Going back to the future back to its basic mission while having a vision for the future are keys to Southwestern Medical Center’s current growth on its 105th anniversary today and its future longevity,, said Steve Hyde, SWMC chief executive officer.
“It was the first hospital in this community and it was started by a group of passionate physicians. People said they wanted to have a good hospital,” Hyde said, explaining that when he came onboard 2 years ago, he noticed “we had gotten away from talking about the mission … Our mission statement (was and is) : ‘We want to give to you and your family exceptional service and quality care at all times.’
A vision statement “We want to be a place that patients want to come, physicians want to practice and team members want to work” complements the mission statement. They both have the same core message “that we are here to take care of people,” he said.
Back to the basics: Going back to the basics means touching on the history of the hospital.
What is now Southwestern Medical Center began on Oct. 17, 1907, as the Turner and Lewis Private Hospital and Training School for Nurses at 402 SW Lee Blvd. For history buffs, the hospital’s long history from private ownership to corporate ownership, though various name changes and expansion, and the March 1, 1986, opening of the newly named Southwestern Medical Center in a 106,000-square-foot facility at 5602 SW Lee Blvd. is documented on the hospital’s website, www.southwesternmedcenter.com.
The commitment to the mission statement is close to the hearts of Registered Nurse Joan Libro and Dr.William Atkinson. Both started work at the hospital when it was still privately owned.
Libro, employed by the hospital at 402 SW Lee Blvd. from 1956 to1969, was named director of nursing in 1960.
It was hands-on, person-to-person work in those days with very little technology involved, Libro said. “Now they have the recovery room … computers and ICU. We had none of that. When I came out of nursing, you have to feel the little premature (heart) beats with your fingers.”