The Gaston Episcopal Hospital
The Gaston Episcopal Hospital was founded by Dr. E. O. Rushing in 1928 and was originally called the Rushing Clinic. With 25 private patient rooms, a prominent medical staff and exceptional nursing service, the Rushing Clinic operated until 1939. In July of that year, the Clinic expanded to a 50-bed capacity and became a non-profit charitable organization, renamed the Gaston Hospital of Dallas. In 1958, the Hospital’s patient capacity doubled again when a three-story brick wing was completed.
In 1961, the Board of Directors passed a resolution to deed the Hospital and property to the Episcopal Church. The corporation retained its charitable status and was re-named the Gaston Episcopal Hospital. Though denominational in name, the Hospital continued to serve as a community general hospital dedicated to providing the highest standards of medical treatment in an atmosphere of concern and care.
By 1978, to keep pace with the needs of modern medicine, plans were made for a new four-story hospital facility to replace the outmoded, older facility. The new facility would be located on Gaston Avenue adjacent to the old facility and connected by an underground tunnel to Baylor University Medical Center across the street. Construction began in 1980 and the new facility was dedicated in April, 1982 by The Right Reverend A. Donald Davies, Bishop of Dallas.
In 1987 Gaston Episcopal Hospital merged with Baylor Healthcare System and its building became The Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation at Gaston Episcopal Hospital.
The Gaston Foundation
The Gaston Episcopal Hospital Foundation (the Gaston Foundation), a non-profit tax-exempt corporation, was created in 1982 as a supporting organization to the Hospital. Its purpose was to receive charitable gifts, bequests, and other funds from benefactors of the Gaston Episcopal Hospital. Monies received from these gifts and bequests were invested and managed by the Episcopal Foundation of Dallas.
Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. became the first president of the Gaston Foundation and remained a Board member until his death in 2011. Other prominent Episcopalians who have served on the Gaston Foundation Board of Trustees include: Felix “Pete” Goldman (1921 – 2010), Jon L. Mosle Jr. (1929 – 2015), Don M. Houseman, John G. Penson, Neil Anderson, and Plack Carr Jr.
When Gaston Episcopal Hospital was merged into the Baylor Healthcare system, proceeds from the merger went to the Gaston Foundation. This created an endowment fund that allowed Gaston supporters to continue the charitable mission of the hospital through the Gaston Foundation’s annual grant program. Mr. Charles M. Cooper, former Administrator of the Gaston Episcopal Hospital and President Emeritus of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, administered the Gaston Foundation grant program for many years.
Though the Gaston Episcopal Hospital is long gone, the good works of Gaston Foundation live on. Since its inception, the Gaston Episcopal Hospital Foundation has awarded approximately $7 million in grants to support a wide variety of medical and humanitarian needs throughout Dallas and the surrounding communities.