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Happy Birthday!

AHOSKIE – Let the celebration begin.

Plans are officially underway for the 60th anniversary of Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. Committee members, comprised of RCH staff and local citizens, held a meeting last week at Catherine’s Restaurant where details of three major events concerning the anniversary were discussed in depth.

Outlined in the proposed schedule of events are a symposium, a memorial luncheon to honor the legacy of John Blanton, who served for over 30 years as RCH President, and a gala ball to end a year-long celebration.

“We’re just in the planning stages of these three major events,” Lisa Newsome, RCH Marketing/Public Relations Director, said.

“We are celebrating our 60th year at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital and the impact this hospital has made on the local area,” Sue Lassiter, RCH President, said. “We can use this to tell our story of how we meet the medical needs of the Roanoke-Chowan area and how we plan to meet those needs in the future.”

Lassiter went on to say that RCH administrators and staff remain challenged to ensure the image and reputation of the hospital is upheld within the communities it serves.

“We invite the community to become a part of our 60th anniversary by sharing your stories about the hospital,” Lassiter said.

The only confirmed date thus far is the Blanton luncheon. That is scheduled to take place during Ahoskie Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 13. The time and location of the luncheon as well as the formal unveiling of Blanton’s portrait will be announced at a later date.

Meanwhile, plans are coming together for the symposium and the gala ball.

Newsome said the symposium n “Early Medicine in America” n will be co-sponsored by the Murfreesboro Historical Association and Chowan University.

“We have received word from Chowan that they would like to host the symposium and will supply a guest speaker,” Newsome said after last week’s meeting.

No date is yet confirmed on the symposium.

In regards to the gala ball, Lassiter pointed out that since its possible date would be later in the year, she didn’t want the RCH event to interfere with the Ahoskie Rotary Club’s annual charity ball, traditionally held in early December.

“We do not want our ball to hinder the efforts of the Ahoskie Rotary Club Ball,” Lassiter said. “There may be a possibility of combining the two events, but that’s just an option right now.”

There will be other events during the year to help celebrate the hospital’s 60th anniversary. One will be a quarterly series appearing in this newspaper entitled, “Our Family Caring for Yours.” That series will focus in on members of the same family who have worked or are currently employed at RCH or any of the hospital’s affiliate businesses.

Another event is an oral history of the hospital, one that may include old photographs of key persons, places and events that have helped to shape RCH over the years. Patricia Ferguson is leading that effort.