Anyone who has driven past Carroll County General Hospital in the past few months has seen the construction of two new floors to crown the patient wing.
A small baby boom is another symbol of CCGH's growth. The hospital had counted 557 for the first 11 months of 1990, compared to 467 births in 1989. The births are at their highest rate in three years, after a low point in 1988 when only two obstetricians were on staff, compared to seven today.
A $194,000 hospital operating profit in the first quarter of the fiscal year that began July 1 seems due to an increase in use of the hospital's expanded services, said Kevin Kelbly, vice president for finance at CCGH.
"I think it's been one of the most exciting years in the hospital's history," said Linda Harder, the new vice president for marketing, planning and public relations. "I've never seen a hospital implement so many different programs in one year."
New services begun this year include magnetic resonance imaging, lithotripsy (non-surgical treatment of kidney stones), sports medicine, pain-management and dialysis.
Still to come are the two new floors -- one housing the hospital's first psychiatric ward -- and expanded emergency, surgery, cardiology, radiology and women's health departments.
To pay for the expansion, the hospital raised $3.6 million in donations and pledges toward a goal of $5 million, headed by Suzanne Lee, the new foundation director.
The rest will be paid for through a bond the hospital sold through county government for $9.4 million. Kelbly said CCGH will repay the loan through increased revenue from the new services the money will make possible.
In addition to the loan, the hospital is asking the County Commissioners to donate $1 million over the next five years to the hospital's campaign for the new buildings. The donation is under consideration by the commissioners and would need approval by the General Assembly.
Another boost for the campaign was the $600,000 bequest by J. Thomas Sinnott, a former Carroll businessman who died in 1989 in Florida, where he had moved after his retirement as president of Thomas Bennett & Hunter Inc. Sinnott had been one of the original fund-raisers for the hospital before it opened in 1961.
The hospital finished fiscal 1990 on June 30 with a loss of $673,000, due to a one-time cost of offering early retirement plans to 29 employees.
Otherwise, Kelbly said, the hospital would have shown an operating profit of $89,902.
Except for a loss of $1.3 million in 1988, CCGH has shown an operating profit every year since 1981. Because CCGH is non-profit, all earnings go back into services at the hospital.