Stone Retires After 47 Years at SCMC

Rodger Stone, SCMC Radiology Director in the 1980'sAfter 47 years in Radiology at Stone County Medical Center (SCMC), Rodger Stone, Radiology Director, has announced his retirement.

An old proverb states that "a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Rodger, much like a rolling stone, has been moving forward since making the decision to pursue a career in Radiology nearly 50 years ago, and he says he has no regrets.

The Early Years:

As a teen nearing graduation from Concord High School in 1967, Rodger knew his calling was in the field of healthcare. While contemplating which healthcare profession to pursue, Rodger was guided by local healthcare professionals into the field of Radiology; a growing profession at the time. Rodger felt Radiology was the right fit, and attended the Radiology program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Rodger’s next big decision was deciding where he wanted to start his career. He decided to settle down in Mountain View, and, in 1969, was hired as a Radiologic Technologist by Mountain View General Hospital, which is now SCMC. At that time, he was the only Radiologic Technologist in the facility.

“I made a visit to the area and knew it was a great place,” said Rodger. “I decided to call it home and never looked back.”

Rodger Stone, SCMC Radiology Director

Changes Through the Years:

With a career spanning 47 years, Rodger has seen many changes.

When Rodger started his career at SCMC, there was only one X-Ray room.  Today, SCMC has a multi-slice CT scanner, MRI, and diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound).

As a pioneer in the Radiology profession, Rodger remembers going from film X-Rays to digital X-Rays.

“When I came to Mountain View, we had an old x-ray room with wet tanks where we dipped film into the developer,” said Rodger. “Now, everything is done by computer.”

Rodger also remembers when ultrasound (sonography) advanced from reading spikes made by sound to viewing actual images. Although there was no real training for the sonography in the beginning, Rodger participated in programs to enhance his knowledge of the equipment.

“I have been fortunate to learn about sonography as it progressed into what it is today,” he said.

As a result of his experience with sonography and medical imaging in general, Rodger contributes as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. In 2014, the Arkansas Society of Radiologic Technologists awarded him the Darmon Rhinehart Lecture "A Look Back at the History of Medical Imaging in Arkansas."

Another change that Rodger experienced during his time in Mountain View is the transition of Mountain View General Hospital to SCMC. White River Health System (WRHS) purchased the facility in 1999.

“The merger between Stone County Medical and WRHS has been very beneficial to the hospital and community,” said Rodger.

In addition to the name change, the facility has undergone some major structural changes. While some of these changes were planned, other changes were forced due to a natural disaster that Rodger calls his most unforgettable moment at SCMC.

In February of 2008, when the facility was nearing the end of a major rebuilding and renovation project, Rodger was in a leadership meeting when he and the other members of the staff were warned that they were in the path of a tornado. He and other employees had barely secured the patients in hallways and were preparing to take cover in the CT room when the glass on the front entrance shattered. 

Rodger recalls the moment the tornado hit,“It was like an explosion, I could hear the roof coming off of the building. It probably lasted all of thirty seconds, and it left so much destruction; thankfully, our patients and employees were safe.”

The months that followed were challenging as modular buildings and a mobile CT unit were brought in so employees could continue providing care.

Leaving a Legacy:

“Wonderful” “Loyal,” “Understanding,” and “Easy-going,” are words members of the SCMC Radiology staff use to describe Rodger.

SCMC Administrator, Stan Townsend, describes him as a “valued employee SCMC”. “His dedication to our hospital has been a large part of its success,” he said.

He has been with SCMC almost as long as SCMC has been a hospital, and is currently the employee with the longest number of years at the facility.

“I have had no regrets of my decision to come to Mountain View. I would do it all over again,” Rodger said. “I have been very blessed.”

While he has had many great years at SCMC, it’s time for this Stone to slow down and take more time for himself.

“After retirement, I plan to spend more time with my wife Susie, my sons: Chris and Matt and his wife Jessica.  I am looking forward to spending more time on the golf course, and traveling,” said Rodger.