(BEDFORD) – IU Health Bedford Hospital has passed the half-century mark following its start back on July 1, 1970.
On Wednesday morning approximately thirty people attended an in-person celebration and several more attended by social media to celebrate this milestone.
The hospital has been providing health care for Lawrence County since it’s humble beginning as the Edgewood Clinic. Other names for the facility from over the years include the E.B. Crowe Medical Center, Bedford Medical Center, Bedford Regional Medical Center, Clarian Health, and IU Health.
What has not changed is the professionalism and quality of doctors, nurses, and other staff members who made the hospital what it is today.
“The OB unit was opened with two RN’s. I was the night shift nurse,” said Joyce Mundy.” The staff of only two nurses went on for about two weeks until we had a day off and hired more RN’s,” stated Mundy.
“We spent a few weeks training the technicians with the doctors giving classes. We did quite a bit in the opening, weeks,” said Mundy.
Joyce has since retired and now writes columns for the Times-Mail newspaper.
IU Health Bedford Hospital President Brad Dykes has spent over 21 years overseeing the progress and accomplishments of the hospital during a time of several transitions.
For over 55 years Dr. George Sorrells has experienced the many changes and technical advances of medical equipment. He has also experienced the change from the paper filing of medical documents into something he did not like: computers. Dr. Sorrells retired this year after seeing the births and treating the bumps, bruises, broken bones, and illnesses of many children.
Dr. Sorrells discussed the founding of the hospital with the help of Dr. Richard Hawkins and recalled the many people who were there to bring better health care options into the county.
“Some of you do not remember, but there was not even a thing called an emergency room back in the 50’s and 60’s,” Dr. Sorrells commented.
“But then the emergency department started a 24-hour, seven days a week service. It did not take long before the emergency room became very busy,” said Dr. Sorrells.
Bedford Mayor Sam Craig noted the many years he served as a police officer and the hospital supporting the public safety community. Craig thanked them for their service to the community and gave a proclamation from the City of Bedford.
Indiana State Representative Chris May had Resolution #37 designated from the Indiana General Assembly to note the celebration of the 50 year anniversary. May was not able to attend the celebration on Wednesday,
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb could not attend the event in person, but left a message via video congratulating the hospital for their accomplishments over the past 50 years.
Connie Kinder noted how she just got out of nursing school and asked if they were hiring. “My interview was over the phone and I got hired on the spot,” noted Kinder. Kinder is still with the hospital today.
South Central Region Board Member Jack Kenworthy also noted some of the other key players in making IU Health Bedford Hospital what it is today.
The challenges in the first 50 years were overcome by the hard work and dedication of several people. The hospital says it is ready to face the challenges of the next 50 years in order to keep quality health care in Lawrence County.