History of the Hospital
1933Dr. 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
1947The Chitwood-Moore Hospital moved into a more modern facility on the second floor of the Leggett Building.
1952Dr. Moore sold his interest in the hospital and the name of the facility was changed to Chitwood Memorial Clinic.
1965The 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.
1966WCCH officially became a non-stock, non-profit, charitable organization.
1967The present hospital site was accepted under the leadership of Robert Ely Johnson, the first president, and the Wythe County Board of Supervisors authorized a bond referendum for $950,000.
1968Vern E. Lentz was elected President of the Board of Directors.
1969Construction 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.
1970Consideration of a fourth floor materialized, enlarging the hospital to a 100-bed unit
1971James L. Sherwood was appointed Administrator.
May 13, 1972WCCH held its dedication ceremony
July 18, 1972The 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
1978A formal management agreement was signed between Wythe County Community Hospital and Roanoke Memorial Hospitals. John E. Cowhig was appointed the hospital administrator.
September 1978Phase I of a $3.2 million expansion project was completed, adding space for the relocation of medical records, personnel offices, and the accounting department.
1979Phase 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 1981A dedication ceremony was held with Dr. Gaylord Williams speaking.
1984Scott Adams was named Administrator.
1992Howard Ainsley was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
1993WCCH implemented home health services.
1994WCCH establishes Fort Chiswell Medical Center.
1995Wythe Bland Pediatrics was opened with one pediatrician.
1996Lawrence 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.
1998Southwest Virginia Hospice was acquired by WCCH.
1999The hospital underwent a partial asset sale whereby Carilion Health Systems purchased 40% of the hospital’s assets.
2000The 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.
2001Jerome (Jerry) Horn was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
2004Carilion 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.
2005WCCH signs an agreement with LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. John R. McLain is appointed CEO.
2007Hospital announces emergency room expansion and renovation project.
John Berry is appointed interim CEO.
Eric Deaton is appointed Chief Executive Officer.
2009Five million dollar emergency room expansion and renovation was completed.
2010Timothy 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 ophthalmology. 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 physician'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 Fauquier, Virginia. Adam Martin, became interim CEO while a search was initiated 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.
In 2018, we added seven employed physicians in orthopedics, cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, nephrology, hospital medicine and family care. We made more than $500,000 in capital improvements and donated more than $2.8 million in services to those in need. WCCH provide the life-saving drug Narcan for placement in all Wytheville Police Department first responders vehicles. By continually investing in our facilities, we're helping to ensure that we continue to meet our community's healthcare needs. Last year's investments included renovations to accommodate a new sleep lab and an inpatient dialysis treatment center. We continue to support local non-profit agencies in our community through financial sponsorships.
Wythe County Community Hospital continued to invite the best possible providers into our community and added 10 providers in hospital medicine and primary care. We added 3D mammography, stereotactic equipment, two new anesthesia machines and 15 new patient beds; installed new parking lot lighting at our Ft. Chiswell facility and updated our fire alarm system.We made more than $1.2 million in capital improvements and donated more than $9.7 millions in services to those in need. We continued our support of non-profit agencies to include HOPE, Wythe Mercy and Refuge, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Agape Food Pantry, United Way and Ronald McDonald House to name a few.
Vicki Parks, CEO was hired as the new chief executive officer in November of 2020. She continues our mission of Making Communities Healthier through the contributions we make to Wythe and Bland counties. As our region found itself impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, that mission became even more critical to the well-being of our community. Residents were ordered to stay home with the exceptions of going to an essential job or shopping for essential needs. As cases grew, hospitals become overwhelmed, and there was a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). WCCH began telehealth visits to support patients who did not feel comfortable being seen in person. As cases continued to surge, countries kept their borders sealed. Businesses shut down (leading to massive job losses), schools closed, sporting events cancelled, and college students were sent home. People start wearing masks and practicing “social distancing.” WCCH conducted COVID test clinics through our ER and physician practices. Elective surgeries were cancelled for a few months due to the surge in COVID cases. Once vaccines were available, we worked with the Virginia Department of Health to provide vaccines to physicians, staff and community members. We were proud to be part of a national healthcare network that provided quality care for more than 20,000 COVID-19 patients in 2020 -- including here at home. LifePoint Health continued the support to look to a bright future and further enhance how we serve our neighbors each day. In 2020, we added three providers in pain management, podiatry and wound care. We made more than $700,000 in capital improvements and donated more than $7.9 million in services to those in need. This year's investments included a women's center room remodel, and ultrasound and hematology analyzer equipment. Environmental Services Technician James Sherrill was named WCCH’s 2020 Employee of the Year for going above and beyond in helping to keep our hospital safe. WCCH was grateful to continue supporting our community throughout the pandemic, including the Rock A Tee fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House as well as supporting other local non-profits in our community.
In 2021, we continued our mission of making communities healthier. Despite the continuation of (COVID-19), WCCH continued to serve the community in ways that we had not done before. Despite the epidemic, we added four providers in orthopedics, ENT, wound care and family medicine. We made more than $1.35 million in capital improvements and donated more than $7.7 million in services to those in need. We continued to support activities and organizations in our communities such as Downtown Wytheville, Inc., HOPE, Relay for Life, Wythe Arts Council, Rotary, WCPS, and Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce. Amy McBride was added to our Board of Trustees as Patient Liaison.
WCCH celebrated it's 50th Anniversary. On Thursday, July 21, 2022 a celebration was held on the grounds with official speeches and shared memories from a longtime nurse, Lavonne Blessing, RN and local leader and former Virginia Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark. Vicki Parks, WCCH CEO, recounted the hospital’s history from its beginnings in 1933. David Dill, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health, spoke about family taking care of family and how the hospital led from the front lines during the pandemic. Vice-mayor Cathie Pattison presented a proclamation from the Town of Wytheville and Town Council and Steven Bear presented a second proclamation from Wythe County Board of Supervisors. An acrylic plaque was also presented by Jody Jackson on behalf if Emergency Medical Services.
Inviting the best possible providers into our community and supporting them is essential to ensuring access to high-quality care. This year, we added providers in general surgery, family care, teleneurology, telepsychiatry and more.
By continually investing in our facilities, we’re helping to ensure that we continue to meet our community’s healthcare needs. This year’s investments included a GE AX Navigate digital X-ray system, new GI equipment and a LogiQ Fortis ultrasound.
We strive to create an environment where talent is recognized, job satisfaction is valued and our employees can effectively use their skills to provide high-quality care and service. Delivering care to all of our neighbors, regardless of their ability to pay, is foundational to our mission and our commitment to our community. We are proud to be a leader in our region, and our dedication to ensuring fiscal responsibility extends both to our hospital and to our community. In March of 2023, WCCH took home top honors at an annual awards ceremony held by its parent company Lifepoint Health in Nashville, Tennessee. The hospital received the company’s 2022 Operations Excellence Award for the central division of acute care facilities, while Vicki Parks, chief executive officer, was recognized with a top leadership award.