St. Helena Parish Hospital celebrated 50 years of service Aug. 7 with an ice cream party at the hospital in Greensburg.

The Louisiana Hospital Association presented the hospital’s chief executive officer, Naveed Awan, during a recent annual conference with a plaque for delivering premier clinical care and for making outstanding contributions in the formation and enhancement of the hospital’s reputation as well as the field of medicine.

Awan wanted to share the hospital’s victory and success with the entire staff.

“When the hospital began planning the ice cream celebration related to its 50th anniversary, it was apparent to everyone that a hospital’s reputation largely depends on the quality of its medical staff,” said Awan.

Awan attributes much of the hospital’s success to its ability to attract and retain the best healthcare professionals.

“It seemed most appropriate to recognize the most outstanding of these professionals over the past five decades, doctors who have brought remarkable clinical skills here, as well as a clear passion for the practice of medicine,” Awan said.

He continued, “This is about celebrating all of those doctors and recognizing the role the medical staff has played in making St. Helena Parish Hospital such a strong and reputable organization.”

When St. Helena Parish Hospital opened its doors on Aug. 9, 1966, for the first time in the parish’s history, medical and hospital facilities were available to St. Helena’s 10,000 residents.

At the time of its dedication, the hospital had 35 beds and was equipped with the latest equipment in its patient rooms, emergency room, operating room, labor room, delivery room, laboratory, X-Ray room, nursery and kitchen. There were nine private and 13 semi-private rooms available.