Community came together to build Valley View Hospital |

Community came together to build Valley View Hospital

Frontier DiaryWilla SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

A new era in medical care opened on Aug. 30, 1955. It was on that date that Valley View Hospital received its first patients.The new hospital was decades in the making. In Glenwood Springs’ early days, no real centralized hospital existed to treat the ill. Many attempts, however, had been made over the years to bring a uniform system of health care to the community. Institutions such as the Garfield County Poor Farm, St. Joseph’s Sanitarium, Hopkins Hospital, Porter’s Hospital, and the Glenwood Springs Sanitarium as well as numerous individual physicians raised the level of medical care in the community.By 1950, four individual hospitals existed in Glenwood Springs. However, postwar demand for medical services fueled by a closure of several regional hospitals taxed the available facilities. With the passage of the 1946 Hill-Burton Act – an act that provided federal funding for the construction of health-care facilities – a movement was started in Glenwood Springs to construct a new regional hospital. A community drive to raise $340,000 began in July 1953. Garfield County donated a 412-acre tract of land for the new hospital south of Glenwood Springs, which is its current location. In July 1954 ground was broken for the new 22,000-square-foot, single-story, 35-bed facility. The Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities was selected to manage the hospital, with Samuel Janzen appointed as the first administrator. With the transfer of nine patients from Porter’s Hospital, Valley View Hospital officially opened to the public. The stork also visited the newly completed hospital on opening day: The first birth at Valley View Hospital was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. William Hammerich, of Grand Valley (Parachute).From its inception over 50 years ago, Valley View Hospital has cared for the health of people locally and regionally. It has never wavered from that original vision.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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