GONZALES — Forty years ago, the Gonzales Memorial Hospital opened its doors for the first time. Over time, it has evolved into Gonzales Healthcare Systems, a highly professional medical organization that includes the Memorial Hospital, Sievers Medical Clinic, Wealder Medical Clinic, Occupational and Community Health, Memorial Hospital Home Health Agency, Shiner Therapy Center, Rejuvenate Med Spa, Therapy Services, thrive HEALTHPLEX, and an outstanding radiology department unique to a community of this size.
Tomorrow, Gonzales Health Care Systems will commemorate its 40th anniversary with a variety of special programs, free tests and other activities to celebrate the landmark anniversary. From noon until 1:30 p.m., the hospital will be hosting a celebration featuring entertainment and giveaways on the grassy area between Memorial Hospital and the James C. Price building. In recognition of Diabetes Awareness month, free blood sugar screenings will be available. In addition, there will be a dietitian and diabetes educator on hand for consultations. Thrive employees will be on hand to provide entertainment. The Memorial Hospital cafeteria, one of the hidden gems of the hospital, will be open for lunch with a great salad bar and inexpensive menu. The cafeteria is open to the public every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Gonzales Healthcare Systems has a rich history of service in the community. The visionary leaders over the past 40 years have set the stage for the next 40 years,” said John Hughson, Gonzales Healthcare Systems administrator. “We have a wonderful team of professionals, providers and trustees who are dedicated to our success.
“We are working as a team to ensure we honor those pioneers of the past as we set the course for the next 40 years. We are confident that we have the right team to move us forward and continue the long history of quality service to the community.”
Gonzales is fortunate to have a facility like Gonzales Healthcare Systems. It is more convenient for people to access health care close to home, plus there are many outstanding services provided like Neurosurgery, Urology, Orthopedics, Podiatry, Nephrology, Cardiology, Audiology, Chiropractic, Dermatology, Pulmonology, Emergency Care, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology and Mammography, Gynecology and so much more.
Prior to 1978, Gonzales was served by a small in-patient facility called Holmes Hospital. As the community grew and the need for upgraded medical care and facilities manifested itself, area physicians and citizens determined a new facility was needed. In 1978, the doors to Memorial Hospital were opened.
Toni Perales is one of a few employees who have worked at the hospital since it opened.
“I worked at the old hospital, and this facility is much nicer and offers so many great services that we didn’t offer back then,” Perales said. “When we moved from the old hospital, I helped move equipment in my car.
“We even moved patients from Holmes to Memorial Hospital in our cars. You wouldn’t even think about doing that today,” she laughed.
“The hospital and its related services are wonderful for Gonzales,” she added. “Plus, we have Thrive, which is such an amazing facility for a community our size to have.”
Peggy Baker, who works in housekeeping, has also worked at the hospital ever since it opened.
“I have witnessed a lot of good doctors come into the hospital,” Baker said. “We have a lot of great people who work here, and I have met a lot of great people who have needed our services over the years. Watching people who have learned to deal with their problems with dignity and grace has helped me in my personal life deal with problems.
“I have been truly blessed to work here.”
Baker will retire from the hospital on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
For 40 years Gonzales Healthcare Systems has tried to provide quality health care for its hometown citizens. They are proud of their history, citing the Sievers Clinic that opened in 1993 and adding outpatient care in 2000. The hospital will continue to adapt to technology and medical needs of the community and looks forward to being the leading health care provider for this region for decades to come.
Gonzales Healthcare Systems is governed by a board of directors. Kenneth Gottwald in the president of the board, Greg Tieken is vice president and Stephanie Kodack is secretary. The other board members are: Lisa Ginder, Katie Garrett, Sascha Kardosz, Tim Markham, Kerry Morgan and Gene Reed.