Living Democracy

Nursing Home Boasts Rich History of Service to Community

Entrance of facilityCollinsville Health and Rehab, located on Highway 11, is one of the last family-owned and operated nursing facilities in Alabama.  The home, owned by Coker family, has a deep history in the area and offers a different mindset when it comes to delivering care.

Back in 1947, Dr. H.G. Gressler began providing medical service to the Collinsville community. Originally a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Gressler moved to Collinsville after his service in the U.S.  Navy during World War II. He built the Collinsville Clinic/Hospital, later to become Collinsville Health Care and Rehab, with 49 beds, an operating room and an emergency room.

Dr. Gressler was known for his service to the Collinsville community. He made house calls and performed home baby deliveries all over the Lookout Mountain area. He gave veteran discounts and allowed families who were struggling financially to trade food or other items in exchange for medical care.

Not only a respected doctor, Dr. Gressler was also elected mayor of Collinsville in 1952. During his term in office, Collinsville gained updated street lights, a new fire truck and police car and a government housing project.

Gazebo outside facilityDr. Gressler married Vera A. Smith and had two children, Irma Rose (Coker) and Herman Grant. Following Dr. Gressler’s death in 1982, the doctor’s descendants took over the operation of Collinsville Health and Rehab.

Today, the family carries on the legacy of Dr. Gressler’s service to the community.  The family-owned business now employs about 300 people.

Collinsville Health and Rehab strives to know their patients on a personal level. The current administrator, Mr. Coker, explained, “It is not about the bottom line.  It’s about quality care for your employees and residents.”

The qualities needed for a successful nursing home, he added, are “compassion, discipline, and a good caring quality.” Mr. Coker added, “If you are in it for any other reason you won’t succeed.”

Photo of facility in 1950The facility is also known for its heavy involvement in Collinsville. They are sponsors in the Turkey Trot run, always design a float for the annual Christmas parade and donate to various improvement projects.

As for the future, the Coker family would like to see it passed down in the family. “Individually owned facilities are a dying breed,” Coker noted. He added that he would like to see the facility continue to provide the personalized touch that they strive to provide.

Last Updated: June 26, 2018