Grand Opening Celebration held at new Jane Todd Crawford Hospital
September 29, 2022
“A dream come true.”
“This day has been a long time coming.”
Those were just a few remarks from both officials and the crowd in general as an estimated 500 people turned out Saturday for the Grand Opening Celebration of the new Jane Todd Crawford Hospital.
On a beautiful early-fall day, Green Countians – and many others – gathered in front of the new facility on Industrial Park Road to witness a piece of history.
“This is a crowning achievement,” said Rusty Tungate, Administrator/CEO of Jane Todd Crawford Hospital. “This beautiful facility has become a reality that will serve our residents here in Green County for many years to come.”
The new 25-bed Critical Access Hospital features all private patient rooms. It was built in just 19 months and also includes two administration buildings and a maintenance building as part of the project.
Saturday’s crowd was welcomed by Greensburg Mayor John Shuffett, who praised Tungate and the hospital’s Board of Directors for making the dream of a new hospital turn into a reality.
Following the invocation by Rev. Trajan Smith, pastor of Greensburg Church of the Nazarene, Board Chairwoman Ruthie Shuffett summed up everyone’s feelings by saying, “At last!”, which was met with a round of applause.
Shuffett introduced board members Joe Shuffett, Valerie Perkins, and Steve Lewis, recognizing the hard work that each one has done over the years for the hospital. She pointed out that Joe Shuffett has served 38 years on the JTCH Board of Directors, and he offered remarks on looking back at the hospital’s history.
“This has certainly been a long time coming, and we’re so proud and happy to see this day,” he said, becoming emotional.
Ruthie Shuffett offered a look at the hospital going forward, pointing out that Jane Todd is a private, non-profit corporation.
“Our mission was not to be a taxing district, which could ultimately put a financial burden on the taxpayers,” she said. “It was our desire to pay our own way and never place any burden on the citizens of our community.”
Tungate told of when he first came to Jane Todd, having been hired by the board as CEO on March 8, 2005. He spoke of going through the hospital’s financials, along with others on his management team, and figuring out how to make the hospital survive.
“In looking at the bank accounts, I realized the hospital didn’t have enough cash on hand to meet the next payroll,” Tungate said. He sat down with pen and paper and made a list of what was owed to the hospital.
“That little piece of paper is what kept the hospital from closing,” he said. “Ruthie and I took it to the bank and used those accounts receivable as collateral to borrow $600,000. That money allowed us to meet the next payroll and keep the hospital operating until the money from the billings started coming in.”
Tungate said he still has that little piece of paper, and plans to frame it and hang it in his office.
Other honored guests who spoke included Retired Col. William Landrum III and Green County Judge-Executive John Frank.
Landrum – who served as former Gov. Matt Bevin’s Secretary of Finance and Administration – said the new hospital was a beautiful addition to the city and county. Frank pointed out that the new facility was just icing on the cake for the entire area of Industrial Park Road, which has seen a lot of new growth recently.
Both Tungate and Mrs. Shuffett offered many thanks to several people and organizations that helped to make the new hospital a reality, including the late Dr. Kenneth J.S. DeSimone.
“As we look back, we owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. DeSimone, who came to Greensburg as a Master Surgeon,” Mrs. Shuffett said. “He was instrumental in providing a lifeline of patients for Jane Todd in the early ‘60s, and who shared this great dream with us by helping to recruit Mr. Tungate and his management team.”
“A special thanks to ALL our employees who have stuck with us through the bad times as well as the good,” Tungate said. “This celebration belongs to all of you.”
Following the official ribbon-cutting, guests were offered a commemorative glass ornament to mark the occasion, and given tours of the new hospital. Lunch was also served to all attending.
“This is such a great day,” Mrs. Shuffett said.
Tungate said he wanted the public to be able to see the new hospital in its entirety before the patients are moved from the existing hospital to the new one. Moving to the new hospital is tentatively set for Oct. 18.
The current Jane Todd Crawford Hospital, which sits on Milby Street, has been operating since 1962. Future plans for that building have not yet been finalized.