Cookeville’s public hospital began as a 15-bed private clinic built by a local surgeon just off the town square in 1921. Bought by the city of Cookeville, Tennessee, in 1927, City Hospital was supervised by head nurses until 1950, when the city finished building a new hospital, Cookeville General, on the west side of town. Five physicians and 33 nurses and staff members cared for the patients admitted to the new hospital in its first year.
Now, more than 60 years later, Cookeville Regional Medical Center employs a staff of 2,000, has more than 150 on its active medical staff, and is a national award-winning, state-of-the-art regional medical center that serves the entire 14-county Upper Cumberland region.
When you gaze up at the gleaming new North Tower of Cookeville Regional Medical Center and see the hundreds of staff members and visitors bustling through its pristine new hallways, it’s hard to imagine what the hospital was like more than 60 years ago, when the modest, one-story Cookeville General Hospital opened on the site of the current William Francis Professional Office Building.
From five staff physicians to more than 150, from 38 employees to 2,000, the years between 1950 and today might as well be over a century, so much has changed. What remains the same though is the simple mission of coming to the aid of people when they need you most.
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The People's Hospital: A History of Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 1950-2010.