On December 1, 2019, Sumner Regional Medical Center will celebrate its 60th anniversary of serving Sumner County and surrounding communities. In the months leading up to the official anniversary date, the medical center is celebrating by looking back at its history, influential people and milestones.
The hospital, originally named Sumner County Memorial Hospital, first opened to the public on December 1, 1959. The work to open the county's first hospital began in 1957 when The Sumner County Hospital Commission was formed by the Sumner County Quarterly Court. That same year, the original hospital board was elected, and the group held their first meeting on June 23, 1958. The board hired John Deans as the first administrator of the hospital. Deans, who served as administrator from 1958-1967, voluntarily proposed a pay cut from his previous job in Winston-Salem, NC, just for the "challenge of starting a new hospital from the beginning."
The new hospital was funded largely by the Hill-Burton Act, along with state and county assistance. Sumner County contributed more than $270,000 to the first budget. Since that time, the hospital has operated independently of the county. On opening day, there were only 50 employees and 54 beds. However, by the end of the first year of operation, the hospital had admitted 1,585 patients, performed 440 operations, received 911 visits to the emergency room and welcomed 329 babies.