An important milestone in the history of healthcare in the Branson area is made today as Skaggs Regional Medical Center plans to change its name to Cox Medical Center Branson, effective January 1, 2013. The Skaggs Board of Directors voted on the name change during its monthly board meeting this morning.
“The decision was not approached lightly,” says William K. Mahoney, Skaggs President and CEO. “Initially during the partner search, Skaggs Regional Medical Center Board of Directors indicated that no name change would be pursued. During due diligence, a letter drafted in the early 1960’s to the hospital’s board of directors by Marion B. Skaggs was discovered, indicating he wished to downplay the name Skaggs in connection with the hospital. Following the formal announcement of the agreement between CoxHealth and Skaggs in July, various internal stakeholders approached hospital administration and said they felt strongly that now is the time to change the facility name. Then, the Skaggs Board of Directors began reviewing a possible name change while maintaining respect for M.B. Skaggs’ donation and wishes.”
A community survey was conducted by third party marketing research firm, H2R Market Research of Springfield. “It was clear by many of the comments made by community members in Taney and Stone counties that a name change would reflect our broader delivery of healthcare initiatives,” explains Mahoney. “The name Cox Medical Center Branson adds strength to an already dedicated medical facility that will secure healthcare for years to come.”
“Skaggs and CoxHealth have a long history of shared values and beliefs,” says Steve Edwards, President and CEO of CoxHealth. “We have great respect for the leadership of Skaggs, and have deferred to the Skaggs Board to make this naming decision. As we embark on this new partnership, it is fitting that we do so acting as one entity, under one name. The significance of the Skaggs name and the legacy of the man who spearheaded the development of this hospital will not be forgotten. We are enthusiastic and optimistic about coming together to better serve our communities, and recognize this would not have been possible without the work of great men such as Lester E. Cox and M.B. Skaggs.”
When Skaggs Community Hospital opened its doors in 1950, its name recognized a man who envisioned change and committed himself to ensuring healthcare existed for the residents of Branson. The Skaggs name will continue to be proudly honored. Options for memorializing and honoring the Skaggs family and original donors are currently being explored. “I believe the original donors of both facilities would be proud of the achievements made in healthcare for our area,” says Mahoney. “Adopting the name Cox Medical Center Branson provides better alignment between both institutions that proudly serve the Ozarks.”