Hospital closure conjures memories of ‘the spirit of Good Samaritan’

The announcement that Dayton’s Good Samaritan Hospital will close at the end of the year conjured up many memories from across the Miami Valley.

Regina Dawn Payne of Kettering recalled how her mother decided on the name for her new baby daughter.

Lying in the maternity ward at the hospital in 1956, Payne’s mother, Jeroldine Pierre Mandery of Dayton, heard an announcement repeated over the hospital’s intercom system.

“Sister Dawn, please report to Regina Hall. Sister Dawn, report to Regina Hall.”

“She liked the way the words sounded together,” said Payne who noted that her name and its tie to the hospital hold a special meaning for her. “It’s the place of my birth,” she said. “Everyone wants to keep a connection with their place of birth.”

Readers sent countless personal memories of the hospital to Cox Media Group’s Facebook page. Here is a sampling of recollections from the community:

Tc Collett: My father had emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery there in 1989 that gave me another 11 years with him. Recently my mother had been hospitalized there this past Christmas with pneumonia. The food service staff went out of their way to make sure that I had a tray of food so my mother and I could have Christmas dinner together. Amazing hospital with a fantastic staff. Thank you, Good Samaritan for saving my father's life and getting my mother healthy enough to come home for the new year!

Jalane Newkirk Brierly: My sister, brother and I were born there. I remember being outside and talking to our mother through the open window after our brother was born in 1955. I volunteered in the old ICU in the early '70s and did my volunteer hours in the ER for my EMT certification. Many memories there!!

Shari Ross Chaffin: I was born there 1966. Two of my sons were born there, 1987 and 1989. My Dad had a quadruple bypass there in 1994. He lived 9 years longer.

Jason B. Jacomet: My life was saved at Good Samaritan Hospital last January. I'm 43 years old and I had a massive heart attack followed by a quadruple bypass at G.S.H. where I literally died four times on the operating table. They were able to save me!!! Then the cardiac ICU nurtured me back to health. So yes, I have a very good memory from there.

Beth Phillips Denlinger: My mom graduated from nursing school there in 1949. She also worked there on oncology unit. My two sisters and I were born there also.

The recollections reach as far back as the dedication of Good Samaritan Hospital on May 12, 1932. During the event Anne O’Hare McCormick, a prominent journalist living in Dayton, addressed the crowd of several thousand.

“This edifice was built by the energy and generosity of citizens of all creeds and all classes. It is a proof that we are neighbors,” she said. “This hospital is a sign that the spirit of Good Samaritan lives in Dayton.”


HISTORY EXTRA is a weekly pictorial history feature showcasing the Miami Valley’s rich heritage. If you have a unique set of historic photos found in your parents’ or grandparents’ attic that depicts the past in the Miami Valley, contact Lisa Powell at 937-225-2229 or at

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