The imprint one Marshall man has left on the community has far-reaching roots – roots deeply imbedded in the lives of families across the county.
The atrium at Fitzgibbon Hospital was filled wall to wall with staff members Friday morning, April 21, as they celebrated the hospital’s 100th anniversary. The organization was established after John Fitzgibbon, who immigrated to the area from Ireland, left his entire savings for an independent, not-for-profit hospital. He died in 1916.
A governing board was developed, and construction on the original Fitzgibbon Memorial Hospital building began in March 1922. The first patient was treated in 1923.
During its first year of operation, Fitzgibbon Hospital delivered five babies. CEO Angy Littrell stated that last year, they delivered 267 babies into this world.
“A big thank you to all of our staff,” she noted during her remarks at the ceremony. “You show up 24/7, 365 days a year, and we’ve been doing it for a hundred years. John Fitzgibbon certainly laid the ground for us to do the meaningful work, but you show up every single day to make sure it’s done. Thank you.”
The Friday morning ceremony included the official reading of a proclamation by newly elected Mayor Vince Lutterbie.
“The current facility opened in July 1991 on a 73-acre plot,” Lutterbie stated. “In October 2009, a state-of-the-art cancer center was built thanks to our generous community” that donated to a campaign that raised more than $4 million.
Lutterbie congratulated the hospital staff for continuing care and service to the community for 100 years.
Fitzgibbon currently employs more than 420 people, and offers services at multiple clinics, from routine physician visits, to the Community Cancer Center, mental health care, orthopedics, radiology services, respiratory care, MLS laser therapy, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing, venous and lymphatic medicine, and more.
A highlight of the celebration came in a small package – a time capsule that was found during the demolition of the original hospital building this past year. Fitzgibbon Hospital Maintenance Supervisor Rudy Reyes snipped open the lead box, and Littrell pulled items out one by one.
The time capsule had not been opened for a century, and staff members seemed eager to see and handle and learn about what was inside. It included a Trilumina Lodge pamphlet containing a list of members’ names, a small leather-faced billfold or cardholder from Farmers Savings Bank in Marshall, multiple newspapers from 1921 and 1922, and six coins.
The capsule also contained an item that seemed very dear to many at the ceremony – a copy of John Fitzgibbon’s will. There was also a rendering of the design for the original hospital building, as well as several photographs of the site where it was constructed.
One hundred years later, the site looks similar – empty, save for some sections of grass and dirt canopied by trees. But Fitzgibbon’s desire has come to fruition. It has grown and developed. And it is cared for by hospital staff, the board, and countless volunteers.
“I’m awfully proud of Fitzgibbon Hospital making it 100 years, and the donation from Mr. Fitzgibbon to the community for the hospital,” Board of Directors President Bud Summers said. “Most people don’t realize the services that are here. When you really come to realize it, is when you need it. I have, in the past few years, with my parents and myself. So I’m really glad and appreciate having (medical) services in Marshall.”
Fitzgibbon Hospital is located at 2305 South 65 Highway, in Marshall. For more information, visit www.fitzgibbon.org. For photos of every item including each page of the included newspapers, visit the Fitzgibbon Hospital Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FitzgibbonHospital.