History of the Hospital

1933

Dr. Ed Chitwood and Dr. Chimer Moore, Sr. started the Chitwood Memorial Clinic in the upstairs area of the building now occupied by Baldwin’s Store in Wytheville

1947

The Chitwood-Moore Hospital moved into a more modern facility on the second floor of the Leggett Building.

1952

Dr. Moore sold his interest in the hospital and the name of the facility was changed to Chitwood Memorial Clinic.

1965

The first Wythe County Community Hospital Board of Directors was appointed by the Wytheville-Wythe County Chamber of Commerce and the Articles of Incorporation were signed.

1966

WCCH officially became a non-stock, non-profit, charitable organization.

1967

The present hospital site was accepted under the leadership of Robert Eley Johnson, the first president, and the Wythe County Board of Supervisors authorized a bond referendum for $950,000.

1968

Vern E. Lentz was elected President of the Board of Directors.

1969

Construction began for a fifty-bed facility. Concurrently a Special Gifts Campaign was begun along with a $1,000,000 mortgage from the Wythe County Industrial Development Authority.

1970

Consideration of a fourth floor materialized, enlarging the hospital to a 100-bed unit

1971

James L. Sherwood was appointed Administrator.

May 13, 1972

WCCH held its dedication ceremony

July 18, 1972

The hospital opened its doors to the public offering a very “special” brand of personalized and quality health care for the citizens of Wythe and Bland counties

1978

A formal management agreement was signed between Wythe County Community Hospital and Roanoke Memorial Hospitals. John E. Cowhig was appointed the hospital administrator.

September 1978

Phase I of a $3.2 million expansion project was completed, adding space for the relocation of medical records, personnel offices, and the accounting department.

1979

Phase II of the expansion project was underway, adding a 6-bed intensive care unit, new delivery rooms, labor rooms, nursery, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, emergency department, business office, and an expanded radiology department.

August 1981

A dedication ceremony was held with Dr. Gaylord Williams speaking.

1984

Scott Adams was named Administrator.

1992

Howard Ainsley was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

1993

WCCH implemented home health services.

1994

WCCH establishes Fort Chiswell Medical Center.

1995

Wythe Bland Pediatrics was opened with one pediatrician.

1996

Lawrence H. Chewning III was named Chief Executive Officer and an $8.3 million master facility plan was completed, adding a new façade, renovating the second floor and converting the obstetric area into labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum rooms.

1998

Southwest Virginia Hospice was acquired by WCCH.

1999

The hospital underwent a partial asset sale whereby Carilion Health Systems purchased 40% of the hospital’s assets.

2000

The Women’s Outpatient Imaging Center opened on the campus of WCCH, and the hospital purchased 24.5 acres of land on the north side of the campus. The hospital also purchased the Pugh property on West Ridge Road and opened a hospitality house for traveling nurses, locum tenens, and new physicians. WCCH also entered a joint venture with the Town of Wytheville for a Wellness Center adjoining the campus of Wytheville Community College.

2001

Jerome (Jerry) Horn was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

2004

Carilion Health System and Wythe County Community Hospital terminated affiliation agreement. WCCH returned to being a 100% community hospital.

WCCH seeks affiliation with a large health care organization.

2005

WCCH signs an agreement with LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. John R. McLain is appointed CEO.

2007

Hospital announces emergency room expansion and renovation project.
John Berry is appointed interim CEO.
Eric Deaton is appointed Chief Executive Officer.

2009

Five million dollar emergency room expansion and renovation was completed.

2010

Timothy A. Bess is appointed Chief Executive Officer.