Story Medical History
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 homes.
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.
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.
During the 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.
On March 9, 2006, 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 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.
Story Medical broke ground on April 25, 2008, at the corner of 19th Street and South G Avenue in Nevada, and on August 16, 2009, the new South Campus opened. The facility offered both inpatient and outpatient services, including an outpatient surgery center, emergency room, radiology and laboratory departments, and featured a 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 warmth.
In response to continued demand for the services of Story Medical, an addition to the South Campus opened in February 2017. The addition included greatly expanded space for Story Medical Clinic - Nevada, cardiac rehabilitation, wellness services, 21st Century Rehab, and additional meeting space.