History of Guthrie County Hospital

The following information is taken from Ten Year History of Guthrie County Hospital by E. S. Hudson, Origin of Guthrie County Hospital by Earl W. Vincent, Fifty Years of History of Guthrie County Hospital by the 2001 History Committee, and from various departments within the hospital.

The planning, financing, and construction of Guthrie County Hospital took over ten years, but a foundation was laid by those who believed a hospital was needed in Guthrie County. The first Board of Trustees, appointed by the County Board of Supervisors, met first in 1944 to find a suitable site and an architectural firm to draw building plans, all beginning during World War II. In 1949 bids were let for the construction. The land on North 12th Street was eventually donated by Helen Sayles Brundage in memory of her parents who had owned the property during their lifetime. Dedication day finally occurred October 7, 1951.

Due in part to government regulations, patients were eventually being sent to other facilities and the number of patients began to decline. Since that time, many specialties utilized by larger hospitals have been added as has the required education for the staff. Now, within the hospital, is a Laboratory, Pharmacy, Radiology Department, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Emergency Department and state-of-the-art Surgery Department as well as a Specialty Clinic and Orthopedic Clinic supported by an experienced and knowledgeable Medical Staff. GCH Family Medicine Clinics are now in Panora and Adair. Supporting departments have all enlarged over the years to keep up with the growth.

Donations have continually played a major role in obtaining equipment, providing services to the community and upgrading the hospital. A Hospital Auxiliary, supplying volunteers to assist in various areas began in 1982.

Since 1995, the Guthrie County Health Care Foundation has served as a support organization to promote the hospital for the purpose of soliciting and receiving charitable gifts to fund equipment, technology and services for the area hospital patients.

The first three superintendents started a legacy of progress that has only accelerated as the years have passed. Structural changes are too many to list, and the hospital has been growing at it’s fastest pace since Gerald Neal became CEO in 2003, supported by an aggressive and forward thinking Board of Trustees.