HISTORY of Muscogee Manor & Rehabilitation Center

The history of Muscogee Manor and Rehabilitation Center goes far back to the beginning of this century. Muscogee County owned the property and various buildings. Some of the former occupants of the property have been the Muscogee County Alms House, Muscogee County Nursing Home, Muscogee County Tuberculosis Hospital, and Highland House Nursing Home. Muscogee County Tuberculosis Hospital became Highland House, and eventually a part of Muscogee Manor. Muscogee County Alms House became Muscogee County Nursing Home and eventually Muscogee Manor.

Muscogee County Nursing Home was owned by the county and was experiencing difficulties during 1967. The State Health Department had noted so many deficiencies in the operation until the home's license was in jeopardy. Prisoners staffed Muscogee County Nursing Home and served as nursing aides, housekeepers, cooks, and laundry workers. None of the staff had specialized training in medicine. Muscogee County Commissioners realized improvements were needed and in 1967 appointed a Nursing Home Board to operate the Nursing Home. Under the guidance of the State Health Department, the Nursing Home Board began to make improvements and changes. A registered nurse and an Administrator were hired. Improvements and changes were sufficient enough for the State Health Department Officials to renew the Nursing Home license. The license was renewed January, 1968. Civilian employees replaced the prisoners. Trained licensed nurses were hired. The building was completely repainted and other interior improvements were made. New mattresses, curtains, and wheelchairs were purchased.

The Muscogee County Tuberculosis Hospital closed, and the building was remodeled and opened as Highland House in 1962. Highland House was successfully operated by the Junior League of Women of Columbus from 1962 until 1968. They have the distinction of being the first Nursing Home in Columbus to meet all Federal regulations. By 1967, the Junior League of Women were experiencing financial difficulties in handling the costs of operating the home. Early in 1968, the Junior League requested the Hospital Authority of Muscogee County to assume operation of Highland House. On April 1, 1968, the Hospital Authority assumed ownership of Highland House Nursing Home.

The Hospital Authority of Columbus was formed in 1968 for the purpose of planning, constructing, and operating a new county nursing home and a new county hospital. It had two completely separate boards to oversee and control Muscogee County Nursing Home and Highland House, the two publicly supported nursing homes in Muscogee County. The Hospital Authority of Muscogee County was later renamed the Hospital Authority of Columbus.

Three years later, on April 1, 1971, the new 132 bed nursing home was completed and named Muscogee Manor. From the beginning, Muscogee Manor had maximum occupancy and a waiting list. Fifty more beds were added in 1974. A new administrative wing with office space, nurses locker room, cafeteria, nurses lounge, conference room, and gift shop was added in 1976.

Construction of an additional wing with 60 beds began in the Spring of 1977. The first patients were admitted to the wing May 15, 1978. This unit included 20 private rooms and 20 semi-private rooms. This wing was equipped with energy saving devices such as an insulated roof, thermal windows, and water saving toilets. Tables suspended from the ceiling in the recreation area made it possible to quickly convert the space into a dining area.
August 1, 1988, construction began on a five million dollar expansion to replace Highland House. The Highland House replacement was named the O'Dell Wing and opened June 12, 1989. The O'Dell wing was named in honor of Mrs. Donzy O'Dell who was employed at Highland House as a staff nurse February 1967, and appointed Director of Nursing of Muscogee Manor February 1, 1974.

Renovation of Highland House began July 1989 and was completed in February 1990. The Administration Offices were moved to the building for the next 10 years.  It is currently being occupied by West Central Hospital's Region 9 office.

A large recreation room was added to Muscogee Manor and named in honor of Mrs. Sara Spano. Mrs. Spano began serving on the Hospital Authority Board in 1967. This recreation room was later converted into a 2400 square foot Rehabilitation Center.


Last Modified: October 7, 2008