Party part of SCH’s anniversary celebration

SALEM – To serve, to care, to heal … and now to celebrate – that’s the mission of Salem Community Hospital as the health care provider faces its 100th anniversary on Sept. 13.

“These next few months are a very special time in the history of Salem Community Hospital. We have the opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the foresight of the hospital’s founders while we anticipate a new and exciting chapter in the history of SCH with the opening of the new patient bed tower,” SCH Public Relations Director Michele Hoffmeister said.

Officials started making the community aware of the hospital’s centennial with the hanging of a banner on the north side of the building and the mounting of smaller banners on the light poles in downtown Salem. The Look Nook hospital gift shop started taking orders for anniversary T-shirts sporting the same logo as the large and small banners, navy blue with fireworks and the hospital mission statement.

During the Salem iFest Grande Parade held Aug. 10, the hospital unveiled its 100th anniversary float, which will also participate in the Columbiana Street Fair parade at 6 p.m. Thursday and the Johnny Appleseed Festival Grand Parade at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 in Lisbon.

In July, hospital employees started taking segments of an anniversary banner to community events for people to sign, asking anyone born at SCH to also sign their birthdate next to their name. Children used finger paint to place their handprints on the banner. The center piece will note the 100th anniversary. The banner will be placed in a time capsule to be buried at the open house for the new patient bed tower in January.

Area residents will have the chance to sign the banner and celebrate the centennial during an Anniversary Party for the community from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the SCH north parking lot.

Besides signing the banner, they can enjoy refreshments, enter raffles for $100 gift cards and order commemorative T-shirts and Christmas ornaments being sold by the Look Nook.

The T-shirts cost $10 each for sizes small to extra large and $12 each for sizes 2x and above. The pewter ornaments will cost $15 each and feature an image of SCH.

“We hope that people will be able to participate in the special events we have planned because this is our way of thanking the community for the support they have shown the hospital over the past 100 years,” Hoffmeister said.

On Sept. 13, the day of the actual anniversary, SCH will host a 100th Anniversary Founders’ Day Breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Salem Community Center. The event is by invitation only for community leaders, with Coach Earle Bruce as the featured speaker. Attendees will have the chance to meet SCH Interim President/CEO Anita Hackstedde, M.D.

The date will be commended as T-shirt day at the hospital, with employees asked to wear their commemorative T-shirts. A lunch will be served to hospital staff in appreciation for all they do. Hoffmeister said its the staff inside the building, not the building itself, that makes the hospital special.

In another way to commemorate their gifts to the community, SCH employees have been asked to share what they do outside of work as volunteers on a banner listing 100 Ways We Care For Our Communities.

Hoffmeister explained that a lot of people leave work at the hospital and volunteer for different community organizations where they live. By the time they’re done, they’ll have a list of 100 employees and their activities. The banner will be placed in the time capsule.

She said it’s important for future health care workers to see that it’s not just about providing quality care, but also contributing to the community.

An SCH Digital Family Album will be compiled with photos of everybody who works at the hospital and be used at a couple of events as a repeating powerpoint presentation.

Also on Sept. 13, the first baby born at the hospital that day will receive the honor of being the first baby of SCH’s second century and receive a gift basket, along with the New Beginnings staff hosting a pizza party for the family.

Hoffmeister said some community members have stepped forward to help with the time capsule they’ll be working on this fall to represent the 100th year. The burial will occur the day of the open house and dedication of the new patient bed tower in January, ending the centennial celebration.