Dr. Marcy Leroy Ditmanson, the son of American missionaries Fred and Emma Ditmanson, grew up in China, and was imbued with a deep love of China and its people. World War II broke out in China while he was studying towards a Masters’ Degree in History, but his first-hand experience of prison camps and wartime suffering made him decide to become a health care provider, so that he could share Jesus’ love with his beloved Chinese people. It was at this time that he also met his future wife, Joyce Stranks.
After completing his medical degree in the USA in 1957, Dr. Ditmanson came to Formosa, where his new wife also played a vital supporting role in his subsequent achievements – he first established a clinic in Chiayi in 1958 to bring mercy and hope to his many patients, and subsequently opened the thirty-bed Chiayi Christian Hospital (CYCH) in April 29, 1962.
Taiwan suffered a devastating polio outbreak in 1960s. Dr. Ditmanson was a surgeon, but had not received any training in orthopedics. In order to be able to treat scoliosis, at the age of 50, he returned to the USA and once again enrolled in medical school to study orthopedic surgery. In 1974, he brought his new knowledge to Taiwan, where he began performing orthopedic surgery and expanded the use of physical therapy. His Christ-like life had a positive impact on a good many doctors, nurses, ministers and administrators, who then shared their gifts with the people of Taiwan. Dr. Ditmanson’s leadership by example has ensured that Chiayi Christian Hospital is an institution focused on the needs of its patients, and its devotion to the service it provides has formed the basis for CYCH’s recognition and success.