BONNE TERRE — Dozens gathered under a big tent on a hot day to celebrate and be a part of history.
The celebration was for the 100th anniversary of Bonne Terre Hospital, now known as Parkland Health Center-North. Because of the heat, the ceremony was kept very short.
“We didn’t really want 100 (degrees) to celebrate our 100th,” said Joyce Wood, chairperson of the Parkland Health Center board.
Wood reminded the community members that they are lucky to have such a hospital in this rural community.
Parkland Health Center-North Administrator Carol Coulter, who started her nursing career at Bonne Terre Hospital, introduced current and past members of the hospital and foundation boards, as well as former administrators. Two former Bonne Terre Hospital Administrators, Dan Ganz and Charlie Roberts, attended the event.
Roberts, who still lives in the Bonne Terre area, was the administrator from 1978 to 1984. Ganz was the administrator from 1987 until 1992.
Current and former employees also attended, as well as the artist who painted the mural in the front lobby.
Those attending the ceremony, who weren’t afraid to stand in the heat, posed for a photograph in the form of the numbers 1-0-0. That photograph, taken by BJC staff, will hang in the hospital.
During the afternoon event, visitors were treated to food and drink by Bowtie Catering. They also were able to tour the hospital and see some memorabilia on display in the hospital’s front lobby.
In 1910, St. Joseph Lead Company bought a large plot of land near Bonne Terre Lake and built and equipped a new hospital at a cost of $75,000.
On June 20, 1911, the Bonne Terre Hospital Association was chartered as a non-profit hospital by a group of civic leaders. The doors opened to the public on July 23, 1911, and admitted its first patient a week later. Prior to this time, the hospital had only served St. Joe employees.
Bonne Terre Hospital became the first hospital in southeast Missouri and for many years was the only hospital between Cape Girardeau and St. Louis.
Bonne Terre Hospital was the first in southeast Missouri to be accredited by JCAHO and the first hospital between Memphis and St. Louis to have a board-certified surgeon on staff. It was the area’s first poison control center; the first area hospital to have a nurses’ training program; first to have LPNs state-qualified to perform routine intravenous procedures; area’s first outpatient hemodialysis unit in 1987; and the first area healthcare facility to offer primary healthcare on a full-time basis.
In 1911, there were eight doctors on staff, 197 admissions and one birth. In 1961, there were 17 active doctors on staff, 4,990 admissions, 725 births, 5,128 out-patient visits and 1,465 operations.
Last year, there were 151 doctors on staff, 3,820 in-patient visits, 92,184 out-patient visits, 35,091 emergency patients and 657 births.
In 1963, St. Joseph Lead Company turned the operations over to the community and the board of directors.
In 1984, the hospital became affiliated with Christian Health Services in St. Louis and in 1992, Bonne Terre Hospital merged with Farmington Community Hospital to become Parkland Health Center. The next year, Christian Health Services, Barnes Hospital and the Jewish Hospital merged to become BJC HealthCare.
On July 21, 1995, the hospital opened in a new $4 million facility on Raider Road just off U.S. 67.
Today Parkland Health Center North (Bonne Terre) is a primary care facility that provides 24-hour physician-staffed emergency services, lab, radiology, as well as oncology/hematology services, an infusion center, and a sleep disorder center. Renovations are planned for the oncology department.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.