Five decades of caring for Milford… and counting.

06.01.2017

Milford is a special place. There’s a genuine goodness that runs through the town. And Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital is a proud part of the town’s history. And for the past 50 years, Dr. Richard “Dick” Crabb and his wife Pat have made it their business to care for Milford Memorial.

Dr. Crabb came to Milford in 1967 after a stretch in the U.S. Air Force, and practiced surgery at Milford Memorial for the next 30 years. During his tenure, he held a variety of positions including president of the medical staff and chief of surgery at Milford. The Crabbs live a quarter mile from Milford Memorial; the hospital is a part of their neighborhood. They live close enough that Dr. Crabb could walk to work, and sometimes he had to. Mrs. Crabb recalled a snowstorm in the late 1970s that surprised everyone by dumping several feet of snow on Milford overnight. When they woke to find their car snowed in, Dr. Crabb slogged through hip-deep drifts to perform a surgery scheduled that morning.

In 1977, Mrs. Crabb joined the Milford Auxiliary. “I was asked to be grounds chairman for the hospital fair. After that, I was invited to join the Auxiliary Board.” Since then, she’s remained involved as a fundraiser and volunteer. “Our fundraising monies were used to help the various departments of the hospital in small and large ways,” she said. “Sometimes a department would request something the hospital hadn’t budgeted for that year, so the Auxiliary would use their funds to get what they needed.” The Auxiliary raised funds for everything from baby incubators to hospital beds. They recently pledged to raise an astounding $750,000 for Bayhealth’s new health campus project.

Dr. Crabb retired in 1997, the same year Milford Memorial and Kent General merged under Bayhealth. “Bayhealth has been good to Milford,” said Dr. Crabb. “I felt the merger was a good idea.” After the merger, the Crabbs never wavered in supporting their hospital. “There have been many changes,” said Mrs. Crabb, “But we have to embrace that change to be better and stay competitive.”

After Dr. Crabb’s retirement, the couple continued to serve as leaders in Milford by joining various Bayhealth boards and committees. In fact, Dr. Crabb only recently retired from the Bayhealth Foundation Board of Directors due to health issues, but one gets the feeling he would remain actively involved forever if he felt he could. Mrs. Crabb remains engaged – helping plan events and volunteering on Fridays at Milford Memorial’s Reflections Gift Shop.

After Dr. Crabb’s retirement from the Bayhealth Foundation board at the end of 2015, the Foundation presented a plaque to commemorate and honor the Crabbs’ tireless support and contributions over the past five decades.



“Dick and Pat have been extraordinary leaders in the Milford community, at Milford Memorial, and at Bayhealth,” said Lindsay Rhodenbaugh, president of the Bayhealth Foundation. “Their contributions to the new health campus project continue a legacy of support that goes back many years. The Crabbs are among those who set the tone in southern Delaware and we are grateful they’ve chosen Bayhealth as a focus of their involvement.”

To learn more about the new health campus in southern Delaware or make a donation, visit imaginede.com or call 302-744-7015 to speak with a representative from the Bayhealth Foundation.



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