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If it weren’t for the Patrick family, Lincoln Health System may not exist as it does today.

When the hospital first began in 1917, the community rallied together to fund it-including the doctors. After the initial purchase and donation of the facility by Lincoln County court, the hospital needed supplies. Dr. Thomas Alexander (Lex) Patrick, Sr. was the largest individual donor, putting forth $200 of his own money to the cause. His generosity provided much-needed items like light globes, stovepipes, nails, and even a ceiling for the operating room.

Dr. Patrick, Sr. continued to serve Lincoln Contains for the remainder of his career, delivering approximately 5,000 babies in the community between 1906 and 1954. His son, Dr. Lex Patrick, Jr., soon followed in his footsteps, though he notes in the Elk Valley Times his decision to pursue medicine was “independently decided.” Dr. Patrick, Jr. practiced general surgery in Lincoln County from 1952 to 1987 and expresses a sincere thanks and love for the patients he served. “I have a lot of gratitude for my teachers, preachers, and the citizens of this county who have helped me along my path,” he told the Times.

Dr. Patrick, Jr. took time after his retirement to travel and enjoy time with his family, but it’s Lincoln County that will always have his heart. When asked by the Times what he’d be doing for New Year’s Eve, he simply responded in earnest: “Staying right here. What better place could you be?”

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