The Richland Hospital enjoys a long history of service to its community.
The Richland Hospital is a 25-bed acute care Critical Access hospital serving the health care needs of people in Richland Center and the surrounding area. This hospital was first established in 1924, occupying the Bailey Mansion, which was located where a portion of the current facility now stands. Eight building projects and numerous remodeling and renovation projects have taken place since its beginning. At the present time, over 200 people are employed by the Richland Hospital.
The original hospital, called the Kermott Hospital after its owner, Dr. Edward P. Kermott, was operated in Richland Center from 1901 until 1906. In 1906, the Kermott Hospital was sold to Dr. Clement F. Dougherty. The community again operated without a hospital until June, 1912, when Dr. Dougherty opened City Hospital. City Hospital cared for patients until 1922.
The current Richland Hospital began as a concept in 1919, when the Federation of Women's Clubs of Richland Center began to raise funds for a new hospital. With $10,000 raised locally, the Women's Clubs purchased the H.T. Bailey home in 1921 and had it converted into a 14 bed hospital. In November, 1924, The Richland Hospital opened with seven employees. The Hospital was managed by the West Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Church from its opening until April, 1928.
By 1927, a shortage of space was already apparent. A second addition was begun in August, 1929 and completed in the following year. An elevator was included in this three-story addition.
A third addition to the hospital, completed in March, 1936, added an x-ray room, isolation ward, operating room, obstetrical room and more patient rooms. The fourth addition to the east side of the Hospital in 1939 included two stories and a basement. It added a kitchen, dining room, nursery, sunroom and more patient rooms. By 1939, the Hospital had grown from its original 14 beds to a 73 bed facility. The Richland Hospital became an accredited member of the American Hospital Association in 1939.
Plans for the fifth addition were begun in 1946 and a sixth addition was
completed in 1953. These additions added the entrance on Park Street and brought
the bed capacity up to nearly 90. The Hospital staff had increased from its
original 7 to 52 in 1949.
Plans for the fifth addition were begun in 1946 and a sixth addition was completed in 1953. These additions added the entrance on Park Street and brought the bed capacity up to nearly 90. The Hospital staff had increased from its original 7 to 52 in 1949.
Construction began in 1962 for the seventh addition, which also included removal of the last portion of the original building. This addition was opened in 1966, the year in which the Hospital Auxiliary was formed.
The eighth addition to the Hospital was opened in 1975. It included administrative space, offices, medical records, x-ray, and emergency room and a six-bed intensive care unit. Changes were also occurring on the Hospital's grounds. The most recent major change was the removal of two houses on Second Street for the creation of a 23-space parking area. Necessary additions to off-street parking have continued to the present.
In 1986, "The Lawrence House," located on Second Street across from the hospital, was remodeled for use as a hospital operated Learning/Day Care Center for children of hospital employees (it now provides services for children of residents of the area also).
In 1987, the hospital purchased the house owned by Marie Carberry on the southeast corner of the hospital block and converted it into the Fiscal Services Annex.
1988 saw the beginning of a hospital wide renovation program that will take a number of years to complete, but when finished should enhance the aesthetics as well as the efficiency of the building tremendously.
In 1992, the hospital purchased the house owned by the Ewers family located adjacent to the Fiscal Services Center. It was slightly remodeled and is occupied by the Home Health Agency.
In August of 1992, the renovation of the third floor Obstetrics area was started with completion and new title (Birth Center) on January 1, 1993. On January 4, 1993, renovation of the second floor patient care area was begun with completion on April 26, 1993. The third and final house on the hospital block was purchased from the Uzuanis family in 1993.
Between 1994 and 1997 the Karlstad, Bailey, Rydberg and Schoonover houses, in the block north of the hospital, and the Miller house, at Church and Second Streets, were purchased. On January 1, 1995 the hospital assumed ownership of Rural Clinics in Spring Green and Muscoda.
In 1996 the Richland Medical Center and the hospital announced plans to have a joint campus at current hospital site. They selected TCI of LaCrosse, WI as the Architect and Design/Build Firm for the expansion project.
In 1997 the old high school was purchased from the Richland School District and was demolished. The hospital constructed an employee parking lot on the western part of the two-block lot. The Southeast portion of the lot was sold to a developer for construction of condominiums. Also, in 1997 the Carberry, Ewers, Uzuanis and Rydberg houses were moved off hospital property and the Karlstad and Bailey houses were demolished to make way for the upcoming building project. The finance and home health departments relocated into the Lawrence house following the Children's Learning Center move to the renovated Miller house.
In 1998 administration offices were moved to the Schoonover house, following renovation, to allow remodeling of those hospital spaces for use as surgeon's suites. An agreement was reached for the purchase of the Kraska house, next to the administration building, in 1999. The Wisconsin Gas Co. building, on Highway 14 East, was purchased and renovations started for the use by the rehab therapies until the completion of the hospital project. The building project for hospital expansion and renovation and clinic replacement was started in July, 1998.
In September, 2000 the Richland Medical Center moved into the new clinic facility. Hospital renovations continued throughout 2000 and in 2001 the following areas were completed: Laboratory, Patient Accounting, Medical Imaging and Emergency Services.
In 2004, it became evident to hospital administrators that there was a need for a special area for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. In May 2006, thanks to great community support, the Douglas M. Kraemer Community Care Center opened to provide chemotherapy to patients in Richland Center. Today, it houses Oncology Specialists each week who see patients and oversee the treatments they receive to battle cancer right here at home. Along with this construction project, the hospital completed the Third Operating Rooom for the new O.R.
In 2008, the need for local Renal Dialysis found its way to the forefront of list of important things to do. Steven Nockerts, Richland Hospital, CEO, began looking for a way to bring this service to Richland Center. In the end, he and the Richland Hospital formed an alliance with Gundersen Lutheran to provide Renal Dialysis in the Center Creek Professional Building which formerly housed the Richland Medical Center. On July 12, 2009, Gundersen Lutheran's Renal Dialysis Unit had an Open House for the public to see.
Also, in 2008, the Richland Hospital began the planning stage of the most current remodeling project, the Inpatient Renovation Project. On November 10, 2008, the construction fences went up and the project began. The first portion of the project would focus on the Med / Surg and Special Care Units. On October 25, 2009 , the units hosted an Open House for the public to attend. Approximately 500 people attended.
We are currently in the second phase of the project which includes the remodeling of the Birth Center to include a Cesarian Section Unit. Also falling under this phase of the project will be the completion of a new access to the Helipad on the hospital's roof. Patients will access the Helipad using the "back of house" elevator near the Emergency Department. Prior to this phase of the project, patients had to be taken through the hospital's Main Lobby to access the Helipad.
The final phase of the project will be the creation of hospital administrative offices and sleep study areas on the second floor.