A great 80-year tradition

There aren’t many services more essential to a city than its hospital.

It’s a vital part of the community. It’s where we go when we’re sick, when we’re injured or when we need specialized treatments. It’s where children are born and it’s where life-saving treatments are administered.

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It’s an essential service for all of us.

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan is about to celebrate its 80th anniversary. That’s not 80 years for the current building. The current hospital building isn’t 80; it only dates back to 1992.

But it’s been 80 years since the first St. Joseph’s Hospital was built in Estevan.

A lot has changed over the years. At one time, it was in the 1400-block of Fourth Street, a towering structure overlooking the valley. Now it’s a sprawling, two-story complex in the northwest corner of the city.

We have seen changes to the staff members and the management. There have been radical advancements in technology. Many of us would look back at the equipment that the doctors and the nurses had to work with 80 years ago, and wonder how they could possibly treat anyone with the technology at their disposal.

At the same time, it’s often a testament to the skills of the people of the day that they were able to provide such a high level of care with the tools they had.

We’ve seen standards change in terms of what is acceptable and what isn’t. We’ve seen changes in terms of our expectations for healthcare providers. We’ve seen changes in terms of how hospitals operate.

But do you know what hasn’t changed? The commitment of the people of the hospital to providing excellent care to the community.

St. Joseph’s Hospital is about to celebrate its 80th anniversary. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the hospital since 1938, the people who have made it what it has been and what it is today, and the care that has been provided for so many people.

It won’t be as elaborate as the 75th anniversary celebrations we saw in 2013. Those festivities were held over a seven-day span, with all sorts of activities, festivities and celebrations for people to attend. It was a billed as a celebration of past present and future, and among the highlights was the first-ever St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Festival of Trees to wrap up the week.

This time the celebrations will be held over one day, on Nov. 26, but it will still be an opportunity to come together and pay tribute to one of the most vital buildings in the city.

It will be an opportunity for past and present employees to gather and reminisce, to recognize organizations like the Sisters of St. Joseph and the St. Joseph’s Health Care Auxiliary.

We have a lot of great services in Estevan, but very few could be described as essential. The hospital is one of them. It might be the one building in town that we will all spend time in at some point in our lives. Many of us will go there numerous times a year.

Where would we be without our hospital, without our healthcare system, and without the people who work at the hospital and the services provided at the building? Let’s keep that in mind as the 80th anniversary celebrations for our hospital draw near.

Healthcare isn’t always perfect, but we should be thankful for the level of care that we have access to in the community.

 

 

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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