Our community fought long and hard to get its own hospital. It was an uphill battle all the way, but in the end, we are fortunate to have Sebastian River Medical Center, "Neighbors Caring for Neighbors."
In 1965, Dr. Kip Kelso purchased the Atomedic Hospital at the New York World's Fair. The hospital was brought by barge to Roseland where it was re-assembled. He then waged battle with the State Board of Health for more than two years for licensure. However, by the time a temporary license was finally granted, there were no funds left to operate the facility.
A new corporation was formed to sell bonds, but that didn't work out either. The Atomedic Research Corp. reorganized and hired Gilgan and Associates, out of Peoria, Ill., to do a feasibility study to build a new hospital. The final result was Sebastian River Medical Center, which opened its doors on Feb. 17, 1974, as a 103-bed general medical/surgical hospital. The first administrator was Edward Gilgan. Later that year, in November, the hospital signed a management agreement with American Medicorp.
Four years later, the hospital was purchased by Humana Incorporated, of Louisville, Ky. In 1984, 30 beds were added, including wards for obstetrics and substance abuse. Nine years later, Health Management Associates of Naples, Fla., bought the hospital; and in 1999, the hospital was relicensed as the 154-bed facility that it is today.