July 22, 2008

SCRMC Celebrates 45 Years of Service

By Vanessa Overholser, The Morehead News, Ky.

Jul. 22--St. Claire Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) has made many strides to excel in the medical field since it first opened on July 1, 1963. Current and past employees agree that the past 45 years have been a success for the hospital.

In celebration of the hospital's milestone of service, employees invited the general public to come to a party Friday afternoon at the hospital cafeteria.

"We are thrilled to be here providing service to the region after 45 years. Many employees reflected on how we had 41 beds and how the hospital has developed technologically over the years," said CEO Mark Neff. "The hospital has changed so much that for some employees who have remained employed and for those who have left, the hospital is not recognizable to them."

Suanne Bushong is a physician assistant in radiology for St. Claire Regional. She has been working to give care to the region for 28 years. She said she has witnessed one of the major medical changes at the hospital.

"I've been here long enough to see the huge impact the CT Scan (Cat Scan) has had on medicine," said Bushong. "In radiology, we've seen such a growth in technology. St. Claire has grown with it. St. Claire has always striven to keep up with technology."

As for her feelings about her job at the hospital, she is very satisfied.

"I can't imagine being anywhere else," Bushong said. "There is no other place I'd rather be."

Sister Mary Jeanne Frances Cleves was one of the first sisters to come and serve at the hospital in 1963.

"I felt at home the very day since I landed," Cleves said.

Director of Dietary and Environmental Service Mike Montes created the sculpture that was displayed at the celebration party. Every detail on the sculpture represents a special aspect of service St. Claire brings to the community.

"The cross with the letters ND represented the sisters of Notre Dame. The three angels are proclaiming the 45 years of service at St. Claire," Montes said. "It shows the Christian influence it has on society. I wanted to do something to show that."

Montes said he created the sculpture because of all the care the hospital does to support charities. St. Claire does about $2 million a month in charity work.

"This is one of the most caring facilities I worked at," Montes said.

The sculpture took Montes two days to construct and was made out of pure sugar.

Director of Mission Integration Margret Mouch said she was grateful St. Claire has been able to bring health and healing to the region.

"It is wonderful to be able to say we are still here caring for people and we are happy to celebrate this event with the community," Mouch said.

Neff said he and his staff greatly appreciate the members of the community who have supported the hospital.

"It is a good time to reflect on the sisters," Neff said. "We still have five sisters working here and we have six who have retired but are on the board."

"There have been some people who have continued to support the hospital financially over the years," Neff said. "We have reflected over our history and we are excited about what the future will hold."

One of the larger plans the hospital is working on is the new health building. The Education Health and Research Center is a 92,500-square-foot center that will focus on training for upcoming doctors, nurses, radiologists, as well as other medical students. The building will be located next to the hospital. Groundbreaking has been moved to Aug. 20. It had been scheduled for Aug. 7.


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