50 years of medicine
POCAHONTAS — When Dr. James Gannon practiced medicine in Pocahontas, sending a patient to a hospital involved a lot of travel.
“Before the hospital in Pocahontas was built, he would have to travel to Fort Dodge, Storm Lake or Spencer,” said James Roetman, administrator and chief executive officer of the Pocahontas Community Hospital. “He’d have to admit his patients into one of those hospitals and travel on a daily basis or every other day at those institutes.”
Gannon was one of the first doctors working there when the hospital opened, and he will be one of the speakers at the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration on Monday, Roetman said.
The Pocahontas Community Hospital will celebrate from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Expo Center in Pocahontas, and will be grilling hamburgers for guests.
There will be educational tables and raffle drawings, and a program beginning at 5 p.m.
Gannon, of Laurens, is in his mid-80s now and lives in Arkansas, Roetman said, but will return to speak on how important opening the hospital in Pocahontas was for travel time for physicians.
The program will also feature the current board president, a doctor from the hospital, and another who grew up in Pocahontas and spent several years in private practice before coming back.
There are numerous reasons to celebrate 50 years of service, Roetman said.
“To be able to offer 50 years of service, a lot of things have to go right. You have to start out with having a lot of good employees throughout the years,” he said. “We’re thankful for all the great employees we’ve had through the years, and the patients that have utilized our facility.”
The tables at the event will feature some of the hospital departments providing blood pressure tests, doing blood typing and teaching about cancer screenings.