10/29/10 In 1910, two physicians built a three-story facility at 310 North Michigan Street in downtown Plymouth, establishing a foundation for quality healthcare in Marshall County that would continue for the next 100 years.

While the name and location of the community hospital has changed over the years, what remain are a dedication to medical advancements, outstanding community support, an ambition to grow, and a commitment to increase access to quality healthcare.

On Wednesday, October 27, at the Marshall County Historical Museum in downtown Plymouth, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center/Plymouth began celebrating a century of care. A special program took place at 5:30 P.M. at the newly renovated museum with the unveiling of a special exhibit commemorating the hospital’s 100-year history. Then on Saturday, October 30, following a breakfast at the hospital, past and present employees of SJRMC and their families are invited to the museum from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM to view the exhibit. Starting on Monday, November 1, the exhibit will continue to be on display for the general public.

“One hundred years is certainly something to be proud of but what really pleases us the most is that we have been able to maintain and enhance what two physicians started here back in 1910,” said Lori Price, SJRMC/Plymouth’s President. “Their modest three-story facility is the foundation for quality healthcare that thrived for the next ten decades and because we have some of the most dedicated people working here providing their extraordinary talents to keep this community healthy, we will continue to thrive for many decades to come. Our physicians, nurses, and entire staff are world class.”

SJRMC also presented a $5,000 check to the Marshall County Historical Museum, which was accepted by the museum’s Executive Director, Linda Rippy.

In the last two years, SJRMC/Plymouth has spearhead initiatives that are improving the lives of those in Marshall County and the surrounding area, as a testament to the hospital’s commitment to the community.

 SJRMC/Plymouth’s Wound Healing Center opened in early 2009 as the area’s only facility offering Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with its hyperbaric chambers to treat complex wounds.

In August 2009, SJRMC/Plymouth opened its Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, the only one of its kind in the Marshall County Community and surrounding area, bringing an unprecedented level of heart health and advanced medical technology, combined with compassionate, caring, and convenient patient experience.  Three-dimensional images are obtained in high resolution without the distortion common with conventional x-ray techniques.  Fine blood vessels and interventional devices are visualized in precise detail from almost any angle.  Time-consuming and uncomfortable patient repositioning are eliminated, making the procedure faster and less stressful for the patient.

SJRMC/Plymouth has also enhanced its surgery and oncology services in recent years. With the opening of its Surgery Center, the hospital enables area residents to receive compassionate, comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for their surgical services without having to travel outside of Marshall County.

SJRMC/Plymouth’s Radiology Department continues to provide convenience with its new Computerized Tomography Angiography (CTA) procedure, allowing patients to have CTA’s done without having to travel to South Bend or Mishawaka.  The CTA is a special, less invasive procedure that looks at specific arteries and vessels.  Thanks to CTA, a procedure that used to take up to six hours can now is completed in 15 minutes.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a relatively new technology in radiation oncology, continues to allow SJRMC/Plymouth’s Oncology Department to treat much more complex cancer cases.  IMRT delivers radiation more precisely to the tumor, while sparing the surrounding normal areas.  This enables a much better quality of life for cancer patients, as many of the side effects can be eliminated.

“From OB/GYN and pediatrics to surgeons and specialists, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center is committed to providing big city medicine with a personal touch that is so characteristic of this wonderful community,” said Price. “You don’t have to go very far for your healthcare needs. We are right here for you – right here at home- right here for hundreds of more years.”

The Marshall County Historical Museum is located at 123 North Michigan Street in Plymouth. For more information on the special exhibit honoring SJRMC/Plymouth’ celebrating a century, call (574) 936-2306.