History of Union County General Hospital
On September 30, 2009 the Union County General Hospital celebrated the inauguration of its 22,100-square-foot new extension. The building is both beautiful and state-of-the-art, providing ample space for much-needed services.
Yet this summit of achievement reflects years of efforts—efforts which, in fact, began back in 1912—the year New Mexico became a state.
Shortly after graduating from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, Dr. James Winchester received bad news: he had tuberculosis and if he moved to a dry climate, he might live a year or two. (He did so and lived another 50!)
In 1912, when Doctor Winchester arrived at the small settlement of Clayton, New Mexico, there were no medical facilities. His practice began inside his home. A few years later, a lucky south Texas horserace brought in enough for him to build a 7-bed sanatorium with basic equipment and medications. St. Joseph’s Hospital was born.
The next phase came in 1921 with the arrival of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, six Polish-born “pioneer nuns” presided by Mother Antonia. With the assistance of these nuns, Dr. Winchester grew his staff and made several key improvements—such as plumbing, heat, and cool storage.
For years, the institution struggled financially; often the only remuneration for services came in the form of vegetables, chickens, and eggs. Still, Doctor Winchester and the Sisters continued to provide the best care possible for their patients.
Eventually, the Superior Provincial became interested in the hospital, transforming it into a 25-bed building with modern obstetrical, surgical, and medical facilities as well as a handsome, Spanish-style stucco edifice.
Fast forward to the twenty first century…
Today, Union County General Hospital has a complete staff and provides outstanding medical care to thousands of people each year.
Managed by Community Hospital Corporation, UCGH is well-positioned to continue growing throughout the 21st Century, providing for the health care and medical needs of not only Union County and Clayton, NM, but also neighboring counties and cities.
We regularly welcome patients from Texline and Dalhart, Texas, Boise City, Oklahoma, Des Moines, Gladstone, and Amistad, NM, and all points between.
If you want the best in attentive, professional, caring treatment, make Union County General Hospital your hospital.