by Luke Jones
Posted 5/20/2013 12:00 am
Before it was Jefferson Regional Medical Center, it was Davis Hospital.
The original building was built in 1908 and had 50 beds. It was the effort of Mattie Crawford and a group of women who were inspired to build a hospital after returning to Pine Bluff in 1893 from the World’s Fair in Chicago. These women put their funds together, along with $10,000 from W.H. Davis, mayor of nearby Altheimer, to start the project.
The hospital was named after Davis. It struggled often through its early years.
“In 1959, through the visionary efforts and hard work of the Davis administration and board members, Davis Hospital moved to 42nd Avenue and became Jefferson Hospital Association Inc.,” said JRMC CEO Walter Johnson.
Now, the hospital has 471 beds and is a regional referral center serving about 280,000 residents across 11 counties. It covers everything from cardiology to wound care and owns a number of ambulatory clinics, centers, physician practices and other programs in Jefferson County. The hospital also operates a school of nursing and houses a health education center where 30 family practice care physicians train annually, and hosts clinical programs for local schools and colleges.