The History of Story County Medical Center
The Iowa Sanitarium of the Seventh Day Adventists predated Story County
Medical Center as the first hospital in Nevada, IA. “Old San," as it was
called, served residents from 1909 until it was destroyed by fire in 1943.
In 1944, local citizens passed a $100,000 bond issue to build a new,
non-profit facility. However, because of a shortage of raw materials and the
post-war economy, construction was delayed until August 1950, when the
cornerstone for the Story County Hospital was laid. On September 10, 1951,
the hospital officially opened.
The hospital added its first long-term care addition in 1969, made
possible through a $154,000 donation from Reine Wells. In 1977, a $400,000
gift from Edith Robison made a second floor long-term care addition and
chapel possible. With the long-term care additions, the hospital’s main
entrance moved from the east to the south side. In 1970, the hospital added
its own ambulance service which previously had been provided by area funeral
Through the 1970s the hospital experienced growth, but like most rural
facilities, faced uncertain times in the 1980s. Changes in the Medicare
reimbursement system reduced funding, and budgets were tight. Also, there
was a shortage of physicians throughout the entire country. In 1988 the
hospital entered into a management agreement with Mercy Medical Center of
Des Moines which helped ensure that health care would continue to be
accessible and convenient for all of Story County.
Critical Access Hospital Status
In the summer of 2001, Story County Hospital applied to the state of Iowa
to become a “necessary provider,” the first step in becoming a Critical
Access Hospital. The Board of Trustees carefully weighed the risks and
benefits of Critical Access Hospital conversion. Although the hospital would
experience increased reimbursement, it had to agree to reduce the number of
acute care beds it offered and the type of patients it could treat. In the
end, the projected financial benefits outweighed the risks. Following a busy
summer bringing the hospital into compliance with Critical Access Hospital
standards, the hospital was inspected by the Department of Inspection and
Appeals and was awarded Critical Access Hospital status on December 1, 2001.
Story Medical Clinic - Zearing opened as the first outlying clinic of the
hospital in March of 1995. The Zearing clinic's success was followed by the
opening of the Story Medical Clinic - Maxwell in August 1996. The clinics
are staffed with a physician assistant and nurse practitioner respectively.
In late 1999, ground was broken for a new 8,000 square foot addition to
the hospital that would house the new Story Medical Clinic - Nevada (which
had previously been partnering with the hospital) and therapy services
department, which is managed by 21st Century Rehab, PC. In 2000 the hospital
officially changed its name to Story County Medical Center to encompass all
of its new clinics and services.
New clinics meant new staff members and many changes. Story Medical
Clinic - Nevada moved from its location on G Avenue to its current location
adjacent to the hospital. Today Story Medical Clinic - Nevada has grown to
house four physicians and two physician assistants.
In January 2005, Story Medical Clinic - Slater opened at the request of
the Slater Community Club and the Slater community member who wanted
healthcare close to home. The services at the Slater clinic are currently
provided by a physician assistant.
During this period of growth in the early part of the 2000s, Story County
Medical Center initiated a $230,000 renovation program for the acute and
outpatient surgery areas of the hospital. With the help of the Story Medical
Endowment Foundation, the medical center also bought a new handicapped
accessible van for transportation of long-term care residents. The
Foundation also made donations for the long-term care unit to receive new
flooring, signage, paint, cabinetry and nurse’s stations.
In addition, Story Medical began to investigate new technologies and
upgrades to its facilities. A new piece of radiology equipment used for
surgical procedures, a C-Arm, and more advanced surgical instruments
resulted in increased surgical capabilities such as total knee replacements,
ACL repair, hip pinnings and more.
Not only did Story Medical steadily improved physically, but it embarked
on a new employee relationship plan. In 2004, Story Medical implemented an
employee recruitment and retention plan. The plan, called Kailo, focuses on
an employee’s mental, emotional and spiritual health in addition to his/her
physical well being. Kailo, the Indo-European word meaning whole, uninjured
or of good omen, is a workplace assistance program that encourages employees
to have fun at work, supports stress reduction, and provides free counseling
services for all employees and their families.
The Road to a Replacement Hospital
As Story Medical continued to grow and change, it became apparent that a
50-year-old building was no longer matching the care that was given within
it's walls. On March 9, 2006, after a year of researching financial,
engineering and strategic issues facing the medical center, Story County
Medical Center announced its plans to build a new facility on the outskirts
of Nevada. Existing hospital reserves and revenues, loans and a capital
fundraising campaign would fund the replacement facility.
The land for the new South Campus was purchased from Marilyn and Dennis
Webner. As part of the land transaction, the Webner's donated one of the
twenty acres of the parcel in honor of her parents, Ray and Jessie Hubbard,
who farmed the land for many years.
On June 19, 2007, after six months of working through the State of Iowa's
healthcare construction approval process, the State of Iowa’s Health
Facilities Council unanimously approved Story County Medical Center’s
request for “non-reviewability” of their replacement facility project. The
“non-reviewability” determination stated that the Story County Medical
Center replacement project fell under the “replacement exclusion” in the
State of Iowa Certificate of Need (CON) regulations. Shortly after the
approval though, Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa sued the State of
Iowa claiming that Story Medical's project, along with a few others within
the state, should not be allowed the exemption.
Knowing that the need for healthcare services in Eastern Story County
were great, and that the community stood behind the replacement hospital
project, Story County Medical Center choose to go through the Certificate of
Need process rather than wait out the Wellmark lawsuit. A tremendous
outpouring of support from the community followed, including over fifty
individuals personally attending the day-long hearing.
On October 24, 2007, Story County Medical Center received a long-awaited
certificate of need from the State of Iowa’s Health Facilities Council. The
certificate gave the medical center the green light to move forward with
building a replacement facility which had been delayed for eighteen months
due to legal implications. A bright future for Story Medical was assured!
Story Medical finally broke ground at 12:00 p.m. on
April 25, 2008, at the corner of
19th Street and South G Avenue in Nevada. This location would be the home of
Story Medical's new South Campus.
The building started to take shape in late summer as
utility work was completed and steel trusses arrived on site. By the end of
fall, the structure of the building was complete and interior work began. On
October 30, 2008, the concrete was poured for the county’s only
hospital-based, onsite helipad.
It's Your Story.
In 2008, in conjunction with the upcoming opening of a
new campus, Story Medical launched its new brand to the public. The new
brand includes modernized logos, colors, and tagline for the medical center,
long-term care unit and all five outlying clinics. In addition, all of
the clinics were renamed Story Medical Clinic and the long-term care unit
became Story Medical Senior Care to better represent the services that are
all part of the Story County Medical Center system.
The new tagline—“It’s Your Story.” was created to
remind every audience that their story is part of our story as a healthcare
provider in their community.
In addition to the new brand, the S.T.O.R.Y. Values
were implemented throughout the system. The values encompassed the work that
Story Medical employees were already doing every day. S - Service; T -
Teamwork; O - Openness; R - Relationships; and Y - Your Story.
South Campus Opens
Construction efforts at Story County
continued to move forward in early 2009, and on August 16, 2009, the new
South Campus opened. The facility offers both inpatient and
outpatient services, including an outpatient surgery center, emergency room,
radiology and laboratory departments.
The state-of-the-art building features 17-bed inpatient
unit comprised of private patient rooms with private bathrooms, oversized
windows that flood the room with natural light and wood-like flooring for
Today, Story County Medical Center operates both the South Campus and the
North Campus, which houses Story Medical Senior Care, wellness services,
outpatient therapy and some financial service functions. Five outlying
clinics are also part of the medical center and employ nine medical
providers and one acupuncturist in five Story County communities.
As a whole, Story Medical employs approximately 250 individuals who are
highly-trained in providing excellent patient and resident care. Story
County Medical Center has gone through many changes in its 50 plus year
history, but has always provided quality healthcare service to the residents
of Story County.