CHCHC celebrates 40th anniversary

Published 9:43 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tuesday, July 16, 2019, marked the 40th anniversary of the Charles Henderson Child Health Center (CHCHC) opening its doors in Troy.

The day’s activities began at 9 a.m. with CHCHC’s annual Reach Out and Read program for children.

Children are the focus of and the reason for the CHCHC and Ben Busbee, administrator, said the staff looks forward to the ROR event every year.

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“Parents are invited to bring their children for a time of reading and games,” Busbee said. “Our staff enjoys seeing the children at play as much as they seem to enjoy it. And, it was a fun way to begin our celebration of CHCHC’s 40th year anniversary.”

Busbee said the child health center has a rich history that was the vision of Charles H. Henderson, a prominent Troy banker, businessman and former Alabama governor. 

“Charles Henderson provided that his estate be placed in trust and the interest from investments used to finance education facilities as well as the children’s health center, that now bears his name,” Busbee said. “The center was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization. Since beginning operations in 1979, the center has provided care to literally thousands of children from generations of residents from the surrounding communities.” 

Tuesday also marked the 40th anniversary of Debbie Rhodes, who, Busbee said, has been a

a faithful, loyal and dedicated employee of the center from its very beginning.

“I had worked for East Central Mental Health for three years and the chance to work at the Charles Henderson Child Health Center was a good opportunity,” Rhodes said. “I enjoy working with children and I decided that was what I wanted to do.”

That decision set the course of Rhodes career for 40 years and counting.  She plans to up that total to three more years before she retires to spend time with family, especially grandchildren, and to travel.

Rhodes was presented a 40-year certificate and a “well-deserved” financial gift for her many years of dedicated service.

Rhodes said working at CHCHC has been a blessing.

“Seeing children come in sick and then come back feeling good is the real joy of working at the center,” she said. “I been very happy here for 40 years and look forward to several more.”

Carol Fuller has also been with CHCHC since it opened its doors and will celebrate her 40th year anniversary in October.    

“We are so blessed to have the staff we have at the center and I am so proud of the staff,” Busbee said. “There are numerous 20, 25, and 30-plus year employees. They are what makes the center what it is to this community. But, none of this would be possible without the vision and generosity of Charles Henderson.

“Our goal and his vision has and always will be to provide the highest quality of healthcare to children from birth to age 19, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Busbee said CHCHC was built on strong values: patient first; integrity, innovation and excellence. 

“We share a deep commitment to doing things right – right by our patients, regulatory bodies and our own internal standards,” he said. “We strive to deliver on our promise with the highest degree of honesty and ethical behavior.  We take our commitment to our patients very seriously and believe it to be of the utmost importance to our continued success.”