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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Harris Hospital Honors Centennial Birthday

  • Mrs. Kathryn Harris celebrated her 100th birthday on June 1, 2012. This fine lady is a monument representative of the great history of healthcare in Jackson County. She resided in Newport with her husband, Dr. Haymond Harris, from 1947 until 2004, when she moved to North Carolina to be closer to her family.

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  • Mrs. Kathryn Harris celebrated her 100th birthday on June 1, 2012. This fine lady is a monument representative of the great history of healthcare in Jackson County. She resided in Newport with her husband, Dr. Haymond Harris, from 1947 until 2004, when she moved to North Carolina to be closer to her family.
        Dr. Haymond Harris, along with his father Dr. M.L. Harris, opened the original Harris Hospital in September of 1947 with 36 beds located on 3rd Street. Dr. Jabez Jackson, Sr. and Dr. John Ashley were also instrumental in providing the community with needed hospital care shortly thereafter. In November of 1965, Dr. Haymond Harris moved the hospital to the new building on McLain St. where it continues to serve patients today. Dr. Haymond Harris attended college at Duke for undergraduate studies, received his medical degree from Emory Medical School, served in the Army during World War 2 and taught medical school at Emory before bringing his skills to Newport in 1947.
        Kathy Cook, the only child of Dr. and Mrs. Harris, recalls when the new hospital building was first opened in 1965. “My father needed to expand for extra room to care for patients. I grew up eating lunch at the former hospital on 3rd Street and spent a lot of time there. They used to throw a large Christmas party each year for all the employees that always impressed me. I remember my father and grandfather working together until my grandfather passed away in 1957.” Kathy also told about the old days when the physicians would get paid in chickens and eggs or other such commodities. Since the doctors knew all their patients personally back then, it was a common practice.
        Robert Rupp, current Chief Executive Officer at Harris Hospital, is proud to continue the legacy of rural healthcare. “Throughout the hospital’s history, the focus has always been to meet the healthcare needs of our community by providing quality medical care they deserve. We are going to expand this philosophy and make this organization the greatest community hospital in the State of Arkansas. The hospital has been a cornerstone of this region and our desire is to honor these founding fathers by providing the finest patient care possible like they would have wanted.”
        Mrs. Kathryn Harris’ family honored her with a reception on Saturday, June 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is an avid reader and continues to diligently correspond by sending birthday cards and letters to friends and acquaintances from across the country.
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