Above: City and state officials, donors, volunteers and staff of Mountain States Health Alliance turned out for the ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital on Feb. 26, 2009. The region’s only children’s hospital is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. PHOTO BY BILL DERBY
It took nearly five years of fundraising, but on Feb. 26, 2009, the dream that was Niswonger Children’s Hospital became a reality.
A decade later, the region’s only children’s hospital has had a tremendous positive impact on countless families in our area. All told, over 6,000 people donated to get the $34 million hospital constructed, and many of those donors lived outside of Washington County, making the facility a shining example of regionalism in action.
But nobody did more to help the project along than Scott Niswonger and his wife Nikki, who donated $10 million to the hospital that now bears their name. The Niswongers joined state and local leaders as well as members of the Mountain States Health Alliance team on that late February day to christen the facility, which started admitting patients on March 2, 2009.
“So much has been given by so many to make this vision a reality,” Niswonger said at the time. “Over 6,000 people have donated to make the dream come true.”