Reynolds Memorial Hospital: Upgraded and expanded

Leon Kugler and Emily Yarbrough
Monday, October 11, 2010

RMH 2Birthed in deep compassion in obedience to God and re-birthed in the spirit of that legacy, Reynolds Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Washim, India, is thriving. The hospital serves the entire region of central Maharashtra State with emergency and specialty medical services. The local medical community has re-embraced the hospital as an integral component in meeting the health needs of the locals.

RMH 4The birth of RMC was under the faithfulness and grit of Dr. Orpha Speicher in 1936. She came to Washim via ox cart to provide care for pregnant woman and their babies. Today 50 percent of RMH medical services are maternity-related.  Dr. Speicher’s legacy of care for mothers and babies lives on. Thousands of the residents of Washim were born at RMH, including current RMH staff Dr. Pati, who is a staff physician, and Mrs. Kinkar, out-patient intake supervisor.  According to Pati and Kinkar, these are some of the greatest days in the history of their hospital because it is a time of expansion, beautification and impact on the community.

The entire 88-acre campus has been refurbished in the last two years.  New treatment wards are open for service, including a sparkling new Intensive Care Unit, men’s and women’s care facilities and a pediatric ward.  The emergency services area and staffing have been upgraded.  The bookstore has been expanded and the collection enhanced, but most importantly, it is a distribution point for Bibles and age-specific Christian literature. 

RMH 5The weekly community health clinics, called “camps,” are a point of contact with God’s Word, as the chaplain and hospital staff share biblical truths and lift up the name of Jesus.  Newly constructed facilities for food purchase and restrooms for families of patients enhance the service to all who visit RMH.  The courtyard remains a tranquil haven for patients doing their therapeutic walking. Families of patients use this location to wait and pray and grieve.

The hospital Dr. Speicher birthed is at its peak in medical staffing, management practices and medical service to the people who matter, the precious people of Washim, regardless of caste, creed or need. Medical Director Dr. Manoj and Director of Nursing Saluchna lead the medical team which includes 15 physicians and 60 registered nurses in the medical specialties.

RMH 6Since 1958 RMH has had a nurse’s training school.  The Nazarene Nursing Training College (NNTC) is thriving with young people called to health care from all over India.  Students commit to three years of classroom training and clinical instruction in patient care.  Students live on campus and rarely return home until the completion of their course of study.  As such, college and hospital staffs take great care to create a learning environment that nurtures them.  The academic, clinical, social and spiritual formation of these emerging professionals is guided by NNTC Principal Nilima.   She leads a staff of tutors and senior faculty.  Enrollment is robust and the newly remodeled classroom facilities have great educational utility.

Hope, healing, and education continue to be realized in the name of Jesus in Washim.  Thank God for a new creation

-- Written by Leon Kugler  Ph.D., professor at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), and Emily Yarbrough, RN at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, San Diego, CA,  USA, co-leaders of PLNU LoveWorks short-term missions trip to RMH with nursing and pre-medical students in the summer of 2010.

Talk about it

1. Why would establishing a hospital in a rural part of India be considered an act of compassion?
2. Is educating a new generation of medical personnel important?
3. How does medical treatment provide ways to build relationships and open doors?
4. How would a community, and even a region, benefit from a focus on care for pregnant women and their children?
5. How could you or your church pray for the ministry of Reynolds Memorial Hospital, its staff, nurses-in-training and patients?