A crowd of over 500 braved the heat and humidity to attend the July 20th open house at FCH held to celebrate the opening of the hospital's new addition.
During the opening program, Dr. Arnold, who also serves as the hospital board's chairman, spoke about the need for the hospital and the struggles and triumphs that have kept the hospital open for the past 35 years. He emphasized how important community support is to the future success of FCH and gave credit to the community for keeping the hospital moving forward.
Hospital Administrator, Angie Richmond, recognized the founding members of the hospital board as well as all of the administrators who have served since its beginning. She spoke of new services coming to the hospital and thanked the community, government leaders, individuals and businesses who have worked to make the expansion a reality. Special recognition was given to the Fulton County Master Gardeners for their work landscaping the grounds of the hospital.
Fulton County Judge Charles Willett spoke about the importance of the hospital to the community and the way the board, the people of Fulton County and many individuals have worked together to expand the services of the hospital. Willett also gave special recognition to his mother, Evelyn Willett, who was one of the first employees hired when the hospital opened in 1963, and who continued to work for the hospital until her retirement over a year ago.
Fulton County resident, George Walling, brought laughter and tears to those attending as he relayed his personal experiences with the hospital telling the large crowd that he would not be here today without the emergency services the hospital offers. He also thanked the doctors who have cared for him and his family during terrifying times, emphasizing the personal care that FCH's doctors give to their patients.
Tony Caudel, an employee of FCH, sang "Thank You." He was joined by another FCH employee, David Elms, at the conclusion of the program to sing "Touch a Hand Make a Friend," while members of the hospital's administration, hospital board, doctors and FCH employees made their way through the large crowd thanking those in attendance for supporting the hospital.
Tours of the new addition began immediately after the ceremony and continued for several hours giving the community a first-hand look at the new, state-of-the-art addition.
Visitors also got their first look at The Healing Garden located in the courtyard of the hospital. The garden, donated by the Clayton family, offers an outside retreat for patients and their families.
Refreshments were served in the hospital's new cafeteria which was decorated with live orchids from "The Orchid Lady," Sidney Nisbet of Cherokee Village.
Fulton County Hospital Foundation members were present to provide information about the different levels of room sponsorships and The Wall of Fame which will be developed at the hospital. Special plaques are displayed at the entrance of rooms already sponsored by area families. Sponsorships are still available and can be made by contacting the Foundation at 870-895-6209.
Those who were unable to attend the open house are encouraged to stop by or call the hospital at 870-895-2691 to learn about the many services the hospital offers.
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