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Lewis County General Hospital will celebrate its 80th anniversary Thursday

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County General Hospital on Thursday will commemorate both the old and the new at its 80th anniversary celebration.

While providing a look back at the county-owned hospital’s history, the event also will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 64-slice CT scanner. The new scanner, which offers better images with lower radiation emissions and scan times than the former one, has been in use for the past month.

“We have reached many milestones and noteworthy achievements to be recognized, including the recent installation of the only 64-slice CT scanner available in Jefferson and Lewis counties,” said hospital CEO Eric R. Burch in a statement. “The advanced technology enhances patient safety by offering at least a 40 percent reduction to radiation exposure.”

The anniversary celebration will be held from 2 to 7 p.m., with most events in the parking lot by the emergency department at the North State Street campus. There will be food and music throughout the event. Memorabilia from the hospital’s past will be on display, and door prizes will be handed out.

The CT scanner ribbon-cutting will be at 5 p.m. at the diagnostic imaging department, following by an official 80th anniversary ceremony at 5:30 p.m. and a performance by the 10th Mountain Division Band.

“We are proud to be celebrating 80 years of health care excellence, thanks to the extraordinary support and contributions of our employees, medical staff, volunteers at every level and the community at large,” Mr. Burch said.

The hospital originally was dedicated on Aug. 4, 1931, by state Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Thomas Paran Jr. in the Lowville Academy auditorium. It was opened to the public that day. The facility was rededicated at a 50th anniversary celebration Aug. 4, 1981.

In 1963, a $1.3 million, 32-bed addition to the front of the hospital boosted its bed count to 90. Between 1970 and 1973, a $3.7 million project added 120 beds, 80 in extended care and 40 in ambulatory services. The addition also provided space for more doctors’ offices and the county’s Mental and Public Health departments.

In 1975, an intensive care unit was added in the south part of the hospital’s east wing. In 1980, a $2.7 million addition expanded the emergency, laboratory and X-ray departments. In 1990, an $8.2 million Medical Arts Building was added to the south side of the facility, and a dental clinic for low-income residents opened in 2000.

A $2.9 million project in 2004 added an 18,400-square-foot west wing, while a $4.1 million project in 2006 and 2007 enlarged and refurbished the diagnostic imaging and emergency departments.

More recently, the facility added an on-site magnetic resonance imaging center in 2009 and, last year, renovated the former Beaverite office building in Beaver Falls for a new, larger clinic there. The hospital also operates clinics in Lyons Falls and Copenhagen.

For more information about the celebration, visit the hospital’s website or call its community relations department at 376-5893.

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