By BRIAN GRAVES
Tennova-Cleveland threw a birthday party for itself Wednesday as it celebrated the 65th anniversary of the opening of its predecessor, Bradley Memorial Hospital. It also marked the occasion of …
Tennova-Cleveland threw a birthday party for itself Wednesday as it celebrated the 65th anniversary of the opening of its predecessor, Bradley Memorial Hospital.
It also marked the occasion of the first baby to be born at the hospital, and the records were made official that local businessman Allan Jones made his appearance at Bradley Memorial on Dec. 31, 1952.
“This is a momentous occasion in the history of this hospital,” said Tennova-Cleveland CEO Coleman Foss. “It is such a testimony for this hospital to have survived and endured for 65 years and continues to grow. Cleveland also continues to grow and that gives us ample opportunities to continue to prosper and serve the community.”
Foss said in anticipation of the event, there was a tally made of how many of the current hospital employees now work there.
“It is over 150 of the current employees that was born here and continue to work here and I think that is a testimony that folks want to stay in this community and also serve in this hospital to take care of their neighbors and patients in this area,” he said.
He said there were so many exciting things that have happened at the hospital over the last six decades.
“I can assure you over the next 10 to 20 years we will get to see as much change if not more,” Foss said. “It’s our goal to deliver that to the people of this county.”
Mayor Tom Rowland called it “the finest hospital in the area.”
“Now, it’s become a regional medical center and I can say from firsthand experience I am impressed with the care that you get at this hospital,” Rowland said. “The leadership, from the administration on down, says a lot about the way the people love their work and the way they minister to this community.”
“I have seen those that work here not only minister to the patient, but minister to the families of the patients who come here,” the mayor said.
Rowland took a gentle jab at Jones, noting his parents had little way of “knowing what they had created.”
“I mean that in a nice way,” he added. “They certainly created a champion of the people, a champion of the community, and a champion for every one that he knows and Allen, we appreciate all you do and continue to do for our community.”
Dr. Lindsey Hathcock, executive assistant to County Mayor D. Gary Davis, stood in for him at Wednesday’s ceremony.
“This hospital was built for the community seven years after World War II and they are still going strong,” Hathcock said. “That’s a commitment not only to the people, but to this community.”
“It has provided hope and healing for sickness. Funds from it have provided hope for our community through the endowment which will continue to grow for generations to come. And, it reminds us of hope for our future,” he said.
Hathcock noted the Jones family could live anywhere in the world, “but you choose here and we appreciate that.”
“The doctors who work at this hospital could choose to anywhere, but they work here and we appreciate that.” he said. “On behalf of Bradley County and Mayor Davis, I want to say thank you.”
Foss presented Jones with a plaque encasing a newspaper clipping announcing the arrival of “little William Allan Jones Jr.” as the first baby born in the hospital within a week after the facility opened its doors.
“His daughter was also the first baby born in the new Women’s Center back in 1984,” Foss noted.
“I have a special place to put this,” Jones said. “And, I will use this as proof that I was the first baby here.”
Jones noted his sons, Will and Bailey; daughters, Courtney and Abby; and granddaughter, Gincy were all born at the hospital.
“We go back a long way with this hospital and not only was I born here, I was raised on this same hospital block,” Jones said. “I played in the hospital woods my entire childhood. I was here almost every day.”
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