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Scotland County Hospital History Article


Time travels quickly. Although it seems hardly possible, the operation of Scotland County Memorial Hospital is well into its 4th decade. In 1970 the governing board of directors consisted of Glen Myers (chairman), Clare Morgan (vice present), Hollis Boyer, Leon Cowell, Paul Drummond, and P.C. Hinds.

The Administrator was Gale Robertson, and the Ladies Auxiliary listed Beverly Daggs (president), Helen Cone (vice president), Marilyn Kittle (secretary), and Jean Crawford (treasurer), as it’s members.

The hospital’s beginnings date back prior to 1970. Stories were running in the Memphis Democrat in June of 1968 by reporter, Dorothy Childress, reflecting that it may still be possible to have a community Hospital and where citizens could sign their pledges at either bank in Memphis. Stories continued in 1969 about donations from many local organizations, and scheduled fund raising events.

During the grand opening in July of 1970 there were over 3,000 in attendance according to local news stories. At 8:am July 20, SCMH opened it’s doors with two patients admitted. Nationally, at that time, the average length of time for a patient’s hospital stay was 4, 5, or 6 days.

The first baby to arrive at SCMH was born to Mr. & Mrs. Kent DaVolt, arriving at 9:42am, Tuesday, July 21, 1970. The hospital’s first set of twins was born to Mr. & Mrs. Robert Azinger of Memphis, on March 26, 1971.

Nearly three decades later a story in the Memphis Democrat would read: “mini baby boom hits SCMH with Seven Babies born in a 48 hour-period”.

The 1970 active medical staff physicians were: John Beckert, D.O.,G.P., Mary K. Bruns, D.O., G.P. (chief-of-staff), Harlo L. Donelson, D.D.S., Earl R. Minter, D.O., G.P. (vice-chief-of-staff) and Cecil M. Simler, D.O., G.P.

In February of ‘74 the voters of Scotland County approved a special bond issue to expand the hospital with a 10-bed addition as well as other improvements to the health care facility.

In 1980, at the 10th anniversary, 13 employees were honored for 10 year service, and at that time, the Board of Directors that had been serving since the hospital’s opening included Glen Myers, Paul Drummond, and Hollis Boyer.

A supporter of Scotland County Memorial Hospital, Ronald W. Keller, D.O., P.C. opened his clinic practice of general medicine in 1982, known today as “Keller Medical Center” Hwy. 15 North, in Memphis.

During the ‘80’s there was also a swing-bed program approved, Missouri University helicopters began 24 hour emergency services to SCMH, and new services offered at SCMH included an emergency “lifeline” program for people in their own homes.

In 1988, Marcia Dial was hired as the CEO of the hospital.  She had previously worked in the Business office of the Hospital since 1977.

In 1995 the hospital dedicated one of SCMH’s largest expansions, an outpatient/emergency services complex adjoining the south-side of the hospital complex, providing a two-bay emergency room, an expanded laboratory, a cardiopulmonary center, a cardiac rehab center, a physical therapy rehab center, and also included a new specialty physician outpatient clinic center, plus a new 2-bay ambulance base.

Additionally that same year the “Cradle-Of-Care” Birthing Center was improved and expanded as well as the Radiology Department which was enlarged, expanded and relocated to near the E.R.

In 1998 the continuing need to provide quality healthcare for Scotland County involved another large building project producing a new medical building into which Robert Schneider, D.O. board certified in family practice, moved his existing practice. The building housed two large reception areas, five physicians & staff, clinical exam rooms, a procedure room, and Memphis Eye Clinic.

In 2001, the Hospital opened Lancaster Medical Services in Lancaster, Missouri (Schuyler County) as a Rural Health Clinic.  A new building was built for the clinic on U.S. Hwy 63 North, in January 2005.

A mobile MRI machine started servicing the Hospital in July 2003.  (http://www.memphisdemocrat.com/2003/news/030724_mri.shtml)

On July 7, 2006, Scotland County Hospital opened its doors to the new Women’s Center.  The ultra-modern structure for women was made possible by Scotland County Hospital and by the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) funding of a $1,318,255 grant awarded in February of 2005.  MFH awarded 15 other grants across the state totaling more than $7 million.

Addition expanded Memphis Medical Services, Therapy Services, Cardiac Rehab & Cardiopulmonary Departments occurred in May 2007.  

In January 2010, the Hospital dropped the word ’Memorial’ out of the name.  The hospital’s legal name is Scotland County Memorial Hospital District and is now ‘doing business as’ (d.b.a.) Scotland County Hospital.  This change is due, in part, to public confusion with other hospitals in the area with the same initials.   With this name change, came a new and updated logo for the hospital, encompassing the new SCH initials in the logo crest.

On April 15, 2010, Hospital CEO, Marcia Dial took a phone call from USDA’s Secretary Vilsack’s office informing her that the Department had approved the Hospital’s request for $10 million dollars for hospital expansion, renovation & debt reduction.  The funding will help with the construction of a new Emergency Department on the south side of the building, new & renovated patient rooms on the north as well as a new surgery suite on the north side and a clinic addition, community room and library on the east side of the Hospital.