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Kane County Hospital adds another name to the Wall of Honor
11/7/09: Mary Ellen Craven
Sherrie Pandya, KCH Administrator, Rosalie Esplin RN DON.
On November 5, 2009 the Kane County Hospital hosted an ice cream social honoring Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin’s fifty years of dedicated service to the hospital. It was a celebration, a gathering of friends and family, and a time to reminisce, compare experiences, anecdotes and history.
The first Hospital was built through the efforts of Dr. George Aiken. In 1934 he purchased land in the northwest part of Kanab to build a hospital. It was completed in 1936. Mr. and Mrs. H. Maxwell of Glendale were the parents of the first baby born in the new hospital. The baby was delivered free of charge and nicknamed “Freeborn” by Dr. Aiken.
The County purchased the hospital from Dr. Aiken in 1943 for $15,000. This included the grounds, the buildings, and the equipment. The hospital underwent extensive improvements in January 1949 and expanded in 1950. Considered as the “old, old” hospital it is no longer standing.
Kane County’s population in 1950 was 2,229. In 1959 the Kane County Commissioners began planning a new fifteen-bed hospital, it was completed in 1962, now known as the “old” hospital. The current hospital, or “new” hospital, was built through the community’s efforts in 1997.
Rosalie and the Esplin family have been an important part of the history of the hospital and county.
As part of program Administrator Sherrie Pandya asked former Hospital Governing Board Chairman Ted Atherly to comment on Rosalie’s amazing record. Atherly stated while on the Board he had received many cards from all over the country thanking the hospital for the tender loving care and special treatment they had received. Rosalie’s service dates back to the old, old hospital, the old hospital and the current hospital. Ted stated Rosalie kept the board informed of any new regulations, and the need for new equipment as technology improved and with the little things that make a difference in achieving the goals of the hospital. Can you even imagine the changes and improvements that have taken place in the health care business in the past fifty years? Atherly personally thanked Rosalie for her fifty years of service, exceptional leadership and for a job well done “you are an awesome lady”.
Current Governing Board Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff was introduced as the next speaker. Ratzlaff began by stating Rosalie has been through fifteen administrators numerous doctors and many, many employees. Hospital board members have changed frequently. Through it all Rosalie has kept on kicking and has never given up. That ole “Pioneer Spirit with the highest of work standards and ethics has shown in Rosalie’s actions, behavior and consistency. A true blue Country RN, from the Dr. Aiken era plowing through the leniency of yesterdays medical guidelines to the strict and rigid rules of today. Ratzlaff remarked on Rosalie’s professional behavior and wondered how she was able to remain so calm and collected, but that is just Rosalie.
Ratzlaff continued you don’t climb the ladder of life with your hands in your pockets. Rosalie’s caring and healing hands have touched many lives. Dottie quoted Bette Midler “People are not the best because they work hard. They work hard because they are the best”. Rosalie is the best and we appreciate all you have done for the hospital and our community.
Administrator Pandya commented on Rosalie’s schedule for the day. The social began at 4:00 P.M., she had already assisted in two surgeries as well as completing her other nursing duties.
Doctor Ott was the next speaker; he compared Rosalie’s professionalism to that of baseball player Cal Ripken Jr., and the amount of games he played, working with different managers and his perseverance. In Ott’s analogy, Rosalie is an “in-fielder” being a front player in this organization for fifty years.
In 2001 Cal Ripkin wrote, “I’ve been asked this question a lot, how do you want to be remembered? His response to that question has been, “To be remembered at all is pretty special.”
Administrator Pandya presented Rosalie a Plaque of Honor engraved with: Presented to Rosalie Esplin RN and DON celebrating her fiftieth Anniversary at Kane County Hospital October 28, 1959 to October 28, 2009.
Pandya then placed a second plaque on the hospital lobby wall next to other Honorees: Dr. George Aiken, Dr. Howard Roberts and Dr. Avnish Pandya.
Reference and interesting reading: The Doc Aiken Story, Memoirs of a Country Doctor and The History of Kane County, Utah Centennial County History Series.