Raymond Canda, a manager, replied that working at SJRMC was like, “working at Cheers (the TV show): Everybody knows your name, they care about you and treat you with respect.” 
Chaplan Les Johnson said much the same thing and noted that doctors and staff have a great relationship; he also mentioned the emphasis that is put on spiritual health noting that some physicians will even pray with their patients upon request. 
Teamwork and cooperation seemed to be the common theme among those interviewed.
That spirit seems to be present as current employees mingled with board members and retirees. 
Many present had originally been a part of the Parkview family, like Bob and Wanda Dixon. Wanda retired after 45 years with SJRMC and Bob still works there.   
Linda Hissong, RN, a nurse at both hospitals shared fond memories of “the old days” and how the old Parkview Hospital’s horseshoe drive would flood back into the emergency room when it rained and shop vacs would be brought in to keep the floors somewhat dry. 
She also shared how patients who had relocated to other communities would come back to SJRMC not only because of the quality of care, but especially because of the personal care that the staff gives each patient. 
When asked what the future held for SJRMC, Price said to expand the technical advances in medical care.  She cited recent improvements such as the new Cardiac Catheterization and Internal Radiology Lab, the new Wound Healing Center, which has a hyperbaric chamber for quicker healing, and a new Linear Accelerator for cancer treatment as examples of those technical advances. 
Anchored in the past, with an eye to the future, SJRMC stays true to the Trinity Health Mission statement, which in part reads, “…to improve the health of our communities…”

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