Pride of the Pine Belt: Forrest General celebrates 60 years

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - 60 years is a long time, and for Forrest General Hospital it's a milestone. This year is the hospital's 60th anniversary, and today Forrest General celebrated by reminiscing through the decades.

Walking through the lobby of the hospital felt like a blast from the past.

"You'll see the 50's, 60's, 70's. We've already seen some great decade outfits today so we are just having a celebration," said Chief Marketing and Medical Staff Services Officer, Millie Swan.

According to Swan, the hospital's celebration of 60 years is about more than longevity. Swan says the hospital started with just 70 employees, and today there's 3,000, and not to mention it's strides in technology.

"One thing that stood out to me, one of our cardiologist told me that we now have performed 60,000 caths in our heart cath area. So, to say 60 years and 60,000 caths it's really amazing,"said Swan.

Swan says Forrest General has become more than just a hospital, it's now a health system.

"We have hospital's in Walthall County, Jeff Davis County, Marion County, so this is just a sign of the progress that we have made through the years," said Swan.

Swan believes the visions of those past and present makes the hospital an institution.

"Lowery Woodoll was here, Bill Oliver, and now Evan Dillard, and so we've just had great leadership. We've had great administrative teams in place," said Swan.

Swan added the hospital has incredible people, and many services like the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, the Heart and Vascular Program, and the Cancer Center  to carry them through the next 60 years.

"It's funny, Forrest General opened a few hours early to deliver the first baby that was our first patient of Mrs. Fred Roberts. So, that's really a neat story that we tell often. I think caring has always been at the heart of Forrest General," said Swan.

Forrest General's Millie Swan says 60 years wouldn't have been possible without hard working employees and doctors.