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Cover Story - Posted September 22, 2017 8:50 a.m.
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Amarillo’s Medical History

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1800s
Family members mostly care for the ill at home.

1887
J.I. Berry establishes what becomes the Amarillo townsite.

1900
Sisters Cleophas Hurst, Eugenius Ward, Winifred Cullen and Conrad Urnau arrive from San Antonio to serve Amarillo (population: 1,442).

1901
St. Anthony’s Sanitarium opens with 25 rooms.

1907
Typhoid fever epidemic hits Amarillo.

1909
St. Anthony’s expands its building and opens a nursing school.

1910
West Texas State Normal College opens in Canyon.

1913
Eleanor Heasler, Jessie York, Sister Susanna Mayock and Sister Thaddeus Byrne are first graduates of the St. Anthony’s nursing school.

1924
Northwest Texas Hospital becomes the city’s first public hospital and establishes a School of Nursing.

1926
Maude Mary Abbott, Olive Fitzgerald, Pernine Hanson, Viola Hanson and Anna Lee Smith become first graduates of Northwest’s nursing school.

1929
Amarillo College opens.

1937
Northwest affiliates its nursing school with Amarillo College to include science and humanities courses.

1940
The Veterans Administration Hospital opens in Amarillo.

1948
Amarillo College introduces vocational nursing program.

1960s
Nationwide, hospital-based diploma programs begin to decline as they are replaced by Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) programs.

1965
Formal dedication of the Don and Sybil Harrington Regional Medical Center.

1968
High Plains Baptist Hospital opens to the public.

1970
Amarillo College graduates first class of registered nurses in its ADN program.

1972
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine begins offering rotations in Amarillo.

1974
The first class of nurses with four-year degrees graduates from West Texas State University’s new Nursing School.

1982
Northwest relocates from the 2300 block of Sixth Avenue to its current Medical Center location.

1984
Northwest School of Nursing merges with West Texas State University School of Nursing.

1996
High Plains Baptist Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital merge to form Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System, and operations begin to move away from St. Anthony’s Polk Street campus.

1996
Universal Health Services of Pennsylvania purchases Northwest Texas Healthcare System after voters approve a nonbinding public referendum.

2004
Last hospital employees depart from old St. Anthony’s campus on Polk Street.

2013
Nashville-based Ardent Health Services buys Baptist St. Anthony’s.

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit heyamarillo.com and jasonboyett.com.
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