LIMA — Lima Memorial Health System started when a group of community people back in 1894 felt there was a need to have a community hospital. In 1899, they opened what was then called the Lima City Hospital.
“It was a five-bed hospital which was actually located where Lima Senior High School is right now. That’s where the house was that initially started it, but it was truly done by the community,” said Mike Swick, president and CEO of Lima Memorial Health System.
Lima Memorial is the only locally owned and controlled community hospital, although it has a partnership with regional provider ProMedica.
“It’s a 50-50 partnership, but we get no money from them. No money leaves the community,” Swick said. “So 100% of what we raised and what we do is reinvested in the community. I think what, over the long term, has made us very successful is the fact that we are a community hospital. When you think about for-profit companies having shareholders and other companies that own other hospitals and stuff, we don’t. We’re a community asset. So it’s truly a matter of what we do, we do it for the community, and that’s what we’re about.”
A nursing program started in 1901. In 2000, the health system created the Lima Memorial Medical Park on Eastown Road because there was a need for radiation oncology.
“Where we stand now, we’re a 329-bed health system with 13 satellite offices. We’ve created a number of walk-in care centers in the community, and the idea behind it was access to healthcare — again, a community need,” Swick said. “People need to be able to afford to be able to go see the doctor.
“What we’re finding is there are a lot of people that may not have a family doctor or things like that. What they can do is they can walk into one of our walk-in care centers and only pay an office copay and actually be seen by a physician or a provider.”
Swick says with the services they offer, people can stay local for their healthcare.
“We still see a number of people that leave the community for healthcare, and they don’t need to leave the community,” he said. “Studies have shown that people get better quicker when their loved ones are around. We’re totally renovating the rehab unit to be able to make it very family-friendly so that people, when they have to rehab from a stroke or a serious illness, are able to do it here in Lima and don’t have to be shipped out someplace else.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.