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Yoakum hospital puts history on display

By Sonny Long
Sept. 3, 2012 at 4:03 a.m.
Updated Sept. 4, 2012 at 4:04 a.m.

Karen Barber, Yoakum Community Hospital administrator, explains who and what are in the photos on the wall of the History Hallway, recently unveiled at the hospital.

1917 - John Huth's bequest together with a bond issue is used to purchase land for first hospital.

1922 - Huth Memorial Hospital, a 13-bed facility, opens on Hubbard Street.

1933 - Sisters of The Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria take over management of the hospital. Huth Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is formed.

1950 - First hospital expansion complete.

1966 - Second hospital expansion complete.

1967 - Huth Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is re-established by Sister Xavier and Sister Joan of Arc.

1974 - Sisters of The Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria purchase the hospital.

1984 - The Sisters of Charity of The Incarnate Word of San Antonio take over ownership of the hospital. A new hospital corporation named Yoakum Catholic Hospital is formed.

1988 - Voters approve activation of the Yoakum Hospital District. The hospital is renamed Yoakum Community Hospital.

1995 - Ground is broken for the new facility.

1996 - Yoakum Hospital District assumes ownership.

1997 - New 53,000-square-foot, modern facility opens.

1998 - Yoakum Community Hospital is leased to Community Hospital Corp.

2004 - Yoakum Community Hospital achieves Critical Access Hospital designation.

2011 - Yoakum Community Hospital Foundation is created.

2012 - Plans for medical office building addition begins.

SOURCE: Yoakum Community Hospital

The history of the Yoakum Community Hospital is now on public display.

The hospital recently unveiled a History Hallway in its main building.

"The hospital has a lot of history, and we felt like we needed to share it with the community. It's their hospital," said administrator Karen Barber.

The display is divided into historical segments starting in 1922 with the opening of the first hospital. That segment runs through the 1930s. Other segments include the 1950-60s, 1980s-90s and 2012-tomorrow.

Each segment of the display is adorned with photographs from that era as well as other hospital memorabilia, such as a bill from 1960.

A large timeline dominates the center of the exhibit, displaying the hospitals historical highlights.

Barber, who has been at the helm of the hospital for about six years, said 2012 also marks the 90th year of the first hospital in Yoakum and the 15th year at its present location at 1200 Carl Ramert Drive.

Part of the display also includes plaques that were on doors of the old hospital.

The late Jim Witte, a former hospital board president, had them stored in his barn, Barber said.

"I'm really proud of this part of the display," said Barber, who began working at the hospital as a registered nurse 20 years ago.

The 25-bed facility has been a critical access facility since 2004 and services include labor/delivery, a surgery department, a swing bed program and physical therapy, Barber said.

The History Hallway also includes an architect's drawing of a planned medical office building that Barber hopes is completed by this time next year.

"The History Hallway is a look at where we began as well as a look into the future," she said.

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