Happy Birthday To Our First Baby

Author, Lila Zuck

On Monday, March 5, 1956, Naples Community Hospital became operational, ending the era when the only option was to travel to Fort Myers for access to a hospital.

Naples Community Hospital's blue Pediatric Wing.

The building’s exterior was painted a soft yellow.

The 52-bed hospital had a small emergency room, a maternity suite, a nursery with 10 bassinettes, and a pediatric wing, the exterior of which was painted Persian blue to compliment the yellow color of the main building.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, on March 6, 1956, the first baby born at Naples Community Hospital was presented to his mother, Mrs. V.J. Miller of Naples. The baby boy weighed in at six pounds and six ounces.

Naples merchants anxiously awaited the birth of the hospital’s first baby. A full-page spread in The Collier County News listed the participating merchants who were prepared to shower the new baby with gifts, including a 34-piece Even-Flo bottle set from Sunshine Suprex Market, a Bunny Bear Car Seat from the Merry- Go-Round Shop on Fifth Avenue, layettes, much more and even special gifts for Mom and a box of cigars for Dad.

The Hospital Administrator presented the mothers with copies of Alan Beck’s poems “What is a Boy” or “What is a Girl” along with a personal congratulatory note.

Thereafter, the first baby born each year was welcomed to the community in the same manner, as were those born during National Baby Week, the first week in May.

A total of 356 babies were born at Naples Community Hospital during the hospital’s first two years of operation, or about one every second day.