Today, Baptist Health commemorated their 100th anniversary at a public event in Little Rock. Wright Lindsey Jennings’ Judy Henry, chair of the Baptist Health Board of Trustees, made remarks, in addition to Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.; Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health; Cathy Owen, chair of the Baptist Health Foundation Board of Trustees; and Michael Rogers, director of Pastoral Care at Baptist Health. The commemoration also included a celebratory video from former President Bill Clinton.
“On February 16, 1921, when the Arkansas Baptist State Convention officially incorporated Baptist State Hospital, it made a commitment to provide quality, faith-based care that continues today,” Henry said. “What became Baptist Health got its start in the humble’ beginnings of a small wood-frame building in downtown Little Rock that had a capacity to serve 75 patients. In the same year, construction started on a new five-story hospital facility with 300 beds to better serve the state’s growing healthcare needs.
“And through the last 100 years, we have continued to grow our services and the facilities that provide them,” Henry continued. “Baptist Health now consists of 11 hospitals and more than 250 points of access in communities across Arkansas and even extending into eastern Oklahoma.
“Our first hospital opened 100 years ago at a time when the state was still dealing with the Spanish Flu pandemic, and I have been extremely honored to work aside Troy Wells and the many heroes in our system who have come through for the people of Arkansas during this historic period dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic 100 years later.”
The event also commemorated 100 years of Baptist Health College Little Rock and a number of faculty and nursing students gave a glimpse into the history of uniform changes over the years.
“Since its inception, Baptist Health has considered educating the next generation of healthcare professionals as part of our core mission,” Henry said. “The system has operated an educational unit as part of our healing ministry since 1921. Baptist Health College Little Rock has established a legacy of care that extends all over the state, nation and world.
“Through new programs of study, countless white caps and more than one pandemic, the mission of Baptist Health College Little Rock remains the same — educating and mentoring healthcare professionals with excellence and Christian compassion.
“Since 1921, the college has graduated more than 15,000 healthcare professionals who have served 12 areas of patient care,” Henry remarked. “We are proud to say that 95% of our students and graduates are Arkansas residents who live and work in our communities.”
To learn more about Baptist Health and it’s rich history, visit https://www.baptist-health.com/100-years.