On May 4, 1937, the cornerstone for the Greene County Hospital was laid and a longtime dream neared reality. On December 31st of that year, the first unit of what is today's modern Greene County Medical Center was officially completed and a public open house was held the next day -- New Year's Day 1938.
The 32-bed unit was the culmination of seventeen years of work and planning, but it was the gifts of two Greene County farms which provided the necessary spur. The first was a 220-acre Jackson Township farm willed by the late Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Henderson. The second was the gift of a 180-acre Grant Township farm by Mrs. Lydia Turpin, the widow of Sam Turpin. Mrs. Turpin also gave the 15-acre site on which the institution was built. The people of the county, challenged by the generosity of these benefactors, voted a $100,000 bond issue and the government provided an additional $45,000. The Henderson farm proceeds were actually used for future developments. Many other private gifts, large and small, poured in to provide funds for equipment and furnishings.
The hospital's popularity in the area brought the need for an addition. The three-story wing to the north of the first unit was built in 1951. Bed capacity was increased to 64 and service areas were added. Twelve years later, in 1965, came another fine improvement which, among other services, provided an Extended Care Unit. A major donation came in the will of the late Cash Colbert of Jefferson to make construction possible. This unit includes what is now the main entrance to the medical center.
Obsolescence in the original 1937 structure, after 35 years of use, made necessary a modern acute care unit, which was completed in 1971. At this time the name of the institution was changed to the "Greene County Medical Center." The new construction provided acute care beds and a four-bed coronary care unit. It also released beds in the older structures for long term care residents.
In 1981, a remodeling project provided a six-bed obstetrical area. In 1984, the medical center became the home of the Greene County Public Health Nursing and Homemaker Services by action of the Greene County Supervisors and the County Board of Health.
In 1991, a $2.8 million bond issue was overwhelmingly passed to provide extensive remodeling to the outpatient, long-term care, public health and education areas and to make energy saving mechanical improvements. Two other major building projects were started: a new medical office building adjacent to the outpatient area for greater convenience to both patients and physicians and a 33-unit independent adult retirement community -- Ever Greene Ridge.
Ever Greene Ridge residents began moving into their new homes in August
1992. Serving a need not currently met in the Greene county area, the
independent senior living community has flourished. Nutritional
support, housekeeping, maintenance and emergency response are among the
many services medical center staff provide to Ever Greene Ridge.
The physicians' office building was completed in October 1992 with the main floor offices, exam rooms and reception area serving the Jefferson Clinic practice. The unique "pod" design for each physician's exam rooms and office was carried through to the lower level for Greene County Medical Center's outpatient clinics, conducted by visiting specialists.
During the spring of 1993, the conversion of the former Jefferson Clinic building to Greene County Medical Center's public health and education center was completed. This brought the public health department to much more spacious and convenient ground level quarters, more easily reached by its elderly and pediatric clients. In addition, much-needed conference and classroom space with adjoining kitchen area was also yielded from the conversion. Finally, two administrative offices with support staff area were created from former exam rooms and physicians' offices.
The Long Term Care remodeling was completed in the spring of 1994. Approximately half of the rooms plus a dining room, family rooms and other areas were renovated, creating a much more pleasant and comfortable home for residents and their visitors. In addition, a south-facing veranda was built to provide a better place for residents to enjoy the outdoors.
The final component of the construction projects was finished in July 1994 when the new outpatient/emergency room area was opened. More spacious, efficient, convenient and updated work areas were created for outpatient departments and emergency/trauma. A new Auxiliary shop was added to the new central reception area.
In 2005, a new east dining room and kitchenette were added to Long Term Care. This enabled Greene County Medical Center to add a protected main entrance and enhanced front lobby. An expanded Auxiliary gift shop, conference rooms, administrative offices and board room were built on the lower level of the Long Term Care addition. Parking space was reconfigured and expanded for better traffic flow and patient and visitor convenience and safety.
The medical center opened two clinics - Advanced Women's Care, a women's health clinic, opened in February 2009. West Central Orthopedics, offering a full range of orthopedic services, opened a little over a year later in August 2010.
In September 2010, a $2.5 million three-year Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant paved the way for new telehealth technology, providing patients the ability to visit with specialists from other facilities without leaving the medical center. This technology was also shared with county agencies by installing video conferencing carts at the Greene County law enforcement center, Jefferson city hall, Greene County courthouse, Rippey library, Grand Junction fire department, Churdan library, Greene County EMS, Scranton fire department, Paton library and at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.
In 2014, the medical center broke ground on a $22.5 million major expansion and renovation project. The project - which included a 52,000-square-foot expansion and 45,000 square feet of renovation - increased patient privacy, provided easier access to health care services and created a more visible location for emergency care.
The new addition, which opened in September 2015, provided private inpatient rooms, a new surgery area with private pre-/post-op rooms, and new space for imaging, laboratory and respiratory therapy. Two new sleep study rooms were also included.
Renovations began immediately after outpatient services and ER moved to the new addition, and resulted in expanded lobby space, private registration areas and centralized locations for clinics and physician offices. A new main walkway was also constructed on the south end of the building, connecting the main entrance with the lower clinics entrance and ensuring convenient access to all service areas for patients and visitors. Renovations were completed in September 2016.
While the building project was in full swing, UnityPoint Clinic opened its doors on the west end of the medical center in May 2015. Well-established throughout Iowa, UnityPoint Clinic brings the resources and depth of providers and services to offer high-quality, community-based care, which benefits all those served by the medical center.
The medical center has worked diligently to add visiting specialists to the mix of available providers for the communities we serve. As of summer 2016, there are 16 visiting specialists coming to the medical center on a monthly basis. Service offerings continue to increase, including chemotherapy treatments.
In 2015, the medical center was named one of the Des Moines Register's Top 150 Iowa Workplaces.
And in the summer of 2016, the medical center rolled out its new mission, vision and values statements:
- Our mission: To enrich our community by providing quality, compassionate care to every patient and contributing to the well-being of every family.
- Our vision: Always Here, Always Caring
- Our values: Patient-Centered Care
It is our promise to embody these statements - every day for every patient, every time.
In 2021, now in our eighth decade, we are building on our Always Here, Always Caring pledge by "Investing in You." The centerpiece of this commitment is an investment in our staff. We have recently implemented a new salary and benefits structure that established a $15 an hour minimum wage. At the same time, those currently earning a wage in the range of $15 an hour will receive a special pay increase, and a significant merit increase has been provided to all eligible employees.
And we are not stopping with our staff. At Greene County Medical Center our greatest investment is in YOU -- the members of our community. Every day in every way your health is our top priority. Our investment includes providing an array of high-quality care options in our clinics and the medical center, such as our skilled specialty providers who come to Greene County Medical Center on various days each month to provide convenient outpatient specialty care when you need them right here in Jefferson.
Our investment in serving you, your friends, your family, and your neighbors, ensures a happier and healthier Greene County.