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Mountain View marks 40 years of delivering babies

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Dr. Gary Plant, left, with parents Mabel Goicochea and Enrique Chavero and baby Yashira, born Feb. 27, 2007, on the hospital's 40th anniversary.


   Mountain View Hospital District is not only celebrating its 40th birthday, but also the birthdays of the 10,395 babies born there since the hospital opened on Feb. 27, 1967.
   Before Mountain View opened, patients had to travel to hospitals in Prineville, Redmond or Bend for care, and in cases of a serious accident, they had to hope they survived the long trip.
   Old articles in The Pioneer noted, "The completion of the hospital marks the end of a long campaign for such a facility here."
   The drive for a Madras hospital in 1958 failed when voters rejected the formation of a hospital district by the Mountain View Hospital Foundation.
   But foundation members didn't give up. "Three years ago (1964) the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber made the hospital its number one objective," an article said.
   Headed by president Vic Bacon, the chamber pledged funds to finance a hospital drive, and in December 1964 voters approved a hospital district in a 1,313 to 320 vote.
   The first hospital board included chair John Brooks, Walter McCaulou, Leonard Conroy, Dwight Macy, and Louis Kinkade. A site was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Al Bean, voters approved a $680,000 construction bond in the spring of 1965, and work was begun May 9, 1965.
   In a separate vote, a two-year operating budget of $19,530 was also approved.
   The architects were Kendall and West of Portland, and Madras contractor Louis Kowolowski won the construction contract with a bid of $440,000.
   Mountain View Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1965, with Mrs. James Easter as president, Mrs. Con Herbster as vice president, Miss Irene Stiles as secretary and Mrs. Al Bean as treasurer.
   The auxiliary's projects that year included forming a candy stripers group, and raising money to purchase a cardiac monitoring machine.
   Some 2,700 people toured the new hospital during an open house Feb. 18, 1967, while finishing touches were still being made.
   Dr. Evan Thomas was president of the medical staff, Dr. T.J. Hicks was staff secretary, and Marian Allan was director of nurses.
   Daily hospitalization rates were $36 for two-bed wards, or $38 for private rooms (for intensive care patients only).
   First babies arrive
   The first baby born at Mountain View was Ellen Jane Eagan, who arrived at 5:15 p.m., March 4, to parents John and Jodi Eagan of Madras.
   Baby Ellen, who weighed 8 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces, and her parents won the First Baby prize which included: $5 from Pum-Brick Tile Company, $5 in baby wear from Erickson's Department Store, $5 from Ralph and Everett Van Wert of Madras Lockers, and a bucket of fried chicken from Colonels Inc.
   Evidently, there were still a few kinks to work out in the maternity ward when the hospital's first baby arrived, according to the mother's recollections.
   Jodi said, out of the three nurses on duty, only one, Sue Morelli, had ever been involved in a birth.
   "What I remember was, I was in labor and John was with me. Dr. Hicks checked me and said I was a long ways away from having the baby (it was my second). Then he went to have coffee with the three nurses to tell the new ones what to expect," Jodi said.
   They hadn't been gone long however, when Jodi realized the baby was coming sooner than expected. Her husband was the only one around, and when he checked his response was "Oh, my God!"
   "He panicked and ran into the delivery room and got a cart, shoved one of the hospital beds away and moved me onto the cart, and pushed me into the delivery room," Jodi said.
   "Then he ran down the hall yelling for Dr. Hicks, and I was in the delivery room alone. John was so scared he was going to have to deliver that baby," Jodi said, laughing in retrospect.
   "We've come a long way, baby" might be the hospital's theme for its birthing center now, according to the parents of Yashira Chavero-Goicochea, who was born on the hospital's 40th anniversary Feb. 27, 2007, at 2:40 a.m.
   In a whole wing with private rooms devoted just to birthing, Dr. Gary Plant delivered baby Yashira, who weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and measured 19 1/2 inches in length.
   She was the first child for parents Mabel Goicochea and Enrique Chavero of Madras. Her dad works at Hay Creek Ranch, and her mother is a stay-at-home mom, who has lived in Madras for five years.
   Enrique said their birth experience was great. "Everything was good and everyone was very nice. Dr. Plant was a good doctor and took good care of the baby and my wife the whole time and both nurses were great," he said. They chose Mountain View Hospital as the place to have their baby because it was recommended by the Mount Jefferson Clinic, where his wife had her prenatal care.
   The hospital presented baby Yashira and her parents with a bouquet of flowers and a gift basket for being the first baby born on the hospital's anniversary date.
   Today, Mountain View Hospital District has expanded and remodeled with wings for physical therapy, the birthing center, and a living center.
   It now has a medical staff of 70, with 119 nurses and other licensed staff, and has an operating budget of $20.3 million.
   The facility is licensed for 34 beds, but due to its "critical access" status, operates at 25 beds. The living center is licensed for 47 beds, but operates at 34 beds, and the obstetric wing has five beds.
   Hospital board members are: Chair Carlos Kemper, M.D., vice chair Janelle Orcutt, treasurer Earl Cordes, secretary Jim Quaid, Tom Kirsch, Lee Bissell and Bev Schultz.
   The Mountain View Hospital Auxiliary has grown to 112 members, and operates a hospital gift shop and a thrift shop downtown. Auxiliary officers are: Aiana Yow, president, Chris White, vice president, Marie Easter, secretary, Marilyn Watts, treasurer, and Donna Beaux, parliamentarian.