Blair, Washington County fortunate to have MCH


Last week, Burt County lost its only hospital as MercyOne closed its doors in Oakland.

Low in-patient and emergency room volume were cited as the primary factors in the decision.

MercyOne announced the sudden closure June 23 and the shuttered the facility July 1.

“The decision to close a hospital may be the most difficult one a health system ever faces,” said Beth Hughes, president of the Western Iowa Region for MercyOne. “We care deeply about our patients and the communities we serve, and this is something we take very seriously.”

As Oakland residents are still reeling from the shock and loss of a hospital that has been in the community for more than 70 years, Washington County residents should reflect and feel grateful for its own facility, Memorial Community Hospital and Health System (MCH).

A hospital was first established in Blair in the late 1800s. In 1956, MCH opened its doors at its current location after a successful door-to-door fundraising effort through the county. Additions and improvements have been made over the years.

In addition to the hospital, MCH also has clinics in Blair, Fort Calhoun and Tekamah.

With Blair's proximity to Omaha, residents should feel fortunate to have such top-notch medical care right here in the county. When there is a medical emergency, these healthcare professionals are ready.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MCH led they way to get residents vaccinated, spending hours hosting large vaccination clinics on the former Dana College campus and at the hospital.

But they're also here for the routine procedures and wellness checkups.

The hospital and its staff are here “to partner with our community to heal, nurture and promote wellness,” according to the mission on its website.

MCH is a valued part of this community and county and one residents should show their appreciation.