Decatur County General Hospital
History of Decatur County General Hospital
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. Thomas Hamilton, Chief of Staff;
Dr. John Phillips, Dr. Ramesh Reddy; Dr. William Jennings; Dr. Joseph
Hames; Dr. Vikki Murphree,Vice Chief of Staff; Dr. Joseph Montgomery;
Dr. Charles Alderson; 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 currently employs 147
with an annual payroll of $4.7 million making it one of the largest
employers in Decatur County. It has an annual operating budget of over
$9.5 million. The total assets of Decatur County General Hospital are
approximately $7.1 million.
Community service is of major importance to the
administration of the hospital. It is a Partner in Education with
Decatur County Middle School and provides many services to the school.
Since 1984 an annual Health Fair has been held by the hospital and
provides free health screening. A blood chemistry test is provided for
a nominal fee. Between 300-400 people take advantage of the fair each
year. A lighted walking track and landscaped park with several picnic
tables were built on property behind the hospital building in 1998. In 2006 a chapel was opened with money donated
by a patient in honor of Dr. Vikki Murphree.
Larry N. Lindsey served as the Administrator of the
hospital from 1972 to 2007. John Crawford held the position as
interim Administrator from April 2007 until December 2007. Norene
Pumphrey was named Administrator in January 2008. The current Board of
Trustees include: Dale Scott, Secretary; Mary Ivey, Delmar
Ballinger, Collins Pratt, Michael Ivey, Jon Ayers and J. Wayne
In 1996 the hospital administration decided to become
Joint Commission accredited. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations evaluates the Quality and Safety of care for
healthcare entities. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations
must have an extensive on-site review by a team of JCAHO professionals
at least once every three years. Decatur County General Hospital became
accredited in 1998.
The hospital is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and
Decatur County Health Council/Delta Grant Initiative. It holds
Community Blood drives for Lifeline Blood Services. The employees, as a
hospital group, volunteer for Relay for Life (American Cancer Society)
and for Decatur County World's Largest Coon Hunt for St. Jude, and
participate in many other service entities. The laboratory is licensed
by the State of Tennessee, CLIA, and has been accredited by the College
Of American Pathologists since 1997.
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.
© Copyright 2008 Decatur County General Hospital. All