Many years ago, the Honorable James I. McKay, a native of Bladen County, represented this District in the Congress of the United States. Mr. McKay left a large tract of land to Bladen County to be used for the poor, the widows and the orphans of Bladen County. For many years, the County operated the land as a county farm; however, it was finally sold at public auction, and the money derived from the sale was put into a special fund.
Around 1947, a hospital movement was launched in Bladen County. Finally on November 15, 1949, a special election was held, and the voters approved the building of a non-profit hospital.
The county received matching federal funds and construction plans were underway. As the matter of site selection came up, the County Commissioners decided to use the McKay funds for the land purchase. Almost 100 years after the death of James I. McKay, the money he left the county was put to its original use.
The dedication service for the new Bladen County Hospital, made possible in part through the generosity of the Honorable James McKay, was held Sunday, May 18, 1952.
Through the years, Bladen County Hospital was able to expand and grow without any additional county funds. By 1987, the needs of the hospital were great and the citizens approved a $4 million bond issue.
In 2007, Bladen County Hospital requested proposals to partner with the facility. Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville was one of three organizations to submit bids, and the only not-for-profit organization to respond.
In March 2008, the Bladen County Commissioners and Cape Fear Valley’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a five-year lease of Bladen County Hospital effective June 1. In the years since, the affiliation has brought an influx of improvements to Bladen County, improving healthcare for all.
On March 19, 2012 Cape Fear Valley Health System officially purchased Bladen County Hospital. The signing fulfills a four-year promise by the health system to purchase the hospital and make annual improvements. Since the partnership began, Cape Fear Valley Health has invested more than $19 million in upgrades.