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 Eley 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 opthalmology. 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 physicain'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 Faquier, Virginia. Adam Martin, became interim CEO while a search was initiatied 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 mademore than $500,000 in capital improvements and donated more than $2.8 million in services to those in need. WCCH provied 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 renovtions to accomodate 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, sterotactic 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 milliion 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 2019. 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. 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 provders 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 hematolgy analyzer equiipment. 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.