An important member of the community celebrated a milestone birthday Monday. Columbus Regional Hospital marked a century of care for Bartholomew County patients and those from cities and towns in the regional area.

The community-owned medical care provider has come a long way since it opened its doors Feb. 6, 1917, as Bartholomew County Hospital. Over the century it has transformed into a regional health system that has about 2,500 employees and more than 20 practices of various types under its umbrella serving patients from 10 counties.

Columbus Regional opened a new cancer treatment center in 2016 so that more patients could access a greater number of services nearby. Its health care umbrella also includes services ranging from family physicians to specialties such as the heart, obstetrics, neurology, ear/nose/throat and pediatrics. Columbus Regional also has a clinic devoted to helping the uninsured, called VIMCare.

Such growth is indicative of the foresight of hospital leaders who worked to make Columbus Regional incrementally better through its ability to treat more types of injuries, diseases and conditions. The hospital in 1917 averaged 25 patient admissions monthly; now the health system treats 250,000 patients annually. The growth also speaks well of how patients value the services Columbus Regional offers.

The progress made by Columbus Regional over the century should be a viewed as a good sign by community and area residents, that its leadership is committed to providing comprehensive care and adding the necessary technology to do so.

That’s something worth celebrating.