Foundations of Faith and Community

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In September of 1971, 23 patients were transferred 17 miles from Oneida Mountain Hospital to the newly constructed Memorial Hospital.[1] This amazing move, completed in “record time and without a single incident,”[2] is just one of the many examples of God’s blessings and the power of a community rallying together to accomplish the extraordinary. To fully see the divine blessings involved in the building of Manchester Hospital, and to see the incredible grit and determination of this community to provide a hospital and medical care in their hometown, we must look back decades before to the late 1920s at the opening of Oneida Mountain Hospital.

Oneida Mountain Hospital began as a maternity hospital staffed by resident physicians from the University of Kentucky, but in 1952, the hospital ran out of funding and closed.[3] A beautiful example of God’s grace and the power a simple act from one individual can make is that “having heard that Seventh-day Adventists ran hospitals, someone contacted church headquarters in Washington, D.C. Eventually the church agreed to operate the Oneida Mountain Hospital through its Kentucky-Tennessee Conference.”[4]

After re-opening, dedicated medical professionals, administrators, and community members worked tirelessly for many years to provide excellent care to the families of this community. Physicians, like Dr. Caleb Chu and Dr. Ira Wheeler, and the heroic “Jeep Nurses” took care directly to the homes of their patients. These healthcare heroes facilitated whole-person care and tended to physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of the families who welcomed them into their homes and visited the hospital.

Many years of innovative and diligent work by administrators, specifically Herb Davis; community members, like Ms. Marie Langdon; and the undeniable grace and favor of God, eventually led to the exponential growth of Oneida Mountain Hospital and the building of the new Memorial Hospital. The legacy of innovation, growth, and divine grace lives on today through AdventHealth Manchester. We have seen Oneida Mountain Hospital outgrow its walls, move and expand to Memorial Hospital, and now thrive and continue to grow as AdventHealth Manchester. Today, AdventHealth Manchester honors the incredible legacy of Oneida Mountain Hospital and the team of healthcare heroes and community members that started it all by believing and walking in God’s grace; continuing to provide high-quality medical care, close to home for our patients; and bringing together innovative teams and collaborating with this community to make Manchester and Clay County the best place to live and thrive.

Throughout 2021, AdventHealth Manchester will be celebrating this great legacy by sharing stories and highlighting the amazing work of the families, individuals, and teams that have helped shape our hospital and have made such incredible, positive impacts on this community.

Bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook to be the first to read our new blog posts and come along with us on this wonderful journey as we share incredible stories and memories of our hospital and community.

[1] The Manchester Enterprise; Thursday, September 8, 2016 Issue; page B5; “Memorial Hospital Opens Their Doors”

[2] The Manchester Enterprise; Thursday, September 8, 2016 Issue; page B5; “Memorial Hospital Opens Their Doors”

[4] Quevedo, Jane Allen; A Thousand Miracles Every Day: A Selection of Stories that Shaped the Mission and History of Adventist Hospitals; p. 225.

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