Sunday, staff members of the Queen City Nursing Center celebrated the facilities 40th Anniversary. That's how long employees have been offering their service to Lauderdale County and the surrounding communities.
Michael Howard founded and built the facilities of the Queen City Nursing Center. He worked at the center up until his death in 2004. Now his daughter, Barbara Howard, acts as the administrator for the nursing facilities. It's what you could call a family business.
"My grandmother founded one of the first nursing homes in the state of Mississippi. She had a great passion for people and caring for people. That passion was passed on to my father and he was one of the first administrators in our state. At the age of 18 he began taking care of people. And so he had that entrepreneurial spirit as well,"explains Barbara Howard.
The old Saint Joseph Hospital used to be located where the Queen City Nursing Center currently stands. When the hospital changed locations, Michael Howard quickly bought the property. He knew this was his opportunity to give back.
"He had a love for people and he had a great desire to help people because as a child he spend many years in hospitals. So he understood the needs of individuals who live in health care facilities."
Howard and the rest of the staff at the nursing center have seen developments of the facility over the years. In 1970, when the building was first built, it was a 60-bed facility. After building a new wing, the Queen City Nursing Center is now licensed for 80 beds. Along with this addition, the center's employees are also able to offer more services to the community. And after 40 years, the community is still at the center of this establishment.
"Well the community has been invited. We've invited employees who have retired through the years. We have one long-term employee who has been here for 40 years. We've got several that have been here 30 years and in their 20th year. So we expect to see a lot of familiar faces from years ago," exclaims Howard.
One of those faces is Frank Bell Junior. He was the first employee of the center. He retired in 1988. Memories came flashing back from those years of work.
"It was good. The only job that I enjoyed coming to," says Bell.
People often talk about family businesses. This is a prime example of one of them.
But over the last 40 years, the family continues to expand.
"Their families just become our families. We just appreciate the opportunity to have served Lauderdale County," describes Howard.