History of the Hospital


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


Scott Adams was named Administrator.


Howard Ainsley was appointed Chief Executive Officer.


WCCH implemented home health services.


WCCH establishes Fort Chiswell Medical Center.


Wythe Bland Pediatrics was opened with one pediatrician.


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.


Southwest Virginia Hospice was acquired by WCCH.


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


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.


Jerome (Jerry) Horn was appointed Chief Executive Officer.


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.


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


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


Five million dollar emergency room expansion and renovation was completed.


Timothy A. Bess is appointed Chief Executive Officer.


In 2014, we completed a major building/ renovation project and began another. We have also added new equipment and made a number of quality improvements to our state-of-the-art facility including installing a new ultrasound machine and added an ankle coil to our MRI.  Wythe County Community Hospital added five new physicians to our highly respected medical staff, including specialists in orthopedics, general surgery, pulmonology, cardiology and family medicine. WCCH invested $1,604,912 in the facility last year which,  including technology replacement, information technology additions/updates, and important facility upkeep and maintenance.


Chad Melton, Chief Executive Officer continued our mission to create a place where physicians want to practice by recruiting new providers in six different specialties.  These  included nephrology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, pediatrics and opthalmology.  These providers allowed us to expand product lines, add new service offerings to the community, create depth in services, and establish more convenient access points in the communities we serve.


WCCH added two new physicians to our staff in cardiology and podiatry and a physicain's assistant in orthopedics.  We employed 377 employees and made $2,344,766 in capital improvements.  We expanded our Physician Practices Family Care & Women's Health facility in Ft. Chiswell.  We also installed a pneumatic tub system allowing faster turnaround times for test results in our laboratory.  A new SPECT nuclear medicine camera was added.  


Chad Melton left WCCH and took a position with another LifePoint facility in Faquier, Virginia.  Adam Martin, became interim CEO while a search was initiatied to fill the CEO position.  Joseph Wilkins was hired in November as the new CEO for WCCH. Capital improvements totaled $1,204,814 and included the expansion of our Center for Pain Management clinic.  We launched the first in the area service line, Wythe Wound and Hyperbaric Medicine Center.  The center has two oxygen hyperbaric chambers and provides a much needed service to community.  WCCH added three new providers in urology, podiatry, orthopedics and hospital, family and emergency medicine.