History

Since its early days Red Bird Mission has worked to meet the health care needs of people in the Red Bird River Valley. Soon after teachers came, nurses and doctors arrived. Red Bird medical work began in 1922 with Miss Lydia Rice, RN as the first medical worker. Dr. Harlan Heim joined the staff in 1926. The first hospital was built at Beverly in 1928 but for many years, calls to mountain homes were made by medical staff on horseback. In 1959, a larger, modern hospital and outpatient clinic (1960) were constructed seven miles down Red Bird River in Clay County on property that had been obtained from Ford Motor Company in the 1940’s for food production for the Mission.

The educational, health and spiritual outreach through the churches and schools of Red Bird Mission prospered as its denomination grew through mergers. The Evangelical Church and the Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged in 1946 to become the Evangelical United Brethren. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church united with the Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church. Local churches in the area were reorganized under the name of the Red Bird Missionary Conference in 1973. Red Bird Mission was recognized as an agency in the Red Bird Missionary Conference, and in 1975 Red Bird Hospital (later to be renamed Red Bird Mountain Medical Center) was incorporated separately and recognized as a separate agency.

The hospital operated until 1986 when in-patient services were discontinued for economic reasons. In 2000, Red Bird Mountain Medical Center was renamed Red Bird Clinic, Inc. to more correctly reflect its primary focus as an out-patient clinic. The activities of Red Bird Clinic, Inc., included a medical clinic, dental clinic and community nurse outreach until 2011 when the operation of the medical clinic was transferred to  Memorial Hospital of Manchester. The medical clinic is now a satellite clinic of Memorial Hospital.

Currently Red Bird Clinic, Inc. offers services through our Community Health Nurse and Dental Clinic.

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