In 1948, the Henry County Court appointed a four-man committee to make a study of the need for a new county hospital.
On April 1, 1950, Henry County voters passed the bond issue 5 to 1 to build a new hospital.
Henry County General Hospital was dedicated on August 28, 1953, serving the counties of Henry, Carroll, Benton, Weakley and Gibson. The administrator was Joe Kreycik. Hospital Auxillians served as tour guides for opening day.
The hospital, at a cost of $2.04 per cubic foot, was constructed under Public Law 725, commonly known as the Hill-Burton Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946, whereby over 1000 hospitals were built in the US. The act allowed the Federal government to contribute 52 percent of the cost of construction and the State of Tennessee would contribute 24 percent, leaving the county to provide the remaining 24 percent. The law allowed community ownership of the hospitals.
The 71-bed hospital was one of the first hospitals in the nation to use the double corridor, single-center service island concept to reduce nurse travel and put nurses closer to patients. The hospital had ultra-modern communication/paging system, automatic elevators, x-ray lab, laboratory and pathologist test rooms, self-sustaining pharmacy, revolutionary type food service and coffee shop, laundry, two emergency rooms with an ambulance entrance and a power plant that had two immense 100-horsepower boilers, two hot water heaters, oil furnace and an emergency power unit, all on the first floor.
Second floor was dedicated to surgical recovery.
There were seven private rooms with tub or shower, 14 private rooms without bath and 25 semi-private rooms.
Third floor had two isolation rooms and housed the pediatrics department as well.
Fourth floor was the maternity floor containing three nurseries with 15 bassinets.
Piped oxygen was available to every room.
By 1956, it was evident that more beds and additional services were needed. A new patient wing was completed July 26, 1959. Air conditioning throughout the hospital was added at this time as well. The hospital then had a capacity for 128 beds.
The next addition came in 1971 adding a new nursing unit of 38 beds, bringing the total bed count to 166. Many ancillary departments were upgraded too.
In 1972, a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit opened with four beds and a basic heart monitor. The unit was moved to the second floor giving them six beds and better quality monitors. The unit was updated dramatically in 1990.
By 1985, the medical center had the latest in state-of-the art technology and emergency services, offering such services as;
- Cancer treatment center
- Home health service
- Laparoscopic surgical procedures
- Physical therapy
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Medical Social Services
- A Lake Haven Behavioral Center
- Other diagnostic services
A mammoth $6 million renovation/expansion project was completed during 1989. This was the two-story Medical Arts Building and a high-tech radiation therapy department. Obstetrics and surgery departments were enlarged, the emergency room was enlarged and an outpatient treatment department was formed.
The hospital, called Henry County Medical Center since 1985, celebrated 40 years in 1993. HCMC has always been a teaching hospital for Jackson State’s Radiological and Laboratory Technicians as well as Nursing students from UT Martin, Murray State University, Union University and Austin Peay University.
In January 2004, the Patient Tower addition opened. This expansion included a new cafeteria and allowed a Sleep Disorders Center to open and a new space for Cardiac Rehabilitation. The radiology area was renovated as a result of the new building and a new space was temporarily made ready for Outpatient Surgery, which has already been utilized. Shell space was allowed for a new Pharmacy, which has since opened and the Women’s Center on the second floor opened with birthing rooms and operating rooms for C-sections.
The new third floor allowed for 16 new beds, creating private rooms throughout the hospital.
Henry County Medical Center is still a community-owned medical center dedicated to providing the highest quality, affordable healthcare services and education to Henry County and surrounding regions.