Sometimes important projects take a while to catch on, with only perseverance keeping the idea afloat. This was true when the Bedford community decided to build the Bedford County Memorial Hospital.

After World War II ended, a lot of planning and praying, plus the efforts of Mrs. Robert A. Harper and Mrs. Jesse T. Davidson, Jr., went into organizing a building campaign for an up-to-date hospital. That was 1946; it wasn’t until July of 1955 that the hospital was finally dedicated, built mostly with local funds from area families and civic groups, and christened the “Best Little Hospital in Virginia.”

Times changed and in 1984 the Bedford County Memorial Hospital was sold to the Roanoke Hospital Association, now Carilion clinic. Not wanting to lose sight of the fact that the hospital was built with community funding, the $2.5 million selling price was used to create a foundation to support healthcare needs for Bedford residents.


The first four grants made by the Bedford Memorial Foundation are $7,192 to Bedford Memorial Hospital for Dental Equipment, $10,250 to Bedford Memorial Hospital for Cavitron, $50,000 to Bedford Memorial Hospital for Indigent Care, and $1,772 to Bedford YMCA for Health Maintenance Equipment. Maxwell Dudley Davidson is Chair of the Bedford Memorial Hospital Foundation and nursing scholarships are established including the Janet Bowyer Wood Scholarship.

$96,000 is provided to the Bedford YMCA for aquatic physical therapy.

Roger Henderson takes over as Executive Director from Dr. Carey Brewer.

The Foundation exceeds $1,000,000 in total grants made; commits $70,421 to pay 25% of the cost of establishing urology capabilities at Bedford Memorial Hospital, and provides 1,000 free mammograms to low income and uninsured Bedford women.

The Foundation and the Hospital continue to offer free mammograms to low income uninsured Bedford women; the Maxwell Dudley Davidson Scholarship is established, and over $40,000 in grants are made to area rescue squads.

A grant is made to establish the Bedford Adult Day Center; more than 450 area residents receive free wellness screenings, and the Foundation provides a grant to the American Heart Association to sponsor CPR training.

The Bedford Memorial Foundation changes its name to the Bedford Community Health Foundation, and through Gifts-In-Kind receives a $20,875 X-ray film processor for the hospital’s Breast Imaging Center.

The Betty Pannell Wright Adult Care Fund is transferred to the Foundation; the Foundation sponsors the Immunize Now program conducting nine immunization clinics for children, and celebrates 10 years of activity with membership exceeding 300.

Foundation receives a Susan G. Komen Foundation grant to provide more mammograms to low income uninsured women in Bedford; staff move into new offices in the Bedford Central Library, and a new CNA scholarship is established for the Bedford County School of Practical Nursing.

Foundation is awarded an Avon Breast Health Access grant to increase awareness of the benefits of early breast cancer detection; the Foundation plays a key role in saving the Bedford Adult Day Center from closing; the Dr. Eileen Jennings Memorial Fund is established to provide yearly lectures to area nurses, and the Dental Fund is created to expand dental care in the area.

With leadership from the Foundation, the children’s dental program moves into a new facility, and the Bedford Adult Day Center moves into the Maupin-Sizemore Building; after nine weeks of intense effort the Foundation saves the Bedford County School of Practical Nursing and makes a commitment to its LPN and CNA programs. The Foundation surpasses $2 million in total grants made.

The Foundation implements the Bedford School Nurse Initiative which increases the number of nurses in the public schools from three to 23; the Emma Allie Scholarship Fund established by Joe and Eileen Miller is transferred to the Foundation.

Roger Henderson and his family establish the Commemorative Gift Fund for Bedford Memorial Hospital and Oakwood Manor; Ivylyn and Ralph Hardy establish the Hardy Family Hospice Fund; staff completes the Community Health Assessment.

Bedford Ride is established; The Right Stuff Nutrition Fund is created by Herbert Kurshan; the Bedford Center on Aging Fund is established, and the Connie Bohon Parker LPN Scholarship is created in her memory.

$50,000 is granted to the Bedford Memorial Hospital for orthopedic equipment, and Bedford Ride is up and running.

A $100,000 EMS Initiative is created to help provide emergency medical services and the Foundation exceeds $3 million in grants.

Sheelin Prinzinger takes over from Roger Henderson as Executive Director. The Foundation assists the Bedford Adult Day Center in securing a $100,000 grant from the Department of Aging for expansion. Assets exceed $4.2 million.

Michael Cross joins the Foundation staff as Director of Philanthropy. The Foundation celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The Foundation makes grants, mainly to Bedford Ride, the Bedford Adult Day Center and the Bedford Emergency Services, totaling over $250,000.

$30,000 is granted to help bring a full-time children’s dentist to the Bedford Health Department. The Foundation transfers over $118,000 to the newly-created Bedford Hospice House, Inc. Total lifetime grants given exceed $4 million and assets climb to almost $4.5 million. The Foundation now has well over 400 members.

Donna M. Proctor is appointed Executive Director. Michael Cross is appointed Director of Development and Mary Wiley is hired as the Program Coordinator.

Foundation assets reach almost $5 million.

The Foundation partners with BEDCO CARES, a local grass roots coalition with the goal of improving teen driving and decreasing traffic accidents among the county’s youngest drivers. The Geri Montgomery Scholarship Fund is established. BCHF celebrates our 25th anniversary.

The David W. and Sandra L. R. Boyes Physician Education Scholarship is established. Total lifetime grants exceed $5.9 million. Bedford House, hospice, breaks ground.

Ruby Shields Fund Established.

MW Cross Fund Established. Bedford House opens. Mary Wiley promoted to Program Officer. Business Plan Updated.