SHELBYVILLE, IL – On Sunday, September 23, from 3 – 5 p.m., HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The public is invited to a celebration on the hospital lawn with activities for all ages. At the event, the hospital will have a health fair, a kids’ corner, bounce house, EMS vehicles, giveaways and refreshments.
The story begins in 1916, during the throes of World War I, a deadly swine flu epidemic was sweeping the nation. Shelby County had a population of more than 40,000 and 30+ miles stood between a Shelbyville citizen and the nearest hospital. That journey was too far to travel by train or horse and buggy. A group of concerned citizens united in a mission to build a hospital in the county seat of Shelbyville. In their fund raising materials, they dubbed this project as “Shelby County’s greatest need.”
A door-to-door fund raising campaign ensued and within five days, they raised $35,000, which is the equivalent to over $654,000 in today’s market. According to hospital records, one donor gave $10,000 twice. It took two years to build the Shelby County Memorial Hospital Association, Inc.
On July 4, 1918, the 16-bed hospital was dedicated and opened its doors. The first patient was admitted on August 5 when O.C. Pancoast broke his leg. Within a few hours, several patients had been admitted and within two days, four minor surgeries were scheduled.
To feed the patients and hospital staff, the hospital had a garden on the grounds and had a few farm animals. The staff also accepted food stuffs such as vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy products from the public. During that time, the maintenance man for the hospital also tended its garden, chicken coop and one cow. Blankets and linens were donated to the hospital in its early days.
Throughout the years, six major remodeling projects have taken place to grow the hospital and expand its services. Subsequent additions were made to the building in the 1950s, 1960s. At one point, in 1964, the hospital had a 101-bed capacity. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. was on hand for the dedication ceremony of the wing.
Since those early days, many lines of service have been added including therapy, cardiac therapy, cardiac testing, radiology, medical equipment, laboratory and sleep lab. Most recently, new lines of service include orthopedic surgery and neurology.
For 99 years, the hospital remained an independent entity. The hospital went through several name changes. First, it was shortened to Shelby County Memorial Hospital and then in the 1980s was further abbreviated to Shelby Memorial Hospital.
In January of 2017, it became the 15th hospital in the Hospital Sisters Health System. Becoming a faith-based hospital meant a new name. The Sisters of St. Francis, board members of the hospital and community members chose the name it wears today, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital.
Throughout the years, one thing has stood true, the hospital remains a vibrant part of the community, saving lives, promoting wellness and offering excellent health care.
“The hospital benefits everyone. When most people consider where they are going to raise their family, they look at two major elements in a community – schools and health care,” said President and CEO of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Aaron Puchbauer. “We couldn’t be more happy with the support our community has shown us throughout the last century and are very excited to turn the page on our next century of service. We plan to continue to bring the best local care we can 24/7.”
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in health care for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the health care services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s health care needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.