By Darlene Hawley – Early settlers in our community had to travel many miles to find a doctor. The first doctor to come to Wayne to practice was Dr. Julius M. Hume who arrived in 1832 and practiced until 1856. People often relied on early druggists to identify their ailments and prescribe medication. Eventually, local men studied medicine and returned to Wayne and served the community as doctors. But our little Village did not have any hospitals. It wasn’t until well into the 1900’s that several hospitals were established in Wayne. One was Parker-Vincent Hospital which was a relatively small homey house which was located between what is now the Congregational Church and McDonald’s. It was dedicated to the emotional as well as physical comfort. Dr. Parker ran the hospital and was a much loved member of the community.
Another important hospital was the Carpenter Clinic located in a large old home on the north west corner of Biddle and Norris, facing Main Street. It opened in 1929 and was run by Dr. Clarence Carpenter, a 1914 graduate of Wayne High School and a member of a well known family in the area. Three years after the opening, Dr. Carpenter built a three story brick addition to the Clinic and named it Carpenter Hospital. It had 55 beds, two operating rooms, a treatment room, an office and a basement which held the kitchen, staff dining room, staff lavatories and storage. There was one bathtub and a shower on the first floor to serve the entire hospital. Carpenter Hospital closed around 1967 during urban renewal.
The Wayne Clinic was built by Dr. R. G. Huff and Dr. James Caraway in 1932. It was located on the northeast corner of Sophia Street and Michigan Avenue Westbound. It was sold to Dr. Rene Archambault in 1956. He enlarged the clinic to 37 beds and changed the name to Nankin Hospital. It was closed in 1976 and became an apartment complex. In 2004 the building was destroyed by fire and demolished a week later.
During the war years, our population exploded! In the 1940’s many people migrated to our community and surrounding villages and townships to work at the plants designed to make war equipment. There was a huge demand for homes, schools, stores, doctors and of course hospitals. The government often deferred men with medical degrees and sent them to towns like Wayne to practice medicine, which helped, but many communities in southeastern Michigan and the downriver area were feeling the dire shortage of hospitals and the need to act. In 1945 a handful of men from Wayne and surrounding towns and townships met in a “ large blue house” located about where our Library stands today. This structure housed the offices for the Detroit Edison Company in Wayne. The group discussed the acute need for a medical center in our communities and developed plans to solve the problem. It took a decade, but out of this meeting came the formation of the People’s Community Hospital Authority and the funds (made up of government grants and loans) to build a hospital in Wayne. An identical hospital was built at the same time by the PCHA in the community of Lincoln Park to service their town. On October 30th, 1955, ground breaking ceremonies were held on the corner of Venoy Rd. and Annapolis in Wayne. That group of men who met ten years earlier were in attendance to see their dream realized. Governor G. Mennen Williams was also in attendance among other dignitaries.
The People’s Community Hospital Authority held a grand opening of Annapolis Hospital on November 12th, 1957 and the doors were opened to serve 18 southeastern communities. It was a state of the art hospital with 122 beds. The building design was one story and it was T shaped. Plans were already drawn up to add two floors in the near future. By 1969 the hospital had 300 beds. If you grew up in Wayne, you were familiar with Annapolis Hospital, its doctors, nurses and its team of volunteers, called the Hospital Auxiliary which was formed in 1958. This group of nearly 200 local women performed a multitude of tasks to free up the medical staff for treating patients. The Auxiliary ran the gift shop, organized a baby photo program, delivered messages and supplies to patients, decorated for the holidays, played bingo with patients, assisted patients with grooming, provided outpatient transport- ation and much more. They held membership drives to recruit new volunteers and held appreciation teas, fashion shows, plays, luncheons and tree lighting programs during the holidays. They elected officers and organized fund raisers to support such projects as the planting of trees on the hospital grounds and donating a PA system to the hospital. Many well known local women were a part of this organization in the beginning and locals still serve today. I have fond memories of Annapolis hospital as my four children were born there. Some not so fond memories were of trips to the emergency room due to childhood accidents and illnesses! It was always reassuring to know our local hospital would meet the needs of our family.
In 1989 Annapolis Hospital was acquired by Oakwood United hospitals. In 2004, a state of the art surgery center was opened where staff performed nearly 5000 surgeries per year. Also, a Family Residency Program was established to train the next generation of physicians and further serve the needs of the community by providing patient care during 27,000 office visits every year. In 2007 a new birthing center was opened featuring eleven luxury labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum rooms where nearly 1000 new babies were welcomed each year. In 2008, Oakwood Annapolis opened the Oakwood Breast Center-Wayne providing all digital technology and quality service to women. In 2012, the hospital was verified as a Level III Trauma Center, becoming the only community hospital in the Wayne/Westland/Garden City/Inkster/ Romulus areas to hold this distinction and is the designated facility for first response for Metro Airport. In 2013 the hospital expanded its Emergency Room with 28 treatment bays, receiving more than 66,000 emergency visits every year.
In 2014 Oakwood Hospital, Wayne joined Beaumont Health and became Beaumont Hospital, Wayne. Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system, based on patient admissions and net patient revenue. A not-for-profit organization, it was formed in 2014 by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Health Care to provide patients with the benefit of greater access to extraordinary, compassionate care, no matter where they live in Southeast Michigan.
This month we can all celebrate the 60th Anniversary of “Annapolis” Hospital. It has served us well and continues to do so. The name has changed several times, new floors and wings have been added, technology and strides in medical science have made miraculous changes to the health care field which improves the quality of life this facility provides us. Our local hospital has changed greatly from that November day in 1957 when it first opened its doors. It has met the challenges the years have offered and still provides our community and our neighboring communities with excellent heath care on our doorstep. This 185, bed full service hospital fills our needs. This last year Beaumont, Wayne served 8,276 patients, gave birth to 890 babies, performed 4,716 surgeries and treated 66,051 emergency patients. They employ 1,233 employees, 529 physicians and 178 volunteers.
Congratulations on 60 years of service!!!