Just the Facts

Angel Medical Center marks 100 years of health care 

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Deena Bouknight

“A Century of History” is on display in the main hallway of the one-year-old, $68-million Angel Medical Center facility in Franklin. The story of how the hospital came to be in Macon County is told through historic photographs and informative captions. 

Recently, representatives and staff from Mission Health and Angel Medical Center celebrated the centennial birthday, Oct. 10, and unveiled the photographic timeline wall for anyone in the public to visit. Angel’s Chief Operating Officer Clint Kendall spoke at the celebration, expressing, “We are incredibly proud of our long history of service and are committed to the continued care of our community.” 

It was Dr. Furman Angel who first established a clinic in 1923 on the second floor of a building in Franklin. Due to need in the community, he eventually purchased the Cope Elias house, located on the old hospital grounds, and started what became Angel Hospital. This house served as the hospital until 1926, when a new building was completed. A year later, an additional wing was added. By 1932, Dr. Edgar “Ed” Angel, younger brother of Dr. Furman Angel, joined the staff of the hospital and the name was changed temporarily to Angel Brothers Hospital. 

Representatives of Angel Medical Center gathered recently for the unveiling of a history wall. The photographic wall depicts its 100-year history in the midst of its contemporary architecture and decor in the one-year-old state-of-the-art facility.

In 1956, the hospital was enlarged to accommodate 56 beds, and before Dr. Ed Angel’s death in 1966, he conveyed the need for a new facility. Thus, in 1967, the board of trustees for what became – for a time – Angel Community Hospital, oversaw an effort to raise $1million in a project known as “Operation Heartbeat.” The next phase was a new addition to the existing hospital costing approximately $6 million. Opened in 1974, this addition provided a total of 80 beds: 59 inpatient beds and 21 psychiatric beds.

By 1991, a new two-story building was added to the back of the hospital as a surgical suite and intensive care unit. By 1996, the name changed again, this time to Angel Medical Center, and the front of the hospital underwent an addition and renovation. 

Even though Angel kept its name, in 2013 the hospital entered into a full affiliation with Mission Health. Finally, in 2019, plans were underway to build a new state-of-the-art hospital, completed last fall. This new facility is located at One Center Court in Franklin, with discussions ongoing about the future of the old hospital facility. 

Angel Medical Center’s 100-year transformation has resulted in a facility of which Dr. Furman Angel would hopefully be proud: 30 patient beds, three operating rooms, dedicated endoscopy and radiology spaces, and a 17-bed emergency department with two trauma bays, Plus, outpatient services include a wound clinic, a full laboratory, as well as digital mammography, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Anyone can stop by and view the historic timeline wall and see for themselves how far the community hospital has come – from a second-floor clinic to a full-fledged facility.