ALTON, IL -- With Christmas shopping in full gear and the calendar soon flipping over to 2013, it’s the perfect time to purchase a book detailing the first 75 years of Alton Memorial Hospital’s history.

The hospital is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012, and the book written by local author and historian Charlotte Stetson is a wonderful keepsake for anyone who has been touched by the excellent health care provided by AMH since 1937.

“Alton Memorial Hospital – 75 Years of Excellence,” tells the story that began with the dream of the Smith family, who donated funds and a portion of their family estate to build a community hospital that opened its doors Nov. 15, 1937. Sisters Eunice Smith and Ellen Hatch were visionaries with the expectation that the hospital they founded would be “laid out according to the best modern principles.”

Dedicated staff thrived in an innovative work environment. Pioneers like Dr. Daniel Platt and physical therapists Garth Taylor and Neil Bower were not only on the cutting edge of medicine, they often set the standard that others emulated.

“I hope this book shows how, for 75 years, Alton Memorial Hospital has been a health care leader,” Stetson said. “It tells the stories of the many individuals, past and present, who support the hospital’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities it serves. It was very enjoyable and extremely interesting doing the research about this wonderful hospital.”

This limited edition includes 160 pages with more than 200 photographs, many never before published.

Stetson was born and raised in Alton. She has worked in the public relations and advertising fields at AMH and the Alton Telegraph. Charlotte became interested in history through a volunteer service project, writing brief histories of the River Bend for presentation in the Alton schools. Her research led to a deep interest in the community’s past and to the authorship and publication of three previous books: Alton: An Illustrated History in 1986; The Best of Alton in 1998; and Alton Remembered with Don Huber and the late Robert E. St. Peters in 2000.

“Alton Memorial Hospital – 75 Years of Excellence” is available for $31.95 (plus shipping). For more information or to pick up a copy at the hospital, please contact the AMH Development Office at 618-463-7701.

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