Explore the history of health care in Southern Utah at free lecture

A doctor works in a neighborhood clinic, location and date not specified | Photo from Millburn-Short Hill Historical, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In preparation for the Smithsonian “The Way We Worked” traveling exhibition’s stop at the Silver Reef Museum in Leeds from Sept. 16 to Nov. 4, a lecture highlighting the ways some of the most important people in the history of Washington County worked will take place Saturday.

“The History of Healthcare in Southern Utah,” is one of several lectures that are part of a countywide celebration entitled “Washington County Works!” Saturday’s lecture will feature Terri Kane, CEO of Dixie Regional Medical Center, and will take place at 10 a.m. at the Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle in St. George.

The lecture is free to attend, but advance registration is requested. Registration can be done online.

A brief history of Washington County health care

St. George was named in honor of George Albert Smith, who was commonly known among the early Utah pioneers as “Potato Saint George.” After losing family members to scurvy on the trek west, Smith often gave away potatoes and encouraged pioneers to eat them unpeeled. “Potato Saint George” may have been one of the first pioneer advocates for maintaining good health.

The original pioneers to St. George received rudimentary health care from dedicated individuals who cared for the physical health of the community to the best of their abilities. Practitioners such as Silas Higgins and Israel Ivins, along with midwives, used mostly herbal remedies to stave off illness and promote health.

Later, in 1913, Dr. Frank Woodbury and his brother-in-law Dr. Donald McGregor opened the very first hospital in St. George, the Washington County Hospital, later renamed McGregor Hospital. Dixie Pioneer Memorial Hospital came next, followed by Dixie Medical Center and then Dixie Regional Medical Center on two campuses.

For over 100 years, a hospital and knowledgeable physicians have served the health care needs of the constantly growing population of Washington County.

About the presenter 

Kane has more than 30 years of health care experience in nursing, hospital operations, corporate operations and executive level leadership. Currently she leads the southwest region of Intermountain Healthcare as its vice president. She is also CEO of Dixie Regional Medical Center. Kane is a champion for excellent care and has earned the Service Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives, along with many other notable awards.

Kane has served on the boards for St. George Rotary; the American College of Healthcare Executives; the Dove Center; the School of Business, Dixie State University; St. George Area Chamber of Commerce; and the Metropolitan Council of the American Hospital Association in Washington, D.C. She is passionate about helping people live the healthiest lives possible.

About “The Way We Worked”

Bringing “The Way We Worked” to Utah has been made possible by Utah Humanities. The exhibition, created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

The Washington County tour of “The Way We Worked” is hosted by the Silver Reef Museum and Arts to Zion. For more information about the traveling exhibit visit the Utah Humanities website.

Event details

  • What: “The History of Healthcare in Southern Utah” lecture.
  • When: Saturday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m.
  • Where: The Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle, St. George.
  • Cost: Free; registrations requested.
  • Register: Online.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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