Dr. Claire Louise Caudill
In 1947, Dr. Claire Louise Caudill, with her nurse, Susie Halbleib, set up a physician practice in her native Morehead. Visiting patients in their homes and delivering babies occupied much of her time. It has been estimated that during her life, Dr. Louise (as she was called) delivered over 8,000 babies. Because there was no hospital, persons with more than minor ailments were sent to Lexington, Ashland, or Cincinnati. To assure good medical care for the people of the area, Dr. Louise began her crusade to build a hospital in Morehead. Through her leadership and determination and with the aid of the Northeast Kentucky Hospital Foundation, other farsighted citizens and the Sisters of Notre Dame of Covington, KY, the hospital concept gained support.
St. Claire Regional Medical Center opened on July 1, 1963. The hospital, named for Dr. Claire Louise Caudill, is sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame and is a Catholic, not for profit hospital.
Physicians and other staff joined Dr. Louise and the Sisters. Dr. Warren Proudfoot, a surgeon at the University of Kentucky, was instrumental in forming an affiliation with the University of Kentucky thus providing much needed specialty services. A spirit of collaboration continues to exist among St. Claire Regional and other medical facilities. A dedication to the teaching and education of health professionals began during these early years.
Expansions in 1972, 1980, and 1994 added beds and services. From 1973 to 1991, primary care centers were established in Rowan, Menifee, Bath, Carter, and Elliott counties. In 1971 Home Health Services began to meet the need of homebound patients in eight surrounding counties. With each expansion and added service, the staff at St. Claire strengthens its commitment to provide quality healthcare in a caring environment through the living of its mission. "The mission of St. Claire Regional Medical Center is to proclaim God's goodness through a healing ministry to the people of Eastern Kentucky."