StoryCorps
10:04 am
Thu October 3, 2013

The not-so-distant past of Dixie Regional Medical Center

Terri and Ron went to the StoryCorps booth together to talk about the history of Dixie Regional Medical Center.
Credit STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Terri Kane, CEO of Dixie Regional Medical Center interviewed Ron Metcalf, chairman of the Center's board,  about the history of the Dixie Regional Medical Center- and the years before it was known as such. Metcalf's family moved to St. George in the '60s, and his family has been involved with the hospital since.

St. George was a dry and desolate area, in the eyes of young Metcalf. His father owned a mortuary in town, and since the town didn't have an ambulance, his father was asked to provide one.

"They asked the mortuaries to provide the ambulance service simply because the mortuaries had the vehicles, they had the equipment and had stretchers they would use  in their profession. This lent itself to being able to help people when the need arose in an emergency," Metcalf said.

Listen to Ron and Terri's interview.

As a teenager, Metcalf said he found working with his father on calls was thrilling, that he found a sense of adventure in the work.

"I remember going on a little of situations, seeing a lot of things, and having my eyes wide open," he said.

Throughout the years as an ambulance owner, Metcalf's father made many improvements to their station wagon, like panels to cover windows to provide privacy, a resuscitation machine, first aid kits, and a police radio.

"Back then, that was cutting edge in the late '60s, early '70s," Metcalf said. "It was doing all we could to serve in the case of emergency in the community."

Since then, Metcalf has grown up, and now works with a much different healthcare system.

"What a contrast between now and then," he said. "I remember a few times taking some people in, one time a woman who was pregnant, and we took her in. Later on we recalled she did not make it. How many people were not helped appropriately, who didn't heal properly if they did heal, because we weren't a big enough community, didn't have the expertise and ability to take care of people like we do today."

Intermountain healthcare took over the Dixie hospital in 1975, and in the last ten years, Dixie Regional Hospital has seen many changes, including a new building. But it's the community feel that makes the difference, Kane said.

"People go above and beyond what they need to do in order to take care of the community," she said. "I think here not only do we have exceptional healthcare, but we have exceptional people."

Dixie Regional Medical Center is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.

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