1970s - 1980s
During the seventies, nursing shortages started to occur which caused the hospital to recruit five registered nurses form Thailand. On September 25, 1973, employees moved 8 patients confined to bed into “safe” hall area, anyone else that could walk was sent to the basement, and new mothers were instructed to take their own babies while the aide took the diapers, formula, and water to the basement. After 8:00 p.m. the maintenance man shouted, “It’s headed straight down Sixth Street!” During the tornado, no patient was injured, however, the maintenance man got a door slammed on his arm nearly severing it and a nurse aide’s arm was sliced open from a covered hall light that flew by while she was protecting a patient. Later an obstetric patient arrived and Dr. Richards and Marge Urban delivered her new baby safely in the basement and was named Angel. “You just do what you need to do and what you’re trained for at the time.” - Clay County Hospital Registered Nurse/Shift Supervisor Alyce Specht.
In 1980, new services were added: Nuclear Medicine, Sonography, and Infant Rooming-In for new mothers.
In 1982, the Chaplaincy program, Employees Assistance Program, Nursing Scholarship Program, Diabetes Awareness Group, and I Can Cope Classes started. Also in 1982, LIFEWATCH (emergency airplane from Wesley Medical Center) becomes available for use, Respiratory Therapy becomes a contract service, Stress Testing becomes available, and Hepatitis B Vaccinations becomes available for hospital employees. In 1982, the Nursery had a record of 6 babies together at one time.
In 1983, Laminar Flow System installed, new portable X-ray purchased, East Wing Nurses’ Station added, and Laundry Department modernized with large-capacity washers and dryers.
In 1984, direct fire alarm line with the Fire Department was in place, Mobile CT Scanning begins, Medicare care reimbursement changes which forces staff reduction, Urology & Cardiac Clinic begins, and Non-Invasive services were secured.
In 1985, the swing bed program gets approved by state and ground-breaking ceremony held in September for renovation and expansion project. In 1986, Orthopedic Clinic begins, the first Health Fair is held, and Mammography Services become available.
In 1987, Open House is held for renovation and expansion project on October 11th. The Hospital Trustees approved to form the Clay County Hospital Foundation to help the hospital retain its medical staff and to get community support with tax exempt contributions. In April 1987, the Clay County Hospital Foundation was registered with the Kansas Secretary of State and in July 1, 1988 the Foundation was granted an exemption from the Federal Income Tax by the Internal Revenue Service.
In 1988, Open House is held for Hospice Patient Room & Family Room dedication and Obstetrics area is renamed to Special Creations Birth Unit. In 1988, Ear Nose Throat, Podiatry and Urology Clinics were added, Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center began providing Mobile Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Studies, and Clay Center Civil Benefit, Inc. made available Ultrasound and Mammography equipment. In 1989, Physical Therapy becomes a contract service and new heating units are installed in the east wing.