Hospital celebrates 30-year anniversary
by Brian Hale
Jun 27, 2010 | 1534 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sign in the lobby of Walker Baptist Medical Center celebrates the hospital’s 30 years of service. (Photo by: W. Brian Hale)
A sign in the lobby of Walker Baptist Medical Center celebrates the hospital’s 30 years of service. (Photo by: W. Brian Hale)
In June of 1980, Walker Baptist Medical Center opened its doors to begin service to the citizens of Walker County and the surrounding areas. On Sunday, the Walker Baptist staff celebrated its 30-year anniversary with fellow staff members, volunteers and area residents.

The celebration included guided tours of the facility to show how WBMC has grown in terms of its physical size and in the different programs and services it has come to offer over the years.

Renee McKinney, director of community relations for Walker Baptist, said the event has been one of great excitement among all of the staff of the facility.

"We've had several former physicians visit us for the celebration, which has brought the past and present together," McKinney said. "We enjoyed a visit from Dr. Gwinn, who was on staff when the hospital opened and talked about how the facility and medicine in general was so different than it is today. We were able to show him the improvements to the facility and enjoy a very wonderful visit with him."

McKinney praised the efforts of the hospital's volunteer auxiliary, who were not only on hand leading the tours of the hospital, but presented much of its history through collected documents and newspaper articles from past years.

"They've preserved so much of our history in a really detailed and complete way," she said. "Through their scrapbooks and enthusiastic upkeep of our history, Walker Baptist's past really comes to life for everyone to see."

At its opening, it was a 227 bed facility and the first and only facility in Alabama to have all private rooms. With a medical staff of 44 physicians, a new facility and new equipment not previously available to the area, health care to Walker County residents became modern and more complete than ever.

Today the hospital is part of the 90-year-old Baptist Health System as Walker Baptist Medical Center. The facility is home to more than 130 practicing physicians, and where more than 700 healthcare professionals and support staff answer the call daily to meet the needs of its patients.