History

Decatur County General Hospital, owned and operated by Decatur County was built in 1963. It is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Decatur County Court. The first members were: Joe Gregory, Sr., Chairman; H.L. Townsend, Sr., Secretary-Treasurer; Fred Alexander, Vice-Chairman; Kenneth Graves; Bob White; Delmar Ballinger; and George White.

The 22-bed hospital accepted the first patient on December 8, 1963.

Dr. Paul Ford Teague was the only full-time physician on staff until he was joined by Dr. Robert M. Fisher in July 1964. The present medical staff consists of: Dr. Charles Alderson, Chief of Staff; Dr. Ramesh Reddy; Dr. Joseph Montgomery; Dr. Patrick Murphy; and Dr. Wayne Lennington.

When the hospital opened in 1963, Jack Jordan was the Administrator. The nursing staff consisted of one R.N., who was the Director of Nursing; 5 LPN’s; 3nursing assistants; an orderly and an OR Technician. Lab and x-ray were staffed by one person.

In April of 1967 the Decatur County Court authorized bonds in the amount of $124,000 to build an addition to bring the number of beds to 37. The addition also included new Administrative and Business offices, a conference and inservice room, new lobby and waiting room, storage rooms and a doctor’s lounge.

In 1971 one of the 4-bed rooms was converted to a 3-bed Intensive Care Unit with 2 of the beds equipped with bedside cardiac monitors. Nurses were sent to Nashville and Memphis to learn to recognize and treat life-threatening cardiac rhythms. In 1978 a 6-bed intensive care unit was completed to bring the number of beds to 40.

As medical care became more complex and licensing laws changed the administration recognized the need to recruit more RN’s to staff and supervise patient care. A nursing scholarship was begun in 1972 to assist with tuition each year for hospital employees who were interested in becoming RN’s and who planned to work at Decatur County General upon graduation.

As the hospital continued to grow new departments have been added or expanded. Decatur County Emergency Medical Service was added in 1973 and has continually been upgraded to being a Grade A Service staffed by Paramedics. Lab and x-ray have been moved into new and larger areas. A CT scanner, Mammography and Ultra-sound services have been added. Home Health services were added in 1992. New outpatient services include Urology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, Gastroenterology, and Podiatry. The intensive care unit was changed to an Out-Patient Surgery area in 2000 and a new Surgery Unit was Built.

Decatur County General Hospital employees have been striving to meet the healthcare needs of our community for over 40 years. Please contact us at:

(731) 847-3031 if we can be of service to you or your family.