POINT PLEASANT — Pleasant Valley Hospital celebrated its 60th anniversary on Wednesday afternoon.
The hospital first opened its doors on Sept. 24, 1959 as a locally owned, non-profit health system.
“Our founders knew the importance of quality health care for folks who live in Point Pleasant and around in Mason County,” said the new PVH Chief Executive Officer Jeff Noblin. “They understood the importance of convenience and quality of care. They also understood the importance of good service.”
That founder was Dr. Jack Buxton. Chairman of the PVH Board of Trustees Dr. James Lockhart said Buxton planned for the hospital for five years before it opened.
“It all began when a young optometrist named Dr. Jack Buxton had a dream,” Lockhart said. “Being a realist, I doubt that he referred to it as a dream, but as more of a statement.”
According to Lockhart, Buxton spearheaded a fund drive to get the hospital running. He served for 10 years as the chairman of the board and is currently servicing as the chairman of the building and grounds community — where he has overseen every physical addition and expansion to the facility.
“These expansions include the Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, the Physicians’ Office Building, the Wellness Center, and essentially everything since the initial groundbreaking,” Lockhart said.
Along with the fund drive before the official opening of the hospital, Lockhart said trips to Washington, D.C., grant funds, donations, borrowing money, recruiting physicians and “even going around to local businesses to help make payroll a time or two” were needed to complete the process of creating the hospital system.
Lockhart said Buxton is a consistent, driving force while conquering major obstacles for PVH.
Lockhart and the Board of Trustees officially named Buxton as the Founding Father of Pleasant Valley Hospital.
“Dr. Buxton is a great friend and mentor, and we would like to honor him today by officially proclaiming that, today and forever after, Dr. Jack Buxton will be given the title of ‘Founding Father of Pleasant Valley Hospital,’” Lockhart said.
Lockhart presented Buxton with a proclamation signed by the board. There will also be a framed copy of the proclamation in the main lobby.
Buxton thanked everyone for what they have done for the hospital.
“Stay here. Keep it here. And help everybody,” Buxton said. “The hospital serves a lot of people. It will continue.”
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.