Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Early Beginnings of St. Tammany Parish Hospital

The history of St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, La., is one of a perfect convergence of strong leadership, community support, and governmental efforts to promote the building of hospitals in the rural areas.

Federal and state government had for years been talking about funding the construction of such hospitals, but Covington's citizens were already of them. 

 The early beginnings of St. Tammany Parish Hospital is told in an article by Mike Scott posted to the hospital's website. It tells how Norma Core remembers that the earliest idea for a need to build a hospital came to her on a rainy night in the 1940's.


(Photo source: St. Tammany Health System website) 

A friend of hers had broken his leg and was heading via ambulance to a New Orleans hospital. In that heavy downpour the ambulance wrecked. The delay caused by the wreck sent her friend into shock, and he died soon after. Norma decided right then that St. Tammany must have a hospital of its own.

It took years to come to completion, but the dogged persistence of the public and the public officials, both local and national, helped it come to pass. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site on May 4, 1953.

The groundbreaking ceremony is pictured above. From left to right are Louis Voss, Archie Singletary, James Thompson (in the rear), Eugene Esquinance, Fred Mizell, Joseph Stein (in the rear), Eugene McIntyre (in the rear), Norma Core, Lucille Glisson, Walter Clairain, Oliver Hebert, Ike Champagne, Gus Fritchie, H. A. Davis, August Perez, Jack Tannehill (in the rear), Cecile Hebert, George Broom, Baxter Pond, Jessie Bankston, Father Tim Pugh, Maurice Duplantis, and L. L. Landon. 

On Nov. 28, 1954, a dedication ceremony was held. 

Click on the images to make them larger.
Times Picayune Editorial  Nov. 30, 1954

Scott's article, chapter by chapter, tells the inspiring story of how the hospital came to be, the local fundraising efforts, the bond issues,  the community-wide support.

To read the entire story, CLICK HERE.  

 The St. Tammany Health System Website is an interesting website filled with information on St. Tammany Parish Hospital and can be found at the following links:

"We Are St. Tammany"    

For more information about Norma Core, click below.

Norma Core, Covington Trailblazer 

For a report on the hospital's operations in 1962: 

St. Tammany Parish Hospital in 1962


 Norma Core

Dr. M.J. Duplantis

(Photo source: St. Tammany Health System website)