Girard Medical Center opened its Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation program on September 6th. Two patients began the program on that day and were the first patients in Kansas to try the new cardiac monitoring system (SciFit ERS-2). Angie Mukwindidza, LPN for the Cardiac Rehab program said, “We are excited to be working with this new technology and proud to be the first Kansas hospital to utilize this equipment.”
The program is offered three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Patients can expect to exercise for at least 40 minutes as well as receive education on topics such as nutrition, weight loss, lipid management, diabetes management, stress reduction, smoking cessation, and home exercise.
Most insurance companies pay for Cardiac Rehab if there is a qualifying event or condition such as:
The ERS-2 monitors are about the size of a deck of cards. These cardiac monitors are completely wireless and are attached to the body via a chest strap. “The cardiac monitors are easy for the patients to wear and they are enjoying the absence of electrodes and wires bouncing around while exercising,” said Heather Winter, Respiratory Therapist for the program.
With the recent closing of the Cardiac Rehab program at Mercy Ft. Scott, patients now have another treatment option without having to drive more than 30 miles.
Ask your doctor for a referral
The program requires a doctor referral. Our team will consult with an individual’s doctor and evaluate their health to make sure the program is appropriate
Girard Medical Center
322 N. Hospital Drive
Girard, KS 66743
100 years ago, a group of community minded leaders recognized the need for high-quality medical care close to home. Girard Medical Center's mission of providing excellent healthcare with compassion as we support our communities has remained constant for a century! You will always be our number one priority and we will continue to look for ways to better serve you!
Please join us on May 11th from 11-1 to celebrate 100 years of caring for our communities.
HISTORY OF GIRARD MEDICAL CENTER
During the summer of 1912, Dr. S. B. Hewett, Dr. D.C. Smith, and Dr. J.W. Davis opened a hospital in the large old house of Capt. J.D. Barker, which stood where the Girard Post Office stands today. While this privately operated hospital served Girard, 358 patients were treated, 325 of whom had surgery. The hospital closed in 1916 after the property was transferred to the federal government During the summer of 1912, Dr. S.B. Hewett, Dr. D.C. Smith and Dr. J.W. Davis opened a hospital in the large old house of Captain J.D. Barker, which stood where the Girard Post Office stands today. The Commercial Club of Girard saw the need for a hospital and circulated petitions in an effort to obtain a hospital for Girard. Their efforts succeeded, and in May 1916, the newly selected Hospital Board of Trustees purchased the site where the old Central School had burned the previous February (2 blocks west of the square on Forest Avenue). Hundreds of large loads of dirt from Burnett’s Lake were hauled to fill in the grounds. In July 1918, the new hospital opened. Joe Kearns of Pittsburg was the contractor, and the cost was approximately $17,000. Hitch & Son contracted the plumbing, heating, and lighting. Mr. Kearns was again the contractor when an addition was completed in March 1941.
In 1965, the Hospital District #1 of Crawford County Board of Trustees campaigned to build a new hospital. A $555,000 bond was voted on in July 1967, and shortly thereafter construction began. The building site for the hospital was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Norman Steffens and children. A dedication and open house was held on March 23, 1969.
An addition was made to the hospital for an ICU unit in 1983.
In 1992, a major renovation was undertaken adding an Education Room, expanded Emergency Department, Laboratory along with other updates.
Hospital District #1 of Crawford County began doing business as Girard Medical Center in 2007.
The Hospital Board of Trustees embarked on a second major renovation and construction project in 2008 in order to accommodate the growing healthcare needs of southeast Kansas. This project added 30,000 new square feet to the facility, and renovated 12,000 square feet of the existing hospital. The expansion created 12 private patient rooms, 4 private ICU rooms, expanded the therapy departments and nursing facilities, and added a new front entrance and lobby. The project included a brand new surgery center equipped with the latest technology. The new facility was opened to the public on June 5, 2010.
He’s one of the most well-known and well-liked Girard locals. Though he didn’t arrive in Girard until his professional career began, he has impacted just as many lives as any native Girardian. In fact, if you were born in the Girard General Hospital or Girard Medical Center between the early ‘60s and early ‘90s, this man may have very well been the first person you saw.
But, believe it or not, Dr. Wesley Hall didn’t always have his heart set on becoming a doctor.
He was born in Green Forest, Ark., but didn’t remain there long until his family uprooted first to Sherman, Kan., then back to Arkansas, and then on to Canyon City, Colo., when he was in eighth grade. The constant moving was a necessity for Hall, whose father served as a Baptist minister.
His largest move came in the midst of WWII, when he was still in high school. Temporarily breaking off his education, Hall joined the Navy and was assigned as a gunners mate in the Philippines.
“That was when I really began thinking about going into medicine,” he said. “I decided I wanted to attend KU and take the pre-med curriculum.”
And, after returning from the Philippines and finishing his high school degree, that’s exactly what he did. It was also during that time that he met his future wife, Norma.
“I was serving as a nurse at Halstead Hospital, where Wesley worked in the research lab,” Norma said.
The two were married in 1952, and Dr. Hall completed his undergrad a year later in 1953. He would remain at KU for medical school before relocating to Kansas City for his internship at Bethany Hospital in 1958.
But Dr. Hall, who had spent his childhood in a plethora of small towns, already had his sights set on practicing medicine in a rural setting—so long as the town had its own hospital. Fortunately, such an opportunity came calling that same year, an opportunity by the name of Dr. Jack Walker.
“Dr. Walker grew up [in Girard] and came back there to practice, but he was wanting to head up the program at KU, so he came recruiting for someone to replace him back in Girard,” Dr. Hall said. “I bought his practice upon arriving in Girard, and he went up to KU.”
Girard’s medical landscape looked much different back then. The hospital—then Girard General Hospital—didn’t have a lab or even an X-ray machine of its own. Anyone in need of either service had to make the trip to Mt. Carmel instead.
“Fortunately, we did get an X-ray machine, thanks to Barbara Lohmeyer,” Dr. Hall said. “She came on as administrator in 1958.”
It also wasn’t uncommon for Dr. Hall to make house calls.
“They would call, and he would go, and I would call the place where he went to tell him where he needed to be next,” Mrs. Hall said. “Mostly for things like the flu. Even if it was in the middle of the night, he usually went.”
On one such occasion, when Dr. Hall arrived at the house, his patient was sitting calmly for him at the kitchen table, waiting.
Recalling the incident with a laugh, Dr. Hall said, “He said to me, ‘It was cheaper for you to come to the house than for me to go in to your office.’”
Though house calls formed a part of his practice in the early days (he didn’t take house calls for the last five years of his practice), those types of calls were dwarfed by another: deliveries.
“I can’t tell you how many babies I’ve delivered,” he said.
He does remember one night, though, when he delivered two pairs of twins, one right after another, in rooms directly across from each other.
And Dr. and Mrs. Hall had a large family of their own—five sons and two daughters. Mrs. Hall spent most of her time at home raising, a task which she said her nursing background came in very handy for.
Dr. Hall retired from his office practice in 1993, having split his medical career between the old Girard General Hospital and the new Girard Medical Center, which was erected about a decade after he came to Girard, in 1969.
“After [my retirement] I went down to Cherokee for a little while, and then came to cardiac rehab at GMC,” he said. For those who know Dr. Hall, it’s not surprising that his official “retirement” wasn’t really a retirement—he’s always liked to stay busy.
In his spare time, he can frequently be spotted on his family’s farm working on some project or another. He has also been an active member in his church, the Girard Bible Church, which he founded with Martin Schifferdecker, an aspect of his life he has always been proud of.
On the medical side, he is also especially proud of his AAFP fellowship, which he earned in 1975. The test to become certified as an AAFP fellow is a rigorous one, and it is considered to be the one of the most difficult tests a medical professional can take because it draws questions from across all medical disciplines.
He has also made a major impact on those he worked with.
Dr. James Wilkins said of his former colleague, “Dr. Hall was instrumental in my coming to Girard in 1979. He had first met me on a recruiting trip to Kansas City when I was a senior resident. I was immediately impressed by his passion for health care in Girard and as I came to know him better, by his integrity, compassion and faith. He blessed me greatly as I worked for and with him for 19 and one-half years.
“When I and my family felt called to the mission field, Wes was a great encouragement. Girard has been enriched greatly by his presence and I am proud to be able to add my thankfulness to such an outstanding, extraordinary man. He continues to be an inspiration to me both medically and in my Christian walk. He has been a blessing to so many people. Medical care in Girard has been largely shaped by his presence. I wish him the very best in his continued retirement.”
It’s no surprise, then, that the people—meeting them, helping them and making an impact on them—is what drove Dr. Hall to become one of Girard’s most beloved figures.
“I really liked the people,” he said simply. “That was what I missed the most when I retired.”