Hospital celebrates milestone

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2003

CENTREVILLE&045;In 1927, after practicing medicine for six years in a small clinic on the second floor of the Centreville Drug Store, Dr. Richard Jennings Field Sr. borrowed $50,000 and built a hospital.

He was joined by his brother, Dr. Sam Field, when the 35-bed facility opened in 1928, beginning a long-standing tradition of quality health care in the rural Miss-Lou area.

This month, that tradition will be celebrated when Field Memorial Community Hospital marks its 75th anniversary.

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&uot;The reason we’ve been able to survive is because we’ve been able to keep up technologically,&uot; said Dr. R.J. &uot;Dick&uot; Field Jr., who began practicing with his father and uncle at FMCH in 1956.

Today, the hospital provides a team of general and specialty care physicians and their patients with access to valuable diagnostic tools, such as CAT scans, sonograms, and mammograms.

&uot;We have everything they have in the big city hospitals.

Our vision has always been to bring the best medical care we could possibly provide to our patients,&uot; said Dr. Dick, whose own son, Dr. R.J. &uot;Rich&uot; Field III represented the third generation of Field surgeons at FMCH when he joined the staff in 1985.

The hospital’s anniversary will be highlighted on March 20 at 7 p.m. with the 25th annual Distinguished Lectureship at Centreville Academy.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Donald J. Palmisano, the president-elect of the American Medical Association.

Palmisano, a surgeon and licensed attorney, will speak on tort reform and the medical malpractice insurance crisis.

Photographs documenting the history of the hospital &045; including many former patients and employees &045; will be featured in a display at the lectureship.

Afterward, the exhibit will remain on display in the hospital lobby, according to an FMCH spokesperson.

The public is invited to the lectureship, and persons interested in attending should RSVP by calling the hospital’s public affairs office at (601) 645-5221, extension 133.