Southwood turns 20

Residents at Southwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center helped celebrate the facility’s 20th anniversary.

The staff of Southwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center are all about serving the residents and helping them transition from living at home to a short-term care facility. For the last 20 years, Southwood has been striving to accomplish that goal.

According to Linda Andrews, the first administrator at Southwood, on March 29, 1995,the facility’s door opened with just two residents and 10 staff members. Residents, staff and corporate office members, along with distinguished guests from the community, joined last week to celebrate this mile-stone anniversary.

“As I stand here today,” Andrews said, “I see so many familiar faces. It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years since we opened these doors.”

Southwood was the reality to a dream George Wilson and Jackie Wilson shared. Many years before, this dream started with the opening of Mary Gran Nursing Center. As the level of care changed at Mary Gran and the unit began to grow, staff were only left with the option of opening a sister facility next door.

“The weeks prior were busy with equipment and furniture arriving, setting up the Dietary Department, cleaning the building, walking those long empty hallways to go into each room making sure everything was clean and ready for the expected arrival of admissions that would be soon to come,” Andrews recalled.

Even though Southwood only had two patients on the day it opened, Andresw said the rooms quickly began filling up, and on the facility’s first year anniversary, there were 40 nursing beds filled and 25 rest home beds filled.

On that day in March, when Southwood opened its doors, two current staff members were there to help aide in the opening. Jamie Carr and Sharon Harris Rowell were both honored during last week’s celebration for their 20 years of service and dedication to Southwood.

“Many wonderful people have come through the doors of Southwood over the years,” Andrews said, “residents and staff alike. Staff like Jamie Carr and Sharon Harris Rowell have been fixtures of Southwood. What a team.”

According to Andrews, the opening day of Southwood was very memorable and filled with the love of the staff involved.

“I still remember that day,” Andrews shared. “Our opening ceremony was full of prayers and scripture. We have always been in the business of treating people right and like family.”

Since that opening day in 1995, many people have continued to work with Southwood or within the company. Current administrator Karen Metcalf recognized those people like Karen Carter, Frances Sellars, Janet Barber, Gina Robinson, Linda Honeycutt, Amy Fann, Rhonda Rich, Jennifer LaMar and Andrews.

“It says a lot that we have this base who remain in the ministry,” Metcalf said. “We continue the core values that made us so successful.”

Southwood, Andrews shared, has always been about treating their residents with the best care, because as Andrews noted, one never knows when they are entertaining an angel.

“Liberty continues to follow this thought,” she said.