March 18, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
For many years, people in the Scioto County area as well as surrounding communities counted on Mercy Hospital located between Kinney’s Lane and 17th Street in Portsmouth for much of their medical care. Then, in 2001, the old familiar landmark was demolished after being absorbed into the Southern Ohio Medical Center family of health care facilities.
Until this past Saturday morning, there was no visible remembrance of the hospital which was rich in tradition in the community. Saturday, Portsmouth Mayor David Malone, along with SOMC officials, and nurses who had worked at Mercy Hospital, gathered in the area stretching from Waller Street to Oakland Avenue to dedicate that part of Oakland Avenue as Honorary Mercy Hospital Way with a new sign added to the existing street sign.
Mercy Hospital was established in 1924. Located between Kinney’s Lane and 17th Street, stretching from Waller Street to Oakland Avenue, the hospital served our community until it was demolished in 2001.
Virginia Wagner, President of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae, contacted City of Portsmouth Mayor David Malone on January 30, 2013 with the idea of a possible street dedication in honor of the Mercy Hospital. On March 1, her idea became reality. All that remained was the dedication, which took place Saturday morning.
Mercy Hospital historian Traci Horsley, said the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing produced countless nurses who gave their heart to nursing and changed so many lives in that commitment.
“Some nurses stayed within our community and some nurses left to share their Mercy Hospital ethics with other cities near and far,” Horsley said.
Horsley said, “The history of Mercy Hospital is very rich in our community. The hospital took in and healed our sick, delivered our babies and comforted our loved ones as the passed.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.