February 17 1952, with great fanfare, Brown County General Hospital opened its doors for the very first time. Boasting a 60 person staff, it was said to be the most modern and beautifully furnished hospital in rural Ohio. At the building of this new hospital it was generally believed that services would not exceed the general, less than acute, level for medical and surgical services with some routine obstetrics. However in 1960 there occurred an event which gave every evidence that the activity in the corridors and rooms of Brown County General Hospital was about to accelerate. A Board-Qualified General Surgeon was lured to the scenic river views and byways of our county. This fact alone helped change the scope of all hospital activities. Previously any surgery performed at the hospital was primarily elective and nearly 90% of emergencies were transferred to Cincinnati hospitals. This statistic would turn around completely in less than five years as more surgeons and doctors called the hills of Brown County their home.

Gradually a series of building improvements were planned and implemented to provide a facility adequate to meet the growing demands of our community. As the population of Brown County has almost exactly doubled from 22,221 to 44,846 in the last 60 years, so have the services and improvements offered by our facility. From simple things like the addition of air conditioning in 1962 to major renovations and wing constructions in the 70s, the hospital has strove to be the health care facility of choice for Brown County.

1994 brought to a close an extensive modernization project. Once completed Brown County General Hospital boasted a new Emergency Room, Diagnostic Imaging, Surgery Center and Cafeteria, as well as renovations in nearly every other existent area. A completely separate wing was created to house the Outpatient Pavilion providing a doorway for some of the best doctors in Cincinnati to treat patients in Brown County.

In June 2011 in a major turn of events Brown County General Hospital was sold for the first time ever. Paul Tuft, executive chairman and owner of Southwest Healthcare, purchased the hospital from Brown County and the previously governing body of the Brown County Hospital Board no longer retained control. As part of this new ownership our hospital name was changed. We would now be known as Southwest Regional Medical Center.

With what is best for the community being kept in mind, the hospital was again sold in September 2012, this time to the hospital’s current Chief Executive Officer Joan Phillips. Joan’s medical background and commitment to excellence will continue the only hospital in Brown County’s original mission of providing modern services, equipment, doctors and staff to provide exceptional healthcare right here in our community and very close to home.


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