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Historian talks about medical services in Roswell

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Janice Dunnahoo, left, shares information about the origins of St. Mary’s Hospital with the Roswell Sertoma Club meeting. Also pictured is Club President Lorrina Segovia. (Submitted Photo)

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Janice Dunnahoo, chief archivist from the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico and author of the “Historically Speaking” column in the Sunday edition of the Roswell Daily Record, enthralled the Roswell Sertoma Club with the history of how medical services came to Roswell.

According to Dunnahoo, it all began in 1904 when a request was sent to Wichita, Kansas, for some nuns from the order of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, who were known for their medical acumen. Two nuns arrived and began to administer to the ill. This humble beginning continued to expand, and it evolved into the building and establishment of St. Mary’s Hospital, a landmark in this small southeastern town, which closed in 1995 due to deteriorating conditions and no prospects for a buyer.

The Roswell Sertoma Club assists in the purchase of hearing aids and speech therapy for people in need, provides 27 $500 college scholarships each semester and supports various youth activities and other charitable causes. Anyone wishing to join the club is welcome to attend one of its meetings at noon at the Elks Lodge every Friday. Forms to apply for assistance are posted on the club’s website: roswellsertoma.org.