Griggs County Hospital & Nursing Home

Griggs County Hospital and Nursing Home

The Griggs County Hospital opened February 15, 1951.  E. S. Bardahl was the first patient.

Sandra Overby, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Einar Overby, was the first baby born in the hospital, February 17, 1951.  Dr. L. Almklov attended the delivery.

Dr. K. M. Wakefield was on the medical staff of the hospital when it opened, and has served ever since.  Beulah Baird, R. N. , has also been on the hospital staff from the day it opened.

Carl O. Johnson, a charter director of the hospital, has served as treasurer of the board since 1946.

Jovone Mack, R. N. , was superintendent of the hospital for the first three years.  At present she is in public health nursing in Griggs and Nelson counties.

Several others began work shortly after the hospital opened and are employed at the present time, though they have not worked continuously.  Among those are Registered Nurses Shirley Erickson, Merle Haerter, Beverly Kloster (now Soma), and Licensed Practical Nurse Josephine Johnson (now Olson).

There were 21 names on the first payroll.  Now, with the nursing home in operation, there are approximately 90 employees, including those who work part-time.

Mrs. Mack was succeeded in the administrative position by Ruth Syverson, R. N. , who was followed by Beulah Baird, R. N.  After the nursing home was opened, Thomas McMorrow became administrator.  Gary Ryba is administrator at present.

At this writing there have been 17,034 admissions to the hospital and 1689 births.

Medicare has brought about major changes in the health care field, and other federal regulations have also affected the operation of the hospital.

The fifty-bed nursing home addition was completed in 1971, and the first resident admitted December 7.  Merle Haerter, R. N. , was employed as nursing home supervisor.  The facility offers skilled nursing care and with it recreational, social, rehabilitation and reality therapy.

A volunteer program, which includes persons of all ages, is coordinated by the activities director.  The Griggs County Hospital -Nursing Home Auxiliary has played a major role in the volunteer program.

C. S. Arneson was chairman of the first hospital board during its building program.  Leon A. Sayer, Jr., was chairman of the board at the time the nursing home was built.  Eric L. Berdal is chairman at the present time.  In 1974 the charter was rewritten to include the nursing home, and the governing body is known as the Griggs County Hospital and Nursing Home Association.

Cost of construction of the hospital in 1951 totaled $379,700 with a square footage of 18,562 square feet, which came to $2,045.50 per square foot.  The funding for the construction of the hospital building was a government grant in the amount of $125,870, a loan in the amount of $60,000 and the balance contributed by the community.

Total cost of construction of the nursing home in 1971 was $633,534 with an area of 15,661 square feet at a cost of $4,045 per square foot.

The construction of the nursing home was funded by a government grant in the amount of $135,874, a loan in the amount of $315, 000 and the balance by community donations.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 54

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