CoxHealth has a rich history of delivering extensive resources, compassion and expertise to support the health care needs of the Ozarks. Take a look at the significant moments in history that made us what we are today.
1906 - Ellen Burge
Springfield woman Ellen Burge donates her frame duplex on Jefferson Avenue to be used as a Methodist hospital. Named the Burge Deaconess Hospital in her honor, this is the start of CoxHealth as we know it today. Ellen Burge remained involved in leading the hospital for the rest of her life.
1907 - Maude Luckey Conkling
Maude Luckey Conkling becomes the first hospital superintendent. She continued to serve on the board of trustees until 1947.
1907 - Burge Hospital School for Nurses
The Burge Hospital School for Nurses (the origins of Cox College) begins.
1908 - Expansion
Burge expands into an additional building.
1924 - Leadership Change
Burge Hospital is taken over by local Methodist body from National Missionary Society.
1948 - Economic Struggles
Burge Hospital School of Nursing closes for economic reasons, and Burge Hospital nearly closes.
1949 - Lester E. Cox
Lester E. Cox becomes involved at Burge and leads a series of capital campaigns to raise community money and federal matching funds for hospital expansion.
1949 - Leadership Change
Horace Burgin becomes administrator of the hospital.
1949-1966 - Economic Recovery & Expansion
The hospital recovers and expands. Expansion campaigns include adding several wings to Burge Hospital and bringing the patient bed count to 500.
1949-1950s - Polio
Burge Hospital becomes a central force locally in treating polio patients.
1951 - Burge Hospital School of Nursing
Burge Hospital School of Nursing reopens.
1954 - Leadership Change
Neil Wortley becomes the hospital administrator.
1956 - Leadership Change
Elmer Paul becomes administrator of the hospital.
1965 - Leadership Change
Neil Wortley returns to the hospital to serve as the administrator.
1969 - Hospital Renaming
The board of directors renames the hospital Lester E. Cox Medical Center after Lester E. Cox passed away in 1968, in honor of the man so integral to the hospital’s survival and growth. Hospital expansion continues under the guidance of his son, Lester L. “Bud” Cox, and longtime administrator, Neil Wortley.
1971 - Nursing School Accreditation
Burge Hospital School of Nursing is granted accreditation by the National League for Nursing and becomes co-ed.
1971 - Mobile Coronary Care Unit
Cox Medical Center becomes one of the first hospitals nationwide with a mobile coronary care unit, a specially equipped ambulance for people in coronary distress.
1974 - Medical Tower
The Medical Tower – a 10-story physician’s office building – is built across the street from Cox Medical Center.
1985 - Cox Medical Center South
The 10-story Cox Medical Center South is finished and dedicated to the service of humanity.
1985 - Leadership Change
After more than 30 years as administrator, Neil Wortley enters semi-retirement, continuing to serve as administrator emeritus and focused on fundraising to support hospital services and patients. Charles Edwards becomes executive administrator of the hospital.
1986 - Children's Miracle Network
Cox Medical Centers becomes the first Children’s Miracle Network hospital in southwest Missouri, joining forces with local television station KY3 to televise the first Children’s Miracle Network telethon live from Cox Medical Center South.
1989 - Cox Medical Plaza
The 135,000-square-foot Cox Medical Plaza is built at the corner of Primrose and National avenues. The building is connected to Cox Medical Center South by the 446-foot Cox Skywalk, the city’s longest elevated walkway.
1989 - Cox Air Care
Our first air ambulance – Cox Air Care – lifts off.
1990 - Cox Plaza Hotel
The 30-room Cox Plaza Hotel opens inside Cox Medical Plaza. The hotel serves patients and their families.
1993 - Hospital Renamed
Lester E. Cox Medical Centers becomes CoxHealth Systems.
1993 - Leadership Change
Charles Edwards retires and Larry Wallis is named executive administrator.
1993 - Cox Monett Hospital
CoxHealth Systems purchases St. Vincent Hospital and the adjacent medical office building in Monett, Missouri. The building is renamed Cox Monett Hospital.
1994 - Nursing School Renamed
Burge School of Nursing is renamed the Lester L. Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences in honor of Lester L. Cox.
1995 - Cox Medical Plaza II
Cox Medical Plaza II opens south of Cox Medical Plaza, including a three-story parking garage between the buildings.
1996 - Ferrell-Duncan Clinic
CoxHealth Systems and Ferrell-Duncan Clinic solidify our relationship, with Ferrell-Duncan non-physician staff becoming CoxHealth Systems employees.
1997 - Hulston Cancer Center
CoxHealth Systems’ cancer program is named after John K. and Ruth L. Hulston in honor of the man whose leadership on the board of directors was an integral part of the health system’s success. Housing the system’s cancer care, Cox Medical Plaza II also is renamed Hulston Cancer Center.
2001 - Delivery Unit at Cox Monett Hospital
Cox Monett Hospital opens the $5.3 million special delivery unit, returning obstetrics services to the Monett area for the first time since 1987.
2002 - Hospital Renamed
The board of directors votes to rename CoxHealth Systems as CoxHealth.
2003 - Meyer Center for Wellness & Rehabilitation
The Meyer Center for Wellness and Rehabilitation, southwest Missouri’s first medically based wellness and rehab center, opens.
2004 - Martin Center
The Martin Center for Diagnostic and Imaging Services opens.
2004 - Leadership Change
Larry Wallis retires as president and CEO and Robert Bezanson becomes president and CEO of CoxHealth.
2006 - 100-Year Anniversary
CoxHealth turns 100, celebrating a century of caring for the Ozarks with current and former employees, medical staff, volunteers and board members.
2006 - The Turner Center
The Medical Arts building is renamed the Turner Center, thanks to a major gift from the Turner family. The Turner Center becomes CoxHealth’s newest single point-of-service building for women’s and children’s services.
2006 - Pediatric Urgent Care
The Pediatric Urgent Care Center opens at Turner Center. This building is Springfield’s first urgent care clinic dedicated exclusively to children newborn to 16 years old.
2007 - Wheeler Heart & Vascular Center
CoxHealth celebrates the formal grand opening of the Wheeler Heart and Vascular Center.
2008 - Robotic Surgery
CoxHealth wins approval from the Health Facilities Review Committee to install a da Vinci-S Robotic Surgical System. CoxHealth physicians perform southwest Missouri’s first robotic surgery procedure the following month.
2008 - Cox College
The Lester L. Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences board votes to change the school’s name to Cox College.
2009 - Emergency Department Expansion
CoxHealth breaks ground on a new 78,000 square-foot Emergency Department, tripling the bed count. The $52.5 million project includes a number of green building initiatives designed to help the environment.
2010 - Meyer Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Hospital
Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital opens on the Cox Walnut Lawn campus.
2010 - Springfield Neurological & Spine Institute
CoxHealth and Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute announce an exclusive partnership arrangement and the clinic’s 80 employees become employees of CoxHealth.
2012 - Leadership Change
Steve Edwards becomes the system’s president and CEO.
2013 - Cox Medical Center Branson
CoxHealth and Skaggs Regional Medical Center announce a strategic partnership and a more than $100 million investment. The hospital is renamed Cox Medical Center Branson.
2013 - Obstetrical Emergency Department
CoxHealth opens the area’s first Obstetrical Emergency Department.
2015 - Cox South Expansions
CoxHealth opens the Dee Ann White Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Jared Neuroscience Center, a 10-story addition to Cox Medical Center South.
2015 - High Risk Breast Clinic
CoxHealth opens its High Risk Breast Clinic, the first in the Springfield area.
2015 - Center for Dyslexia & Learning
The Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning opens on the Cox Medical Center South campus, housed in Turner Center.
2016 - Advanced Practice Paramedics
CoxHealth launches its Advanced Practice Paramedic program that connects paramedics with patients recently discharged from the hospital to address any issues during recovery.
2017 - Monett Urgent Care
CoxHealth opens a 2,600-square-foot urgent care clinic in Monett.
2018 - Cox Barton County Hospital
CoxHealth acquires Barton County Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed critical access facility in Lamar, Missouri. The hospital is renamed Cox Barton County Hospital and becomes the sixth in the system.
2019 - New Cox Monett Hospital
CoxHealth breaks ground on an all-new $42 million-dollar, 70,000-square-foot Cox Monett Hospital.
2019 - CoxHealth at Home
CoxHealth, Oxford HealthCare Home Support and Home Parental Services merge home health services to form CoxHealth at Home, the largest home health care company in southwest Missouri.