BOUNTIFUL -- Back in the 1950s, a group of local physicians recognized a need to develop a hospital to serve south Davis County.
The county was rapidly growing and the physicians decided an acute-care hospital would provide for its needs.
The physicians teamed up with local business leaders and residents to make the dream a reality, and in 1961, South Davis Community Hospital opened its doors.
This year, the hospital celebrates 50 years of being in business.
Many changes have taken place during those 50 years.
From 1961 to 1977, the hospital operated as an acute-care facility. In 1977, after major remodeling, the hospital reopened as a sub-acute specialty care hospital for children and adults of all ages.
It has since added such services as pediatric care programs, home health, hospice care, luxury assisted living, long-term acute care, respiratory therapy and orthopedic rehabilitation.
In addition, the hospital partners with the Davis School District to ensure pediatric patients are enrolled in school and can participate in scholastic activities.
This includes transporting patients for clinically supervised attendance at local schools and providing a classroom within the facility, said Helga Swanson, executive assistant and foundation manager of the hospital.
Each year, more than 500 employees care for more than 100 ventilator-dependent patients, long-term patients, those with chronic and complex medical needs and patients in transitional care, Swanson said.
The hospital has 135 beds, 41 beds at Orchard Cove Orthopedic Rehab and 62 apartments at Barton Creek Assisting Living.
The hospital has also established a reputation of pioneering technologies and specialized programs that improve the health and well-being of its patients, Swanson said.
"Over the years, South Davis Community Hospital has gained state and national recognition for its expertise in the care of ventilator-dependent patients and those who require high levels of skilled technical care," she said.
With the capacity to provide care for more than 225 patients at any given time, the hospital serves the specialty health care needs of more than 1,000 people annually, Swanson said.
The hospital serves those who require ongoing treatment or rehabilitation because of accidents, illness or a serious medical condition.
"While most people never intend to need the services of our specialty care hospital, those who have can't imagine life without it," said hospital CEO David Bland.
"Within our walls, challenges are overcome, patients take their first independent breaths, and first steps are taken all over again.
"Because South Davis Community Hospital is a nonprofit organization, our greatest reward comes primarily from watching individuals become more hopeful and healthy as a result of our programs, and many have."
In addition, the hospital received Best in State for health care services in the category of merchandising and consumer services by the American Health Care Association National Center for Assisted Living.
The hospital also serves as a clinical teaching and training site for students throughout Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties, serving five colleges and more than 500 students annually.