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Community Hospital bricks available Wednesday, Thursday

Bricks from Springfield hospital and school of nursing were popular among employees.

Anyone interested in holding on to a piece of Community Hospital history can pick up bricks that were part of hospital or its School of Nursing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

The mementos will be available in the cafeteria on the Garden Level at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Although the bricks are free, those taking them are invited to contribute to a nursing scholarship in honor of the school of nursing or to EARS, the organization that medical center employees use to adopt families at the holidays and do other charitable work through the year.

Hospital spokesman Dave Lamb said the offer was opened up to the public after an employee giveaway two weeks ago was “very well received.”

“Several of the employees and volunteers were clearly touched by it,” he said. “It brought back a lot of great memories for them, which they’ll be able to hold on to.”

Among those involved was a “very appreciative” nurse who now works at St. Rita’s Hospital in Lima, but who drove to Springfield to claim her brick.

Although Teresa Vanover only traveled three floors in the elevator to get her bricks, they are nonetheless treasured.

A telemetry tech at the medical center, she picked up seven bricks: one for each of her four children born at Community, one each for her and her fiance, and another for the hospital.

When she arranges the bricks in her garden, each will bear a name, the children’s will include their birth dates, and one will be inscribed to honor the hospital where she started her health care career.

“I have a lot of memories there of a lot of good people,” including he first supervisor, Sue Cummins, “who encouraged me to want to stay,” Vanover said.

Vanover worked at Community for 10 years before moving to Florida, then started at Springfield Regional Medical Center when it opened in November of 2011.

“I know people say change is good,” she added, “but I liked Community,” and said she drives by a few times a week to watch its demolition.

Lamb said that ever since it opened, Springfield Regional Medical Center has received calls from people asking if bricks might some day be available.

He said doing so is “a gesture to remember the history and the heritage of Community Hospital and the School of Nursing — particularly since a number of our nurses had gone through the School of Nursing and worked at the hospital and had children born at the hospital.”

“I suspect we’ll do the same thing for Mercy Medical Center when the time comes.”

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