Scott Taylor, president and CEO of St. Catherine Hospital, said when the facility turns 75 years old Feb. 23 the staff would like to have a special guest in attendance.
"I think it would be interesting to have the first baby born here at the celebration," he said. "If we can't find the first born, maybe we can find the second born."
Hospital staff members have taken on the daunting task of going through birth records and then trying to locate the person based on the family information included in the birth certificate.
While combing through records and gearing up for the celebration, the hospital staff is rediscovering the history of the hospital, which dates back to the early 1900s.
In 1903, the facility that ultimately would become St. Catherine Hospital was a clinic with only two rooms. It was moved to a building on the corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets to accommodate 12 patients in 1904.
The hospital would be moved two more times before arriving at its current location in 1931.
Bishop August Schwertner, a Catholic bishop in Wichita, and Mother Rose McFadden, superior of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Great Bend, transformed the building from a clinic to a hospital in 1931.
What's in a Name?
The hospital was named after St. Catherine of Siena, a woman who lived in the 14th century and ministered to the sick of Siena, Italy. She also was one of the great saints of the Dominican Order, according to the archives of the Dominican Sisters in Great Bend.
Sister Nancy Murray, an Adrian Dominican sister of Chicago, will be performing at the celebration.
The Adrian Dominican Order is based in Adrian, Mich.
Murray, who performs a one-woman show about the life and teachings of St. Catherine of Siena, said she is looking forward to the 75th anniversary.
"I want people to understand who she was and what she did," she said. "She was a woman ahead of her time. She was feisty and didn't shy away from speaking her mind."
The birthday celebration for staff members only starts at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at the hospital cafeteria with a short performance by Murray. A birthday party that is open to the public will follow from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with cake and party favors.
Students from Alta Brown Elementary School, Partners in Education with the hospital, will attend the celebration.
Murray will perform for the public at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at St. Dominic Parish Hall. Her final performance is 2 p.m. Feb. 24 for hospital staff only.
Other events planned for the year are St. Catherine Feast Day, April 29, St. Dominic's Feast Day, Aug. 8 and the hospital's annual gala to be announced in the fall.