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TOPIC: HMH celebrates the big 6-0!
OUR VIEW: Hospital is a community leader
When the community’s hospital opened its doors back in 1954, it was a far cry from what we see today with expansion taking place along North Dixie Avenue.
There were 81 hospital beds and not even 100 employees and medical staff.
But growth around the county and region led to development of a larger medical facility. County government and HMH responded in a big way. Over the years, HMH has become a regional hospital that provides its services to residents from 10 counties.
The growth has been immense. There now are 300 beds, 2,000 employees and a medical staff of about 250 professionals.
The current expansion is the development of a two-story North Tower complex that will house 56 private rooms, the expansion of the ER and relocation of the Cancer Care Center from the basement of the hospital to a location on RobinBrooke Boulevard.
So as HMH celebrates its 60th birthday this week with a Valentine’s Day event from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday in the fifth-floor auditorium, it is important to note the many contributions inside and outside of the facility HMH and its employees make in our community.
A leading healthcare provider for Hardin County and the region, it certainly is.
It also is a major employer in our area, surpassed only by the Hardin County Schools district for number of employees outside of the gates of Fort Knox.
The hospital routinely offers programs and screenings to help residents monitor everything from their pursuit to stop smoking and lose weight, or to reduce cholesterol.
Other organizations such as United Way of Central Kentucky would feel the impact if HMH didn’t exist with the contributions employees make to its fundraising campaign.
HMH is much more than a growing structure on Dixie, it is a big part of what identifies us as progressive county.
It is not a perfect hospital. There are times when patients have lengthy stays in the emergency room and lately it has experienced some serious financial setbacks. All that aside, we are much better off to live in our community because of the numerous positives from having a hospital such as HMH here.
The development of HMH, according to the hospital’s history, suggests there was skepticism that Hardin County indeed needed to venture into the hospital business.
“Many residents didn’t think Hardin County needed or could afford a hospital. They were accustomed to going to Louisville for care,” according to the hospital’s history.
Those who had the vision to look at what Hardin County may look like 25, 50, 60 years later back then, are the reason we have the facility we do today.
So in a few days, we will offer a happy birthday to HMH. Having a first-class healthcare provider in our community, however, is something that we should celebrate and be thankful for every day.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.