Community Hospital dedicated
By Sarah Middaugh Staff Writer
BREMEN - In a special program Saturday, the new Community Hospital of Bremen was dedicated. Distinguished guests gathered at the site on High Road for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to usher in a new era of health care for the community.
“This was a community-wide project that brought this hospital here,” said Scott Graybill, president and CEO of Community Hospital of Bremen.
“We had community leaders who had a vision 58 years ago about health care needs in our community and established a hospital here in the community in 1948. Dr. (Otis) Bowen, and shortly thereafter, Dr. (Cecil) Burket were part of that new beginning. In the intervening years, services have expanded, technological capabilities have grown and in the last 20 years, we've seen more of an emphasis on out-patient services and day surgeries.”
Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar served as the keynote speaker at the event. He helped to secure an $18.4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete the replacement project.
“The Community Hospital of Bremen has been able to borrow $18.4 million toward the $19.6 million project at very favorable interest rates,” Graybill said.
“This project has two lending partners under this USDA umbrella. First we have a $12 million direct loan from the USDA and a $6.4 million loan, USDA guaranteed through Lake City Bank.”
In his keynote address, Lugar told the attendees that the new facility is the forerunner of a new breath of life for rural health care in Indiana.
“I was especially excited when the call came in 2003 to begin to consider another facility. I had no idea the outcome would be so successful and magnificent as this,” he said.
“And of course perhaps it is [fortunate] that it is being completed in this year of 2006 because so many extraordinary new surgical procedures and thoughtful ways in which patients can be helped in shorter periods of time and recovery is sooner and more assertive.
“This is indeed a thrill to be in this magnificent place where so many people will be helped and healed and that so much love and affection will be displayed.”
Lugar also noted that recognition should be given to some of the pioneers of the original hospital. Former Indiana Gov. Dr. Otis Bowen was one of those founding physicians at the hospital.
Following the ceremony, Bowen said that it was an enjoyable situation to even have a medical facility at that time.
“I was somewhat involved in creating a nursing home in a home that was converted to a hospital. Looking back on it and comparing today, it's hard to believe,” he said. “It's a beautiful facility and it will be the center of a modern institution serving a rural community. The Bremen community is fortunate to have a facility that is second to none.”
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