During the ceremony, speakers reminisced about the hospital’s history in celebration of 75 years as a hospital and 20 years as a McLeod Health hospital. Front row, left to right: Joan Ervin, Administrator, McLeod Health Dillon; John Braddy, Chairman, McLeod Health Board of Trustees; Dr. Karen Heath, Sisters of Saint Mary; Rob Colones, President of McLeod Health. Second row, left to right: Dr. Mamdouh Mijalli, Dr. Joseph Wangeh, Dr. Kievers Cunningham, Dr. Rebecca Craig, Dr. Granville Vance, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. David Braddy.
On Sunday, November 4, nearly 300 guests celebrated McLeod Health Dillon’s 75th Anniversary in the community and 20th Anniversary of joining McLeod Health.
Rob Colones, President of McLeod Health, welcomed the attendees and opened with prayer.
John Braddy, Chairman of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees, was born at Saint Eugene Hospital, now McLeod Health Dillon, 65 years ago. He emphasized the importance of the hospital to the community. “While many rural hospitals are closing their doors, McLeod Dillon continues to thrive and grow,” he said.
The Sisters of Saint Mary from Saint Louis, Missouri, were key in opening the original hospital in 1943. Dr. Victor Branford, a Dillon physician who saw the need for a hospital in Dillon, sent a plea for help to the Sisters, whose mission was to build hospitals in areas of need. Dr. Karen Heath, Sisters of Saint Mary, was a practicing physician at Dillon Family Medicine for 14 years before returning to Saint Louis. She provided the group with vivid memories of her time in Dillon.
The celebration began at the original entrance to the hospital, under a cross erected by the Sisters.
Joan Ervin, Administrator of McLeod Health Dillon, told the group, “Each morning when I drive into work, I see that cross and it reminds me of why I went into healthcare.”
Ervin also thanked the community for their support. “Our success is your success,” she said. She praised the employees and medical staff, saying, “Our medical staff could practice anywhere in the country, but they have chosen to practice right here in Dillon, SC.”
The guests were then invited inside the hospital to tour the facility. Tours featured 3D Mammography, the hospital’s recent Baby-Friendly designation, Telemedicine, the Volunteer Auxiliary, McLeod Air Reach and HeartReach, a display of history from the early 1940s to the present and quality and achievements achieved by the hospital.