Take a Step Back in Time
On December 8, 1942 - John Kirby is born in County Limerick, Ireland.
After the death of his mother, John Kirby, along with his father and two
brothers, moves to Springfield, OH.
Kirby moves in with a neighboring farm family, the McCoys.
The McCoys move to Illinois to settle near Decatur, and Kirby joins them.
Kirby enlists in Company F of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry Regiment at the
beginning of the Civil War. He serves with Grant at the Siege of Vicksburg
and in Louisiana before being discharged at the end of the war.
Post War - 1873
Kirby marries Mary E. Marquiss, the granddaughter of the founder of Monticello,
IL. The couple has two children, but one dies in infancy.
John and Mary Kirby and their daughter Nell retire from agricultural labors
and move to Monticello, where they reside in a stately family mansion.
John Kirby dies in Monticello. His will states that the City of Monticello
will receive the Kirby mansion and $100,000 upon the death of his wife,
Mary. The money and residence are to be used to establish the John and
Mary E. Kirby Hospital.
On December 7, 1938 Mary Kirby dies.
On September 22, 1939, Nell M. England (daughter of John and Mary Kirby),
W.H. England, Maxwell R. Hott, Bela M. Stoddard and Herbert Mohler are
appointed directors for the hospital.
On September 25, 1939, Certificate of Incorporation No. 8903 is issued
by Illinois Secretary of State Edward J. Hughes to the John and Mary Kirby
Hospital as a corporation not for pecuniary profit.
On September 26, 1939, Madora B. Moore and Allen F. Moore convey their
home and estate surrounding it to the John and Mary Kirby Hospital.
Contract let to Hagerman & Harshman of Sullivan, IL, for the remodeling
of the Moore residence into a hospital facility.
Welcome to 1941
Welcome to 1941
Thousands crowded the halls to tour the new John and Mary E. Kirby Hospital
when it officially opened its doors in January 1941 with a staff of 15
doctors, four nurses and eight service employees. There were undoubtedly
many “oohs” and “aahs” as Piatt County residents
viewed the luxurious and modern amenities, including tilting mattresses,
six fireplaces, decoratively carved ceilings and “un-hospital”
rooms filled with Chippendale furniture. The landscaped grounds featured
a courtyard and fish pool surrounded by pathways for roaming patients,
employees and guests.
Kirby offered the latest medical technology and highest standards of care
with stainless-steel operating equipment, repositionable operating tables,
one of only two electric dishwashers in town and an array of electric
lights (bed lights, door lights, hall lights, infra-red rays, ultra-violet
rays and even floor lights).
Not many of us remember 1941, and the details might sound quaint now in
2016. What was life like when the hospital first opened? Take a step back
- A New House: $4,075
- Annual Wages: $1,750
- A Gallon of Gas: $0.12
- A New Car: $850
- A Postage Stamp: $0.03
- World Series Champions: New York Yankees
- Popular Songs: “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller and
“Green Eyes” by Jimmy Dorsey
- Popular Movies: “Dumbo” and “The Maltese Falcon”
- Although television is not yet a household staple, drive-in movie theaters
are all the rage, and fast food restaurants are increasing in popularity.
The frugalness of the Great Depression is renewed in the face of World
War II, but modern conveniences such as refrigerators and indoor plumbing
are changing the American lifestyle forever.
- President: Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Hourly minimum wage: $0.30
- Population: 133.4 million
- World War II is escalating in Europe, and by the end of the year, the United
States is in the thick of it after the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii
on December 7, 1941. The passing of bills to support allied countries
and veterans reflects the nation’s collective consciousness towards
impending military action.
- Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month
to allow more time for holiday shopping.
- Paul Simon, Martha Stewart, Bob Dylan, Jesse Jackson and Otis Redding are
all born in 1941.
- “Citizen Kane” is a flop at theatres, but goes on to be regarded
as one of the best films of all time.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt is Time’s Man of the Year for the third time.
- The first television commercial airs - a 10-second ad costing around $7.00
for Bulova watches.
- Scientists develop a means of mass producing penicillin, which leads to
a less than 1% death rate from bacterial pneumonia among soldiers (compared
to 18% during WWI).
- Fear of serious health complications and death from polio, tuberculosis
and syphilis are still very real and prevalent.
- Smoking is allowed (and sometimes even encouraged) in hospitals but frowned
upon around new babies and oxygen tanks.
- It is common for hospitals to be segregated by race, religion and gender.
- Long hospital stays are the norm, with new mothers spending a week or more
in the maternity ward, although around half of births still happen at home.
- Plastics are not yet used, and glass syringes and IV bottles and must be
sterilized for reuse.
The first patient is admitted to the John and Mary E. Kirby Hospital. Medical
staff includes 15 doctors, four registered nurses and eight employees
in the service departments.
Dr. Abe D. Furry becomes the only physician left at the hospital during
most of the war.
Nell M. England dies and leaves her entire estate to the hospital.
Over the years, the Kirby Auxiliary has gradually ceased activity until
hospital administrator Tom Dixon approaches Lois Crouse with the idea
of reactivating the Auxiliary.
Because of an acute shortage of nursing home beds in the county, a 63-bed
nursing home is built next to the hospital. Auxiliary members assist with
the opening of the nursing home.
Kirby Ambulance Service begins.
On January 1, 1986, Due to changes in the insurance industry, Kirby closes
its obstetrics department. Over the years, Kirby’s obstetrics staff
delivered 4,635 babies, the first being John Kirby Chaney in 1941 and
the last being Matthew Walters on December 31, 1985.
Kirby celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of their not-for-profit
corporation in 1939. Over the last 50 years there have been 39,389 admissions,
a total of 307,184 days spent in the hospital and 302,204 outpatient visits.
A renovation of the hospital is complete with the addition of two private
rooms and a renovation of the Laboratory and Emergency Departments.
Kirby receives the Press Ganey Compass Award - Inpatient Services: Recognizing
Outstanding Performance Improvement in Patient Satisfaction.
Kirby receives the Press Ganey Summit Award - Emergency Department, which
is awarded to hospitals achieving 95 percent or higher patient satisfaction
for three or more consecutive years. Kirby goes on to receive the award
again for the Emergency Department in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
On September 29, 2011, The new Kirby Medical Center begins providing care
at its current location at 1000 Medical Center Drive in Monticello after
receiving over $3 million in donated gifts and pledges and acquiring 108
acres of property along Interstate 72.
The Volunteer Corp is established, which is a subset of Kirby’s 200
plus member strong Auxiliary.
Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality names Kirby Medical
Center in the top 52 hospitals with the cleanest patient rooms, with the
national average at 74 percent and Kirby achieving 93 percent.
The Kirby Auxiliary donates $16,000 toward the hospital’s purchase
of a new ambulance.
The first phase of the Wellness Trail, a one-mile stretch of pathways,
opens to the public with the support of over $500,000 in private, tax-deductible gifts.
- Kirby Medical Center celebrated its 75th Anniversary.
- Our Surgery department has again won the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence
Award for sustained patient satisfaction.
- Our new Kirby Medical Group at Cerro Gordo opened on December 19th, CrossFit
KMC and our GetFit programs opened in June.
- Steve Tenhouse, CEO, was presented an award from ICAHN for his dedicated
service and outstanding leadership to the statewide hospital organization.
- Kirby Medical Center was named a 2017 Guardian of Excellence Award winner
by Press Ganey.
- Kirby was named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for Best Practice
Recipient for Patient Satisfaction in the country.
- KMC was awarded the Studer Group’s Excellence in Patient Care Award
for Emergency Department Performance.
- Dr. James Manint was awarded 2017 Rural Physician of Excellence Award by
the Illinois Rural Health Association.
- KMC began expanding the Therapy Department, Parking and Accessibility,
and the new Outreach Conference room.
- Kirby Auxiliary donated $21,000 to Kirby Medical Center, with funds going
toward the purchase of a new power cot for Kirby Ambulance.
- Kirby Medical Center once again received Guardian of Excellence awards
from Press Ganey for sustained excellence in patient satisfaction and
- Kirby Medical Center was honored to be recognized as a Top 20 Critical
Access Hospital in the U.S. for Patient Satisfaction by the National Rural
Health Association for the second year in a row.
- Kirby Medical Group received the 2018 Excellence in Patient Care award
in the Employee Engagement category.
- In August, KMC’s new Therapy Garden officially opened for all to
enjoy, support for the Pergola by Kirby Auxiliary. The Lab Department
relocated and doubled in size, as well as Kirby Medical Group adding 11
new rooms to its facilities and one new procedure room. KMC Active opened
up to the community to give members of Piatt County and surrounding areas
more options to better their health. These programs include KMC 30, KMC
Endurance, and KMC Yoga.
- Kirby Auxiliary raised $22,000 to support the purchase of a power patient
cot for our Ambulance Service, as well as the construction of the new
Therapy Garden pergola.
- KMC was named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for Patient Satisfaction
from the National Rural Health Association.
- Kirby Medical Center began construction on relocating the gift shop. The
construction of Kirby Rx, a retail pharmacy located inside KMC, began.
- Kirby Auxiliary donated $29,000 to KMC to support the purchase of a Vein
Viewer for the Emergency Department and the Smartcuve Breast Paddle Curve
System for the Imaging Department.
- Future plans for 2020 consist of opening a medical office building and
adding Senior Life Solutions, an outpatient group therapy program designed
to meet the needs of adults struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety.