Gerber Memorial, Wantz center to host exhibit on hospital’s 100 years, glimpse at the future
FREMONT– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and the Terry Wantz Historical Research Center are hosting an exhibit that will provide a glimpse at the hospital’s 100 years and the near future. The exhibit, set to run from Wednesday, July 18, through the fall, will be located inside the Wantz center, 29 E. Main in Fremont, just west of the Fremont Public Library. The Wantz center is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The exhibit is made up of panels depicting snapshots of information and images that provide visitors with some information about what life was like at Gerber Memorial from its founding in 1918 as a two-story donated house that was converted into a community hospital for patients in the immediate Newaygo County area to what the hospital is today, which annually serves more than 38,000 patients, including those from as far away as China. The exhibit also provides a glimpse into what healthcare is likely to focus on in the near future.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial has been such a pillar of the community for 100 years that its role and impact is sometimes invisible, so this exhibit can hopefully provide a portrait of what Gerber Memorial was like and how it evolved to continue its mission of caring for the community,” said Kate Russell, director of the Wantz center. “The Gerber Memorial exhibit is easy to go through and informative at the same time. As a historical resource, the Wantz center is excited to partner with Gerber Memorial to help tell the story of its past 100 years and also anticipate where healthcare will go in the near future.”
The exhibit is built from newspaper clippings archived at the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center located at 12 Quarterline Street in downtown Newaygo, as well as testimonial interviews with nurses and physicians who worked at Gerber Memorial starting in the 1950s onward.
In addition to the exhibit, Gerber Memorial and several community partners are also hosting a dunk tank fundraiser during the National Baby Food Festival, which runs Wednesday through Saturday, to raise money for the Cancer Center in Fremont. The dunk tank will be located in front of the Fifth-Third Bank on Main Street in downtown Fremont. The hours for the dunk tank are: Wednesday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.