On September 9, 1957, approximately 700 proud citizens gathered for the dedication of Douglas County Memorial Hospital. It culminated months of fund raisers and hard work by many people.
The 20 bed hospital was constructed for approximately $200,000 or $17 per square foot. A staff of 20 full-time and part-time employees, under the direction of Jean Guenthner, Administrator, staffed the facility. In its first year of operation, there were 452 patients admitted and 56 babies born. Dr. Ronald Price and Dr. Mary Price were the first practicing physicians at the hospital. The hospital Guild was instrumental in organizing benefits and purchasing equipment for the new facility and they sponsored annual food drives for the hospital.
Since 1957, DCMH has tailored its facility to meet the health care needs of local residents. Medical technology has greatly advanced, necessitating the acquisition of new medical equipment and replacing out dated equipment.
Hospital acute care utilization gradually declined over the years, resulting in a reduction of the hospital bed count, which was done in several stages. The final stage in 1987 changed it from a 16 bed to a 9 bed facility. In 2000 it was increased and licensed as an 11 bed hospital.
It was in 1987 when Dr. Price retired after 40 years of service and Douglas County Commissioners voted to cease management of the hospital. The future of the facility was uncertain, but thanks to some dedicated citizens, in 1989, a new hospital corporation was formed, with local people serving on the Board of Directors. At that time, sharing an administrator with Scotland and joint purchasing of supplies was cost effective for DCMH.
It was also in 1989 when Dr. Luebke started her practice in Corsica. This proved to be a turning point for the hospital along with Vanessa Miiller, PAC joining the medical staff in 1991 and Dave Schwenk, PAC joining the medical staff in 1992. Dr. Cruz and Dr. Heidorn had covered the medical services for a time along with other locum tenens physicians.
Over the past several years we have seen many improvements in the facility and technology. The helicopter pad was added and many outreach services are being provided. In 1998 a new addition was added which houses the clinic, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, laboratory, medical records, optometry services and a community education room. This has enabled us to more adequately service the health care needs of this community.
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