Ozarks Medical Center in WP celebrates 59 years with March 2 birthday party
Area residents are invited to join the Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains as it celebrates 59 years of service with a party to be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the OMC main lobby at 1100 Kentucky Ave. Birthday cake will be served and tours will be offered. Featured speakers include OMC chairman Kevin Gleghorn, OMC board member Travis Smith and OMC president and CEO Tom Keller.
Carol Silvey, vice president for advancement of the OMC Foundation, said organizers are “reaching out to original donors and their descendants. This is a celebration for them and for the sacrifices their families made over 59 years ago. We may not be able to reach everyone, so this is an open invitation to welcome all families of donors and everyone in the community to this celebration.”
OMC donor relations coordinator Amanda Smith said the West Plains area “raised $350,000 in the 1950s to ensure we had a quality medical facility.” A government grant matched the community-raised funds to total $700,000.
The hospital, which began as a one-building facility with obstetrics, primary care and an emergency department, is now a 114-bed acute-care hospital with eight primary-care and 15 specialty clinics, along with rehabilitation and home-care services. It is still a community-owned, not-for-profit medical center run by a local board of directors; it has more than 1,200 employees and serves an eight-county area, including Ozark County, in south central Missouri and north central Arkansas.
Silvey noted that the celebration’s speakers are descendants of original donors. “Kevin Gleghorn’s family members were original donors, and his father was one of the early hospital administrators. Travis Smith’s family members were also original donors. Without their families, and all of the other families who made sacrifices by donating hard-earned wages, this community hospital wouldn’t be here,” Silvey said.
Everyone is invited. Valet parking will be available.