Moses-Ludington to mark 100 years of health care

TICONDEROGA As she changed a light bulb in the lobby of Moses-Ludington Hospital recently, Carol Johnson reflected on her 36-year career with the Ticonderoga health care facility. Ive done just about everything here, said Johnson, the community development director. Once I even delivered a baby. Johnson along with Wendy Geiser and Dave Morin are the longest-serving employees at MLH, which will mark its 100th anniversary Sept. 20. Geiser, who works in the finance office, started at the hospital in 1968. Morin, the plant engineer, joined MLH in 1973 after working there briefly in the 1960s. All three have witnessed the construction of the affiliated nursing home in 1974 and the opening of the new hospital building in 1981. I think the hospital and the services we offer the community have improved tremendously over the years, Morin said. Ive seen a lot of positive changes. Those changes include personnel shifts. Johnson started as a switch board operator. Geiser was a billing clerk. Morin started a security guard. Everything changes, thats the way life is, Geiser said. I know I really like my job now. I work with wonderful people. See MLH, page 10 Johnson agreed, noting the satisfaction she gets from helping the public. The best part of the job is knowing everyday you come to work knowing youre going to help someone, she said. Of course, hospital work has its trials. Its difficult when you see families struggle with illness and loss, Johnson said. It rips your heart out. We can only do so much, then its in Gods hands. The trio also recall the 1990s when the future of Moses-Ludington Hospital was in serious doubt. Financial loses had the facility on the brink of closing. I think we all felt it would close, Morin admitted. Those were tough times. Everyone was nervous about their jobs, Geiser added. We didnt know what to do. The turning point came when MLH switched from an acute care facility to a critical access facility, which allowed greater government assistance. All three credit hospital administrators, particularly Chief Financial Officer Kevin Haughney, and area government leaders with saving the facility. The loyalty and dedication of everyone on staff kept this hospital open, Morin said. We wouldnt be here without Kevin Haughney, Geiser added. Hes brilliant; hes the best. Those were tough times, but Im proud to have been part of turning things around, Johnson said. Its very rewarding. Moses-Ludingtons centennial will be observed Saturday, Sept. 20, with a reception at 1 p.m. in the Crown Terrace dining room of Heritage Commons. Ticonderoga Historian Bill Dolback will give a presentation on the history of the hospital, followed by hors doeuvres. Shattuck Memorial Hospital was incorporated Sept. 19, 1908, Dolback said, with major financial support from Ti native and philanthropist Horace Moses. The 12-bed hospital cost $12,000 to construct. The next year it was named Moses Hospital. In 1920 Moses led a campaign to build a new hospital, adjacent to the old one. The new facility, completed in 1923, had 48 beds. It was financed by Moses and a family friend, Mrs. David Ludington. It was at that time the facility became known as Moses-Ludington Hospital. In 1946 a new wing was added to expand the hospital. In 1981 the present MLH was constructed near the old hospital and remains in use today.

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