Plans for the Recognition Wall have been moving forward with a joint effort by Dr. Thomson, along with Dr. Paul Cangemi, and the McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Foundation Executive Director Tyler Wash sees the project as a positive for the hospital and the community. The foundation began as the hospital’s trust.
“In the long history of the foundation, we have a relationship with the community and keep the spirit of the community hospital. That is part of the story of the hospital,” he said. “The community has been supportive of us, the foundation and the hospital. It is a story worth telling. This is only one part of the story.”
Dr. Thomson envisions the wall as continuing the connections between patients and the hospital and its doctors. He sees community members pausing at the wall to look at the names and recalling the doctor who treated them for a health issue or performed a surgery. He expects to see the Physician Recognition wall near the current donor wall.
“This will be a great public relations thing. There are a ton of memories people will see as they read down the list,” he said.
That thought was echoed by Mary Bennett, chief development officer for the MHMH foundation.
“There will be a lot of memories when people see this,” she said. For that reason, they plan to hold a formal induction once the wall is installed but will send out a letter soon to notify families of those whose names are being included. In the first draft of a letter to honorees, she writes: “It is with great pleasure that we inform you of your nomination to be included in the McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital Physician Wall of Recognition. We hope you will accept this gesture of gratitude and grant us the honor of including you in our inaugural year. The wall will list your name and professional affiliation.”
The hospital opened in March, 1957 and Thomson said they are also including doctors who worked at the hospital in the early years, even if they did not reach 15 years’ service, as “Pioneers” at the hospital.
Cost of the project is being underwritten by Dr. Thomson and his son, Dr. Derek Thomson.
Dr. Thomson explained the criteria for recognition is 15 years of service to the local hospital and being retired, but he said that means retired from McCullough-Hyde. There are some doctors included who served 15 years here, but moved elsewhere and remained in practice.
The initial list of 82 people to be recognized was pulled from more than 700 names with research done by a foundation intern using past issues of “The Oxford Press” at the Smith Library of Regional History. It is believed that list is complete for the first 65 years of the hospital’s operation and more names will be added as more doctors retire.
“(The list) is not perfect, but it’s as good as we can get it, going back 65 years.” Thomson said. “The families will be appreciative.”
While the formal induction ceremony date has not been determined because the wall is not yet in place, Wash is certain it will be this year and a program will be scheduled on an appropriate date. They chose this week for the formal announcement of the plan because Doctor’s Day is being observed this Wednesday.