A Brief History of Lawrence Memorial Hospital
In the mid 1950’s a sentiment developed in Lawrence County that a hospital should be constructed to better serve the health care needs of the immediate area. In November of 1957, with the impetus provided by the local physicians and by several other individuals in the community, a 2-mil tax increase proposal was put before the people in a general election to finance the construction of a county health care institution. The proposal passed by a rather significant majority. The date of the original bond was on September 1, 1958, in the amount of $194,000. Construction began later that year.
The facility opened in 1960; there have been several expansion programs that have added 6 patient beds in the acute care areas and 189 beds in a long-term care area. Services now include x-ray, ultrasound, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), consequential tomographic scanning (CT scan), laboratory, respiratory therapy, stress testing, electrocardiography (EKG), electroencephalogram (EEG), surgery and anesthesiology (GI Lab), physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, sleep disorders testing, Home Medical Equipment & Supply, Family Medical Center, the Lawrence County Specialty Clinic, and a 24-hour physician staffed emergency department.
The hospital is a participating member of the Arkansas Hospital Association, and licensed by the Arkansas State Health Department. The nursing home is licensed by the Office of Long Term Care as a Medicare certified skilled nursing facility. Both the hospital and nursing home are participating members in Blue Cross/Blue Shield program of Arkansas, Medicare and Arkansas Social Services. The organization is affiliated with the license practical nurse and nurse aide programs at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.
LMH is currently participating in an analysis of quality indicators with the Arkansas Foundation of Medical Care. Their attention to detail has afforded a ranking consistently among the top performed for critical access hospital (became CAH in 2000) as well as all hospital in the state participating in the program. In December of 2004, the hospital achieved accreditation by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.