A downpour of rain forced a change in location but did not dampen the spirits of those attending the 40th birthday celebration of DeKalb Community Hospital Thursday afternoon.
Plans were for the observance to be held under a huge tent on the grounds of the hospital but due to heavy rains, the program was re-scheduled an hour later at the Life Enrichment Center of the Smithville First Baptist Church.
The hospital's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Little, a Smithville native, thanked everyone for their show of support as the hospital turns 40 and he spoke of the future and what it holds for healthcare in this community.
"To have a successful hospital here like what we've had for the last 40 years, it really is partnership. It's the medical staff. It's the employees. It's your local government services, EMS, police, fire. And it's you, the patient, who chooses to come to our facility. It takes all of those to make an organization like this work. I can assure you that regardless of what happens on a national level or even on a state level, you can rest assured that it's this partnership that will continue to allow us to be successful, not just for the immediate future, but I believe also for decades to come. It's our commitment to make sure that for every patient that comes through our doors, we provide timely care, we provide great quality in the care that we deliver, we provide very compassionate service to each and every person whether you be a patient or a family member, and that we provide things in the most cost effective manner as we can. As all of us are acutely aware, that's part of the problem that we face. I think we have a unique situation here in the partnership that I just talked about, working together. Health care in this community works. I've had the opportunity to work in other communities and you see where a lot of lessons are learned that hard way. We don't have those issues with our partnership for health care services in this community. We're going to continue to grow as this community grows. We're going to provide the technology that we need to deliver excellent health care services. They've shown their commitment to do that in the decades previous and we're going to continue to show that on a go forward basis. It's been a very successful journey so far and I think it's going to be an even more successful journey and I highly encourage and wish that you help participate in that journey with us."
Local girl scouts and other children sang "Happy Birthday" for the occasion and later gathered outside for a "Butterfly Release"
Prior to Little's remarks, Dr. Doug Hooper gave a brief history of the hospital, mentioning names of the various groups and corporations who have owned and operated it since 1969 and he spoke of renovations, additions, and improvements that have been made at the hospital over the years to maintain and expand health care services.
Recognition was given to those attending who were born at DeKalb Community Hospital along with past and present employees, and members of the medical staff.
Everyone attending also enjoyed cake and ice cream.