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franklin county times

Red Bay Hospital celebrates 50 years

Contributed
Pictured is the occasion of the very first birth at Red Bay Hospital, 50 years ago. The hospital will celebrate its 50 years Sunday in conjunction with special recognition from the Red Bay Garden Club for Arbor Day.

Each year, the Red Bay Garden Club celebrates Arbor Day by honoring a person or group in Red Bay with a ceremonial planting of a tree. This year, the honored recipient is Red Bay Hospital – in conjunction with the celebration of the establishment’s 50th birthday.

The community is invited to help celebrate these combined special observances March 5 beginning at 2 p.m. outdoors. The welcome will be given by hospital administrator Glen Jones, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Lee Alan Page and the National Anthem performed by Jarod Massey.

“We hope we’ll have a good event and good weather,” Jones said. He urged everyone to come help the hospital celebrate the auspicious occasion. “Every community, to grow and thrive, has to have a strong healthcare system. All across the nation, hospitals are in a state of flux; the whole healthcare system is in state of flux right now,” he pointed out. Closures, mergers and acquisitions abound. “This is a milestone, and we hope to be around for another 50-100 years to serve the community.”

Rosalyn Fabianke will introduce the ceremony and dedicate the tree in honor of past, present and future hospital employees.

An original poem, “The Hospital Tree,” will be read by Jean Marie Katrina Moore. The tree planting will be undertaken by Missy Brandon, Bill Crutchfield, Mayor Charlene Fancher, Jones and representatives from the Alabama Hospital Association, Huntsville Hospital System and Helen Keller Hospital.

A prayer of dedication will be offered by First Baptist Church pastor Bill Harper to close the ceremony, and a reception/birthday celebration will follow inside the hospital.

Additional festivities and attractions will be nearly as numerous as the number of years the hospital has been operating. The Alabama Forestry Service has provided 475 seedlings that will be distributed to attendees free of charge. Commemorative items, such as a CD of historic photos of the hospital, will be available for purchase. Staff will be conducting tours of the hospital, and health occupations students from Red Bay High will offer free blood pressure checks. A Keller EMS ambulance will be on display.

Jones said hundreds of invitations have been sent out, and he hopes the community as well as all past and present hospital personnel will attend. Present personal alone will make up a large attendance – Jones pointed out the hospital boasts 144 employees and an annual payroll of $4.8 million.

“We might be a small hospital, but we’re one of the larger employers in the community. We want to support the community any way we possibly can.”

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