The day Cedar County Memorial Hospital opened its doors, Nov. 6, 1960, there were 40 employees, including seven registered nurses, seven LPN’s and 12 aides. There were 10 doctors on staff. The hospital had beds for 35 patients and complete medical, surgical, maternity, laboratory and x-ray facilities. That first day there were five surgeries, one death and the first birth, Rodney Dale Buller was born the next day to Mr. ad Mrs. Elam Buller.
Those early years were not without a struggle. The finances were limited until reserves could be accumulated. Employees were willing to wait for payroll and some even asked for a reduction in their wages.
In 1961, Dave Gassoit, the hospital’s first administrator left and Joe Durham, business office manager, was promoted. Mr. Durham served in the capacity until July 1965.
John Bishop was promoted to administrator in 1965. He retired in 1972 and George Pyle was hired by the Board. Under Pyle’s administration the hospital embarked upon a $902,131 expansion project in 1976.
The project included the addition of the outpatient department and laundry. The radiology and laboratory department were expanded. The physical therapy department was included in the expansion and an open house for the expansion project was held two years later on July 16, 1978.
The hospital auxiliary was organized in 1979. Since its beginnings, the organization has donated thousands of dollars for equipment. That same year, Arlene Moomaw became the administrator.
In 1982, the hospital was selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a private grant foundation, to participate in the national swing-bed program. In four years it not only added services and equipment but financial support of $200,000. It gave Cedar County Memorial Hospital the opportunity to serve as a model for other programs in the state and nation.
In 1985, the hospital became debt free, by making the final payment of revenue bonds that were issued for the out- patients expansion. Since that time the hospital has continued to add new services.
In 1990, Rodney Roggow became administrator.
Jackie Boyles became the administrator after Roggow. The current administrator, Jana Witt, who began working at the hospital in 2007, became administrator in 2010.