HAZARD — The Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center held an open house on Dec. 7 to celebrate its 40-year anniversary. Many local Perry County residents and community leaders attended the event to celebrate this historic milestone.
At the beginning of the program, Administrator Charlotte Thornsberry recognized the individuals and groups who made the nursing home possible. She thanked them for their dedication and service to the facility and the residents.
Thornsberry wanted to give a special thank you to two individuals, “Without Terry Forcht and Debbie Reynolds, this would not be possible. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said Thornsberry.
During the program, Chairman Terry Forcht of the Forcht Group of Kentucky recognized Reynolds for dedication to the facility.
“There is one person who is more responsible for the success of this facility than anyone else. Ms. Debbie, we want to thank you for your leadership,” said Forcht.
Reynolds began her career as Director of Nursing when Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center opened its doors in 1976. Her hard work would pay off as she would become president of the Forcht Group of Kentucky in Lexington years later.
Hazard Mayor Jimmy Lindon honored Reynolds by making her a Duchess of Hazard.
In attendance were several local and state officials including Hazard Mayor Lindon, Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander, State Representative-elect Chris Fugate, and Danielle Smoot with Congressman Hal Rogers.
Each leader expressed the importance the facility is to the health and wellness of the Perry County residents who depend on the facility’s treatment.
“What an extraordinary facility that opened here. This facility has provided quality care to Perry County citizens for 40 years,” said Alexander.
Alexander said the facility is also more than its 2oo jobs. He praised the faculty’s willingness to step up and help the residents of Perry County.
“I just want to say what a wonderful asset to Perry County and one that we all can be proud of,” said Alexander.
State Rep. Elect Fugate told a story about when he was a state trooper and worked one of the worst domestic abuse case he had ever investigated. Once the case went through the courts, Fugate said he lost track of the person. He said a couple of years ago he stopped at the nursing home and the person was there. He said the person gave him a big hug when he walked by.
Encounters such as that, Fugate said, is the reason why Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center is important for this region.
Resident Teresa Gabbard was the last person to speak during the program. She praised the staff at Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center for their hard work and dedication to the residents.
After the program, refreshments were served. Visitors could mingle with staff and ask questions about the facility. Tours were also available for the facility.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.