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Wesley House of Healing on the Hill Planning Year-long 100th Anniversary Celebration

January 06, 2012

WICHITA, Kansas – Wesley Medical Center is planning a year-long celebration of events and activities leading up to its 100th Anniversary on October 16, 2012.

“We are excited to be celebrating Wesley’s 100th anniversary,” said Hugh Tappan, Wesley President/CEO. “Since its inception in 1912, Wesley continues to raise the bar in health care quality. We look forward to celebrating Wesley’s milestones and contributions with our community throughout the 2012 year.

Celebration activities include commemorative birth certificates to newborns, recognition and special gifts to anniversary “firsts” like the first baby born October 18, Wesley historical book giveaways, historical displays throughout the hospital and more. Wesley will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with a free community event at Sedgwick County Zoo. The public will be invited to celebrate with Wesley staff starting at noon that day with the opportunity to visit department booths, participate in trivia contests and enjoy refreshments.

In 1912, Rev. A.O. Ebright and Rev. A.B. Hestwood had an idea for a Methodist hospital in Wichita. With the first admission in October of that same year, Wesley Hospital became a reality at 1103 N. St. Francis. A gift from a satisfied patient became the seed for the new hospital building at Central & Hillside. The “House of Healing” opened in September 1920 and is still the core of the main Wesley Medical Center campus.

Over the last 100 years, Wesley has had some significant “firsts” in the community. Through the efforts of Elizabeth “Mother” Hughes, Wesley opened the first “Mother’s Room,” a hospital department dedicated to birth in 1913 followed by a freestanding birthing facility in 1914. Wesley also had the City’s first baby incubator (1916) and the first NICU (1972). The freestanding Birth Care Center built in 1996 further solidified Wesley’s reputation as “The Baby Hospital.”

The year 1994 brought the expansion of Wesley’s main emergency department and Wesley became the first level 1 Trauma Center in Wichita. Emergency department services have continued to expand since then with the opening of WesleyCare West ER in 1996. With the upcoming acquisition of Galichia Heart Hospital in 2012, Wesley will now have three emergency departments located throughout the city to better serve the Wichita community and those patients who travel to Wichita for medical care.

Wesley has always been in the forefront of heart care in Wichita and Kansas with the first curative surgery for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (heart rhythm abnormality), the first heart catheter ablation to correct heart rhythms, and the first cardiac defibrillator implantation. Wesley’s addition of Galichia will further expand its cardiovascular care in Wichita with an offering of nine cath labs in three surgical services locations – Surgicare, Galichia and Wesley.

Wesley will be sharing more historical milestones with the Wichita community throughout the year. For more information about Wesley programs & services, please visit