Community Memorial Hospital celebrates 50th anniversary
Public invited to Sunday festivities

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

July 11, 2014

 Sharon Silberzahn, far right, director of Food & Nutrition Services- CHD for Community Memorial Hospital, stands with fellow Nutrition and Food Services staff, from left to right, Jada Shavers, Trista Ryan, Irene Schmitz and Tyler Wittmann. Silberzahn has worked at Community Memorial Hospital for almost 36 years.  
Submitted photo

MENOMONEE FALLS - When Sharon Silberzahn visited her family in Menomonee Falls while growing up in Milwaukee, she didn’t even know there was a hospital in the village. It would be hard to miss Community Memorial Hospital now after it has undergone much growth and expansion through the years.

Built 50 years ago, the hospital had 61 beds, a team of 16 specialty physicians and a total staff of 70. Today, Community Memorial has 202 beds, a medical staff of more than 600 and more than 1,300 total staff.

Silberzahn, director of Food & Nutrition Services-CHD for Community Memorial, has been a witness to much of that growth in the nearly 36 years she has worked at the hospital. She started her career there as a registered dietician.

“I have had wonderful opportunities throughout my career to do things that I never thought I’d do,” Silberzahn said.

She commends the leadership and executive teams at Community Memorial Hospital for always putting the interest of the community and the health of the organization first.

 When Community Memorial Hospital was built in 1964, it had 61 beds, a team of 16 specialty physicians and a total staff of 70. Today, Community Memorial has 202 beds, a medical staff of more than 600 and more than 1,300 total staff.   
Submitted photo

When Silberzahn started working at Community Memorial in 1978, it was expanding and hiring more personnel. Services have always remained community-focused, she said.

Many of the additional service offerings were in response to what the community needed and wanted, including remodeling the kitchen in 2001 and adding bigger appliances to wash dishes and keep food frozen.

“I’ve always battled the old adage that hospital food is no good,” she said. “We have really made a difference.”

Silberzahn has helped to oversee a reception for the hospital’s employees in celebration of the facility’s anniversary. During the public celebration on Sunday, hospital dieticians will have a booth offering tips on infused water, called “Rethink Your Drink.”

There will be food and drinks for sale for a small price at the Sunday celebration, as well as entertainment and educational booths.

Community Memorial Hospital will hold a public celebration for its 50th anniversary Sunday.   
Submitted photo

According to a news release from Community Memorial Hospital, the facility was created when a small group accepted the challenge to build a hospital in a farm field in a rural community outside Milwaukee.

“During the past five decades, Community Memorial Hospital has welcomed more than 42,000 babies into the world. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Community Memorial Hospital is a full-service hospital that specializes in cancer care, heart and vascular care, orthopaedics, women’s health and advanced surgical procedures,” according to the release. Community Memorial Hospital is part of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health care network.

 “Community Memorial Hospital was built because of a sincere and compassionate concern that local residents live healthy lives along with a commitment to provide excellent health care right here in their community,” said Dennis Pollard, president of Community Memorial Hospital, in a statement. “I am honored to have been entrusted with leading our hospital into the next half century. I grew up in Menomonee Falls and know first-hand the impact Community Memorial Hospital has had on health care in this community.”

At a glance

What: Community Memorial Hospital 50th anniversary celebration
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Community Memorial Hospital, W1800-N8085 Town Hall Road, Menomonee Falls
Cost: Free