Our History

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Wabash General Hospital was dedicated on June 3, 1951. The hospital had a bed capacity of 52 beds and 18 bassinets.

The hospital Board of Directors, appointed by the County Commissioners, were: Frank G. Wolf, H.A. Fox, T.C. Hardy, Irvin Seiler, Roy D. Short, and George Barnds, commissioner member of the board.

The active medical staff of Wabash General Hospital at the time of dedication was comprised of fifteen physicians: Dr. T.R. Young, Chief of Medical Staff; Dr. G.F. Stein, Vice Chief of Staff; Dr. Ernest Lowenstein; Dr. W.B. Baird; Dr. C.F. Brian; Dr. G.H. Couch; Dr. H.A. Elkins; Dr. C.E. Gilliatt; Dr. C.L. Johns; Dr. Virgil McCarty; Dr. J.J. McIntosh; Dr. L.D. Morris; Dr. S.W. Schneck; and Dr. Francis W. Porro.

The Women's Auxiliary has been in full operation since 1950.

In September of 1957, the residents of Wabash County gave approval by popular vote for Wabash General Hospital to switch from a county operation to the hospital district plan. This changed directorship from five members under authority of the county commission to a board of directors consisting of nine members appointed by the county judge. The new board consisted of Frank G. Wolf, Roland DeMarco, Beulah Seitz, W.E. Brubeck, Carroll Risley, George Barnds, Fred Hord, Harley Smith, and Mark Madden.

Wabash General Hospital received full accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in 1954.

Various renovations and improvements were made to Wabash General Hospital, including the renovation of the dietary department in 1965, an intensive coronary care/recovery room in 1971, roof replacement, cafeteria redecoration, and repairing of the building’s exterior in 1972.

An ancillary building attached to the hospital was opened June 8, 1975, to house the radiology, lab, admitting, and emergency room departments. There were also two doctors' offices in the facility.

In 1979, WGH was faced with Life-Safety codes and state building requirements that could not be met. The Administrator and the Board of Directors investigated the option of renovation of the then current building structure. It was discovered that renovation would approach seventy-five percent of the cost of a new structure.

In February 1980, the Board began planning for a new 38,000 square foot, one-story facility. A variety of grants, loans and donations funded the project. Groundbreaking for the new facility was August 22, 1982.

Formal dedication of the new Wabash General Hospital occurred on October 16, 1983. The Hospital Auxiliary was very instrumental in the success of the new structure by raising $85,000 to equip the new sixty-four-bed facility.

In addition to the new facility, the WGH Home Health Agency was created in 1981.

In November 1987, Alliant Management Services of Louisville, Kentucky was contracted to manage WGH.

On March 19, 1999, the hospital broke ground on a $4.5 million renovation project. This project moved outpatient services to the front of the building, consolidated departments that were spread throughout the hospital, and provided for more efficient services for patients and visitors. There were approximately 8,000 square feet of new construction and 18,000 square feet of renovation completed. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on May 10, 2000.

Wabash General Hospital celebrated 50 years of caring for our community on June 3, 2001, with an open house and unveiling of pictures of long time physicians; Doctors R. L. Fuller, C. L. Johns, E. Lowenstein and T. R. Young. Since the retirement of these long time doctors, four outstanding internists have come to town and made a tremendous impact on Wabash General Hospital. They are Dr. Narendra Anadkat, Dr. Larry Jennings and Dr. S.B. Jani who have many years of combined service to our area and Wabash General. We have been extremely fortunate to have these physicians practice in this area and in our hospital, as well as being a vital part of our community. More information on these doctors is available on this website.

On June 12, 2002 Wabash General Ambulance Service upgraded to paramedic status.

In Mid-2003, Wabash General Hospital became designated as a critical access hospital.

Dr. S. B. Jani became board certified in Sleep Medicine in 2007 and has become widely recognized for his treatment of sleep disorders.

One of the first students that WGH offered scholarships through medical school was Mt. Carmel native, Julko Fullop. Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Julko Fullop, returned to WGH in 2005 and enabled the hospital to start up an orthopaedic surgery department.

WGH added the stand alone Convenient Care after hours clinic in 2007 in the multi-specialty clinic area.

In 2007, WGH partnered with three other area hospitals to provide a mobile mammography service.

Dr. Maqbool Ahmed, an oncologist/hematologist, partnered with Wabash General to open an oncology/hematology clinic.

In July of 2011, a new Medical Office Building was opened across the street from the main hospital building. This new construction was needed to house the growing Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Department. In addition, the Rehabilitation Services Department is located in this facility, with the exception of Cardiac Rehab, which remains inside the hospital building.

Another WGH scholarship recipient, Dr. Justin Miller joined the Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Department in August of 2013.

Dr. Karsten Slater, a Sports Medicine Physician was brought into the department during the summer of 2012. These three doctors, along with five Physician Assistants, Chelsea Hon, PA-C, Julia Corwin, PA-C, Kayla Wilcox, PA-C, Beth Fischer, PA-C, and Michael Cheesman, PA-C, and over twenty five rehabilitation therapists, therapy assistants, and athletic trainers are the nucleus of the WGH Sports Medicine Department. The department now provides the sports medicine needs of 7 area high schools and junior colleges, Wabash Valley College and Frontier Community College.

The south portico in 2013 made for much easier access to mammography, MRI, and PET-CT Scan units. A new sought entrance to the hospital grounds was also added in the project.

In 2013, Wabash General Hospital implemented Electronic Medical Records.

Wabash General received two outstanding national awards in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award was awarded to 225 hospitals nationwide, including WGH. The Leapfrog Group handed out 90 Top Hospital Awards in the U.S. and again Wabash General was one of those recipients. Both of these awards were for quality of service.

In January of 2014, WGH opened an Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic in Fairfield, Illinois. Dr. Miller and Dr. Slater see patients on Wednesdays in the Horizon Healthcare Clinic at Fairfield Memorial Hospital.

In June of 2014, WGH opened an Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic in Carmi, Illinois. Dr. Miller and Dr. Slater see patients on Wednesdays.

On August 1, 2014, General Surgeon Dr. Richard Oppeltz joined Wabash General Hospital after completing his residency in Texas. Dr. Oppeltz and his family have relocated to Mt. Carmel.

On April 1, 2016, WGH opened an Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Dr. Fullop and Dr. Slater see patients on Fridays and alternating Mondays.

In August of 2016, Dr. Thomas Selby, a family practice physician, joined WGH.

In September of 2016, Dr. Levi McDaniel, an internal medicine physician joined WGH. Also in September, Dr. Narendra Anadkat's privately owned practice transitioned to Wabash General Hospital Primary Care, which was composed of Dr. Narendra Anadkat, Dr. Levi McDaniel, Dr. Thomas Selby, Diane DeStefano, ACNP, and Clay Walker, PA-C.

Late 2016, WGH received designation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In May, 2017, Dr. Lawrence Jennings signed an agreement for his privately owned practice to be owned and managed by Wabash General Hospital starting in October, 2017.

At the end of May, 2017, Dr. Narendra Anadkat retired from his outpatient practice.

On October 23, 2017, Dr. Lauren Croft, a pediatrician, joined the WGH team.

Colorectal Surgeon, Dr. Deane Smith, starting seeing patients on February 7, 2018 at our Carmi location.

In May 2018, Diane DeStefano, ACNP-BC, started seeing patients at the Grayville Medical Clinic.

On June 20, 2018, several awards were given by The Register. WGH was recognized as The Best Place to Work and The Best Healthcare Facility in Wabash County. Also, Dr. Fullop was recognized as The Best Surgeon, Dr. Jennings was recognized as The Best Doctor, and Lauren Horrall, RN, was recognized as The Best Nurse.

In August 2018, Wabash General Hospital was selected as one of the 66 Critical Access Hospitals to Know in 2018 by Becker’s Hospital Review.

In September 2018, General Surgeon, Dr. Abdul Shakoor Badr, joined our surgery team. He receievd his board certification in November 2018.

Also, in September 2018, Brooke Ile, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, started seeing patients at Wabash General Hospital Primary Care.

Janie Tompson, FNP, joined Diane DeStefano, ACNP-BC, at the Grayville Medical Clinic in October 2018.

Also, in October 2018, the WGH Foundation held it's first Annual Donor Apprecation Event.

On October 29, 2018, WGH was awarded MBQIP Quality Award HCAHPS Star Rating Performer, Top Performance Award, and Quality of Care Outcomes Award. WGH also received the Excellence in Innovation Award for our Joint Camp.

The first patient seen at the Albion Medical Clinic was on December 10, 2018. We also held an Open House on December 13, 2018 for the Albion Medical Clinic.

On December 31, 2018, long time President & CEO Jay Purvis retried from Wabash General Hospital.

Karissa Turner became the hospital's new President & CEO on January 1, 2019.