Centra Southside Community Hospital Celebrates 85th Birthday On Friday

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

Centra Southside Community Hospital celebrates its 85th birthday on November 9.

The celebration that week includes parties for hospital staff and clinics. With the current lobby and main entrance construc-tion project, a celebration for the community will be scheduled after completion of the projects.

EW Tibbs, CEO, said it's “an important milestone in our history.”

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It all started in 1923. Interest in a hospital in Farmville began under the sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce. The pur-pose was to obtain a hospital that would serve the rich and the poor as well as measure up to “big city” standards of medicine. A bill was passed in the Virginia House of Delegates authorizing Prince Edward and Cumberland counties to issue bonds for con-struction of a hospital and nurses training school. However, soon thereafter, the Commonwealth Fund of New York City was established by a philanthropic family for the purpose of developing health services in rural sections of the United States. Farmville Lions Club member Dr. Thomas Hardy received a copy of the prospectus, and presented it to the Lions Club of Farmville. A committee was named and contact was made with the NY headquarters.

A director of the fund visited Farmville and met with members of the medical profession, the Farmville Lions Club, and oth-ers. The campaign committee, headed by Lion Dr. J. L. Jarman began to raise the $60,000 needed to start the project. In July 1926, the Farmville Manufacturing Company was awarded the construction contract and by November 1927, Southside Com-munity Hospital had opened its doors to patients.

The original 40-bed hospital cost $180,000 to build and equip. That expenditure, minimal by today's standards, has proven to be a wise investment.

CSCH has been the healthcare center of Southside Virginia since opening its doors November 9, 1927. Since then, it has op-erated on a non-profit basis with the goal of helping to heal the ill and injured. The hospital now serves the residents of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward Counties.

“The hospital has dealt with constant change yet been very forward-thinking in addressing community needs”, Tibbs said. “We plan to continue to change over time and to continue to invest in our hospital and support the community. We've been pro-active in investing in new technology and new services for patients.”

“We have come a long way. We strive for excellent care, every time. It's what we stand for as an organization and what we believe in. We continue to strive for that,” he said.