In 1977, Elsa Wilson had a dream: to establish a community hospital in Buderim.
The wife of a local general practitioner, she put on a dinner party and pitched the idea to her guests, including an architect and two surgeons.
Just three years later, her plan came to fruition – the Sunshine Coast had a new hospital, opening on 5 July 1980 with 48 patient beds.
In the 40 years since then, Buderim Private Hospital has grown into a 190-bed facility with eight operating theatres, two cardiovascular theatres and the region’s first private emergency centre. It offers a wide range of services including cardiac, mental health, maternity, surgical and rehabilitation.
Mrs Wilson did not live long after the launch, sadly taken by cancer in 1982, but her legacy lives on – the site is located on Elsa Wilson Drive.
The hospital now cares for more than 25,000 patients every year, has delivered more than 15,000 babies and employs nearly 800 local people.
“Over the past 40 years we have remained committed to partnering with our patients and providing them with high-quality and compassionate care each and every day, and we are incredibly proud of the contribution we have made to the Sunshine Coast community,” General Manager Karen Clark said.
“The timing of our anniversary is especially poignant given the World Health Organization has declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to recognise the important contribution they make to the communities they serve,” she added.
Part of the UnitingCare group, Buderim is owned by the Uniting Church and is the only not-for-profit private hospital on the Sunshine Coast.
Its 40th aniversary anniversary celebrations will include the opening of a new chapel in a more accessible and central location for patients, staff and doctors.
“This chapel is a gift and resource for all and will be available as a place of refuge, rest, reflection and perhaps renewal,” Mrs Clark said.