Forrest General Hospital Celebrates Platinum Status with 70 Years of Vision, Care, Growth

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (July 15, 2022) Seventy years of dedicated service has provided a foundation of comfort, compassion, and caring for those using the many services Forrest General Hospital has to offer. Whether a planned procedure or an unexpected trip via ambulance or helicopter, a trained and educated staff stands ready to help with your every medical need, no matter the time of day. Our mission to do what is best for our patients has guided this growing hospital staff since 1952.

This year, Forrest General Hospital is celebrating 70 years of service to the Pine Belt – its platinum anniversary. If you look back 70 years, you’ll find the hospital was in some pretty good company. Seventy years ago, the first Chevrolet Corvette Prototype was completed during December of 1952; The Diary of Ann Franke was published; Nelson Mandela was arrested; Puerto Rico become a self-governing commonwealth of the U.S.; George Strait and Mr. T were born; and I Love Lucy and Dragnet were two of the top television shows. In the same year, a new home cost about $9,000, a gallon of gas was 20 cents, and cotton baby diapers went for $2.89. And in the midst of this, trailblazers in Forrest County had been given a nod by the county’s residents and began breaking ground for a healthcare facility to better serve the community.

With age comes change, growth, experience, and opportunity. In 70 years, the 547-bed hospital has seen both change and growth since its inception with just 90 beds and 70 employees. Technology and education have changed the way procedures are performed, how we communicate with one another, and the way we care for our patients. It is the people in the hospital’s 19-county service area and others who have provided the opportunities to allow medical personnel to care for them. It has taken the courage, determination, persistence, and strength of everyone working together to make things happen.

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The administration and healthcare professionals at Forrest General Hospital continue to carry out the vision those men and women of Forrest County had back in the late 1940s when they expressed the need for a county health facility. Once the affirmative vote was tallied, construction began. In the early hours of July 15, 1952, before the doors of the hospital officially opened for the first time, the hospital’s actual care began with the arrival of the hospital’s first patient, a woman from Purvis, who gave birth to the facility’s first baby. As the hospital and the many services it offered grew, so did the care of those employees who tended to the needs of those who entered the hospital’s doors seeking relief, a diagnosis, an answer, or welcoming a new member to the family.

With need came growth through the expansion of technology, the number of hospital beds and services, the addition of healthcare professionals, and a growing community which sought more specialized care – from open heart surgery and a cobalt unit for cancer patients to a Level II Trauma Center and state-of-the-art cardiac cath labs for heart patients. The hospital became a community unto itself with its own police department, chaplain services, pharmacy, cafeteria, engineering and remodeling services, laundry, and so much more. Its employees became a nurturing family which now numbers more than 3,300.

As we reflect on what has brought us to this point, positive thinking and working together will continue to help make the healthcare facility’s foundation even stronger… through vision, care, and growth.

For more information about Forrest General’s Platinum Status Anniversary, visit