Geary Community Hospital has been observing a Century of Caring this year and Monday officially marked 100 years.
The first hospital in Junction City was founded September 9th, 1913, by Dr. W.A. Carr and was located in a small home on the corner of 2nd Street and Adams. In 1919 the Hospital moved to a larger location at the corner of Ash and Jefferson. It operated in that location until 1967 when it moved to its current location on the corner of Ash and St. Mary’s Rd.
To celebrate the Hospital’s centennial GCH has held multiple events including a kick off ice cream social in April, entering a float in the Sundown Salute Parade in July, as well as having displays on the history of the hospital at the Geary County Historical Museum.
Monday’s event capped off the celebration. Dr. Joe Stratton, CEO of Geary Community Hospital, spoke to the crowd of around 150 people during the celebration. Stratton said that the goal of the hospital in 1913 was to provide quality healthcare and the hospital continues to grow on that goal,”A century later Geary Community Hospital continues to build upon our 100 year foundation and to hold fast to the commitment of providing quality healthcare to every patient without regard to the families ability to pay.”
The hospital holds a special place in many peoples lives including Florence Whitebread, Geary County Commissioner. Whitebread’s mother, Freida Zernickow-York, was a nurse at Junction City Hospital in the early 1930’s and at that time the nurses lived in the nursing quarters of the hospital, according to Whitebread. “They lived there and worked in the hospital.”
Whitebread also mentioned, “She talked about at that time they mended the surgical gloves, the white surgical gloves, the nurses had to mend them when they got tore.”
The Celebration was followed by the dedication of a time capsule that was placed in the bottom of a permanent display case in the main lobby of the hospital. Gail Stein, GCH Auxiliary President, dedicated the time capsule which contains pictures of all three hospitals over the past 100 years, along with pictures of equipment and the technological advancements over the past century.
A plaque was placed over the capsule and will be re-opened September 9th, 2113.