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Colquitt County Medical Care: The Early Years

The 1930's - Not the Best Time to Raise Money

Leadership Stability the Key to Success

Meeting the Challange 70 Years Later

70 Years in Healthcare

1893 - First organization of medical practitioners formed in Moultrie, establishing the Colquitt County Medical Society in president Dr. J.I. Wilson's home.

1905 - First local branch of the State Medical Society formed in September.

1914 -- Citizens of Moultrie and Colquitt County first attempted to build a hospital. That effort, as well as others over the next 25 years, all failed. At lease two of those attempts progressed to the fund-raising stage.

1914 - Dr. Julius C. Stone of Doerun successfully completed the third post-mortem birth in the United States, as published by the American Medical Journal.

1915 - Dr. Everett Daniel established a sanitarium in a remodeled home on West Central Avenue. Dr. Daniel is also accredited with the first appendectomy in this part of the state during the time period of 1910-1915.

1921 - The Edmondson-Brannen Sanitarium was built on Main Street.

1935 – The Public Works Administration (WPA) approved $50,000 for construction of a new hospital in Moultrie contingent upon the community matching those funds.

1937 – Moultrie businessman W.C. Vereen pledged $27,000 toward the matching funds. He later increased his pledge to $50,000, when it was determined the new hospital would cost more than originally thought, and made the offer contingent upon the community matching his funds.

1938 – The community conducted a grassroots campaign to raise $50,000 to match Mr. Vereen’s contribution and to make possible the construction of the new hospital, which would eventually cost $140,500 to build.

Oct. 17, 1939The new facility – Vereen Memorial Hospital – was dedicated. Mrs. Pierina Egan was the hospital’s first administrator.

Oct. 24, 1939 – Mrs. Hamp Kendall and Mrs. Lona Jordan were the hospital’s first patients to be admitted with Mrs. Kendall being the first to undergo an operation.

Oct. 31, 1939The first baby – Mary Ellen Leggett, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. W.C. Leggett of Moultrie – was delivered at Vereen Memorial.

May 16, 1941Mrs. Nora Manning was appointed as the hospital’s second administrator.

1952 – Colquitt County Hospital Authority was created by Georgia law.

1952 - Vereen Memorial Hospital is expanded, doubling bed capacity to 83 and costing $795,363, aided by the Hill-Burton Hospital Construction Act of 1950 that allowed governmental funds to match those raised locally.

1954 – Vereen Memorial received its first expansion, increasing the capacity of the hospital from 44 beds to 83 beds. The cost of the expansion was $795,363.

December 12, 1954 – Newly renovated hospital was dedicated by Governor Herman Tallmadge.

1955 – Dr. Walter E. Harrison performed the first C-section in Colquitt County.

1957 - A convalescent wing, this first of its kind in Georgia, was added, increasing the bed number to 132. The addition cost a total of $242,000.

1958 - The Norman-Vereen nurse training program began, with Norman McClendon as its first director. The program operated until 1965 when Norman College closed.

1962 - New wing added to the Laboratory and Pathology Department, costing $82,375, with half of the funds being local and the other half from the state.

Sept. 17, 1963 – Organizational meeting for the Vereen Memorial Auxiliary was held at the hospital. Mrs. Mary Vereen was the first president. The Auxiliary would become known as the “Pink Ladies.”

Oct. 17-18, 1963– Vereen Memorial Auxiliary attended its first Georgia Hospital Association Council on Auxiliaries training conference in Atlanta. The meeting was held in the Crawford Long Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Nov. 8, 1963– A capping ceremony was held for first five volunteers to complete training. They were Mrs. Wilse Martin, Mrs. John Rucker, Mrs. Roy Zess, Mrs. Jack Valentino and Mrs. Mary Vereen.

Dec. 31, 1963 – Auxiliary received one of its first large contributions from Riverside Manufacturing Co. for $200. In the letter with the donation W.C. “Bud” Vereen wrote: “Everyone is proud of what the Pink Ladies are doing and it is difficult to realize how the Hospital operated without them.”

Jan. 2, 1964– Vereen Auxiliary was admitted to Type V Institutional Membership in the American Hospital Association.

1964 – Vereen Memorial Candy Stripers organized.

Aug. 6, 1968Mrs. Manning retired as hospital administrator and was succeeded by Millard L. Wear, who had considerable hospital administration experience.

March 7, 1972Colquitt County voters approved a $3 million bond referendum to build a new hospital. The Hospital Authority and County Commission agreed upon a $2 million anticipated fund program, making a total of $5 million raised for the new hospital.

1972 - Dr. Perry LaConte and Dr. Rod Hester perform the hospital's first arteriogram.

May 18, 1973 – Construction began on Colquitt County’s new hospital.

1974 – Dr. DW Adcock was the first orthopedic surgeon to practice in Colquitt County.

Oct. 27, 1975Colquitt County Memorial Hospital was dedicated. It’s bed capacity increased to 155 beds.

Nov. 1, 1975 – Fifty-five patients were transferred from the Vereen Memorial hospital location to CCMH on South Main, 2.5 miles away. The patient transportation took only an hour.

1975 - The Radiology Department was enabled to use nuclear medicine, angiograms, ultrasound, and modern computerization with the advent of the new hospital.

March 21, 1978Construction began to add a fifth floor to the hospital. The expansion cost $1,536,273.

Aug. 1, 1982Mr. Wear retired as administrator and was replaced by James R. (Jim) Lowry who had served as assistant administrator and director of finance at the hospital for the previous 11 years.

Aug. 1, 1983The hospital affiliated with Visiting Nurses Association to extend its care for patients beyond their discharge from the hospital.

January 1985 – The hospital’s name was changed to Colquitt Regional Medical Center to improve the facility’s position in the larger healthcare market of South Georgia.

1994 – Speech Therapy at Colquitt Regional Medical Center was established.

1995 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center acquired Visiting Nursing Association.

1995 – New obstetrics wing opens at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

1996 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center changed the named of VNA to Colquitt Regional Home Care Services.

Home Health started providing speech therapy in the home.

May 1997 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center opened its dialysis facility.

1998 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center began providing Occupational Therapy & Wound Care Clinic services in its rehabilitation department.

Colquitt Regional Medical Center implemented the newborn hearing screen program. The Auxiliary purchased the Natus screening instrument.

1999 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center Speech pathology services began contracting with Babies Can’t Wait, a division of Family Health in our health district, to provide services in natural environments for children birth to 3 years old.

May 2003 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center moved its dialysis facility to a new location across the street from the main building.

2004 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center Speech Pathology obtained certification and began providing Vital Stim, a neuromuscular electrical stimulation treatment.

May 2005 - Cardiac Cath lab opens at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

February 2007 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center radiology installs a 64-slice scanner and PACS systems.

July 2007 – Colquitt Regional Medical Center received Georgia Hospital Association’s Leadership Award for the proactive role it takes toward the improvement of healthcare for the community.