Walk commemorates HaysMed history
By Judy Sherard
Hays Daily News
April 8, 2016
Friday’s nearly perfect weather was a great incentive to take a stroll along the Hays Medical Center fitness trail and enjoy an outdoor lunch to celebrate HaysMed’s 25th anniversary.
The medical center is the result of the merger between St. Anthony Hospital and Hadley Regional Medical Center on April 8, 1991.
Approximately 50 people attended the Friday morning ceremony recognizing “25 years helping people be healthy.”
Some were HaysMed employees and sported T-shirts commemorating the event.
Those attending also received a T-shirt.
Lois Aschenbrenner came with her grandson, Chase, 3. The pair enjoyed the nature walk before eating lunch near the playground equipment.
Chase’s mother and Aschenbrenner’s daughter-in-law, Tara, is a registered nurse and planned to join them for lunch.
“It’s a great place. I’ve had medical work done here,” Aschenbrenner said.
President and CEO Dr. John Jeter welcomed the attendees. Jeter said he was “incredibly proud to be here representing my father, Norman, who was involved with Hadley for 45 years and Hays Medical Center for another 10.”
Those representing the St. Anthony and Hadley boards “had no idea where it was going to go. They just had this faith it was the right thing to do,” Jeter said.
Many of the employees, physicians and board members have been at the medical center for the full 25 years.
“I didn’t get here until 1996, and I think the seeds of our success had been planted,” Jeter said.
Those attending were invited “to take a little walk down memory lane,” Jeter said.
Memory lane was the fitness trail featuring “signposts representing every year, and things that we felt were good to recognize that happened that year.”
Some of the highlights noted along the commemorative walk included the first open-heart surgery in 1998, the Center for Health Improvement opening in 2002, 3D mammograms and Bickle Family Tower opening in 2013.
Kayla Lonnon and Lisa Unrein came to support the hospital.
“We knew they were doing the trail (markers), and we wanted to see the different milestones,” Lonnon said.
“Yeah, it’s really neat. Some of the stuff you don’t realize how many years ago that was that they added a service,” Unrein said.
“We’re the biggest hospital in the western half of the state,” Jeter said. “Who would have ever thought that 25 years ago because we certainly weren’t then.”
After walking the trail, celebrants were treated to a healthy lunch of a turkey sandwich or chicken-caesar salad.
“It’s very exciting. We are equally excited about the future, the next 25 years, and we don’t know where it’s going. We’re excited about our opportunities here,” Jeter said.