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History Timeline

Lake Region Healthcare Corporation timeline, based on newspaper articles and the Ottertail County Historical Society.

St. Luke’s Hospital

1902
Oct. 16—Excavating of building begins.

1903
Sept.—Building is dedicated.

1916
Addition is built to south of building.

1917
April 12—John Lauritzen receives $25,000 contract for large addition.

1923
Nov. 8—St. Luke’s Hospital is approved by college of surgeons.

1927
Sept. 24—New wing is finished.

1928
Aug. 8—The new addition is dedicated.

1928
Building with addition is added to main building and north building.

1939
Feb. 16—St. Luke's Hospital is now a 75-bed hospital.

1947
November—Hospital is now free of debt. Wright Memorial Hospital

Wright Memorial Hospital

1903
May—Wright family proposes to build as gift to the city.
Sept. 17—Association is formed.

1904
May—Foundation work begins.

1905
May 25—Officially organized previous week.
November—Ownership of the hospital is transferred to the association.

1906
Jan. 1—Hospital opens to public New Year's Day; north addition added; west addition added.

1911
February—New Studebaker Ambulance is bought for the Wright and St. Luke’s hospitals for $700.

1920
June 3—Nurses' home is built.

1927
June 15—It was decided to expand the hospital.

1928
Aug. 19—25th anniversary and dedication of enlarged hospital.
Aug. 23—New wing opens.

1933
Hospital receives $20,000 from the estate of the late Dr. T.N. Kittelson.

1953
Oct. 21—Property is sold to Otter Tail Power Company.
Dec. 18—Hospital closes.

Lake Region Healthcare Corporation

Lake Region Healthcare Corporation

1951
St. Luke’s and Wright Memorial merge.

1952
March 4—Plans begin to build addition.

1953
Dec. 30—Patients move from Wright Memorial to St. Luke’s Hospital, forming a single unit.

1954
Sept. 13—Hospital is fully accredited.

1955
Jan. 19—Plans complete for new hospital project/drawing for addition.
Jan. 22—Hospital purchases a new x-ray unit.
March 4—Loan is needed.
April—Groundbreaking for remodeling project.
Aug. 12—Hospital ranks high in the nation.
Nov. 26—H.E. Swenson heads hospital drive.
Dec. 13—Hospital receives $47,000 from Ford Foundation.

1956
Jan. 19—$196,806 goal is set.

1957
May 22—Tumor clinic opens.
Aug. 7—Wright Memorial Hospital is torn down.

1958
Jan. 17—Children’s recovery room is pledged.

1958
March 19—Snack bar completes its first year.
June 28—Hospital is dedicated.
June 30—Open house event takes place with 1,000 touring.
Oct. 17—Hospital receives $400 grant from the American Cancer Society.

1959
May 14—Convalescent ward for children is added.
Dec. 5—Hospital receives polio equipment from national foundation.
Dec. 31—Physical therapy starts.

1960
May 9—Auxiliary purchases turning bed.

1963
Aug. 2—Hospital acquires purchase agreements in block, buys homes for expansion.

1965
July 16—$469,979 is allocated from Hill-Burton Fund.

1968
Remodeling adds the long-term care unit.

1973
April—Four-bed detox unit opens.
Dec. 26—Five-bed intensive coronary care unit replaces two-bed.

1975
March 7—32 doctors serve 5,000 patients this year.

1978
March—Ultrasound diagnostic unit added.

1980
Two new floors are added to the hospital.
There is a registered nurse shortage.

1981
Jan. 20—New emergency room is added.

1983
Sept. 21—Computed tomography (CT) mobile unit is added.

1985
New sports medicine clinic opens.
July 12—New emergency response center; Lifeline is added.

1986
Feb. 3—CT unit scanner is added.
Sept. 17—New mammogram unit is installed.

1987
March—Hospital acquires a new Surgilaser.

1988
Hospital opens new birthing suites.
Oct. 6—Psychiatric unit opens.

1989
Nov. 25—One of four new operating rooms opens.

1991
Cardiac rehabilitation is added.

1993
First chaplain of the hospital begins.

1995
Construction begins on $5.455 million project for a new assisted living facility on the Lake Region Healthcare campus.

1996
Oct. 1—Mill Street Residence, an assisted living facility, opened its doors.

1998
Feb. 10—Plans for expansion begin. Lake Region Medical Corporation

1999
Feb. 25—Operating room and ambulatory surgery area are added.

2002
June—$7.5 million in renovations begin.

2003
September—Landmark is completed on medical campus.

2004
Center for Rehabilitation 14-bed unit is built.
Physical Medicine Department expands.
Birthing Suite is relocated and updated.
Bridgeway Inpatient Psychiatric is relocated and expanded from nine to 14 beds.
Radiology department replaces its CT scan, special fluoroscopy and nuclear medicine equipment.
New interventional radiology suite is installed.

2005
Internet connectivity, including wireless, is now available.
Land purchased for $672,000 for new clinic building in Ashby.
August—Construction begins for a mobile scanner pad and a helipad.
December—$5.2 million expansion and renovation project in the emergency and radiology departments begins.

2006
Center for Rehabilitation and SameDay Surgery projects begin.
October—Construction of the $2 million Mehl Center begins.
November—New storage building on Mill Street is completed.

2007
January—$579,000 helipad project completed.
December—Center for Rehabilitation and SameDay Surgery projects completed.

2008
January—Expansion of the emergency department by four additional treatment rooms and a new double-ambulance-bay garage completed.
March—Radiology extensive renovation project is completed, including most rooms being enlarged and the addition of an interventional radiological suite and mammography suite. All patient dressing areas and restrooms were enlarged and a waiting room was relocated to be more convenient.
April—Public dedication of Mehl Center, including celebration of opening the Athletic Republic, takes place.
June—Lake Region Healthcare and the Lake Region Healthcare Foundation launch the first capital campaign in approximately 35 years to construct a $9.6 million comprehensive cancer care center. The 15,000-square-foot cancer center will be built on the south portion of the Lake Region Healthcare campus. It is scheduled to open in late 2009 and, when completed, will consolidate existing services and provide expanded comprehensive cancer care services, including radiation, to our patients.
July—Pharmacy remodel is completed.

2010
The Cancer Care & Research Center opens on the south end of our campus. Cancer Center

2012
February: A new Walk-In Clinic opens on the west side of town to offer extended hours and no-appointment access.

September: Phatty Nattie's Group Fitness Facility joins Lake Region Healthcare and opens a new workout studio in the lower level of the Cancer Care & Research Center as part of the organization's ongoing commitment to wellness and preventive health care. 

2013
January: The second floor of the hospital is remodeled for the opening of a new Orthopedic Joint Care Center, offering a comprehensive joint replacement and rehabilitation program.

May: Ground is broken on "Lake Region Takes Root" - a community garden and local food initiative on Kennedy Park Circle in Fergus Falls.  A 1.5 acre parcel of land was donated to Lake Region Healthcare and will be used to grow and distribute foods for families having difficulty accessing healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. 

2014
May: Lake Region Home Medical Supply Store opens on West Lincoln Ave. The retail store is a partnership between LRH and Rice Home Medical in Willmar, MN.

September: Ground is broken for a new main Clinic on West Vernon Ave. The 80,000 square foot building is scheduled to open in late 2015 with a temporary entrance and parking lot. Final demolition & completion of parking areas will occur in mid-2016.

September: Dr. Owen Thompson of the Barnesville Area Clinic announced the merger of his clinic with Lake Region Healthcare. Barnesville is now the fourth outreach location for LRH in addition to the clinics in Ashby, Battle Lake, and the Elbow Lake Eye Clinic.  

2015
Lake Region Healthcare and Prairie Ridge Hospital & Health Services (PRHHS) in Elbow Lake
announced the two health care systems will integrate effective Janauary 1, 2015. 

Cardiology Services are expanded with the addition of a full time cardiologist, Dr. JoEllen Kohlman Petrick.

LRH CEO Larry Schulz is honored by the Minnesota Hospital Association with the Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award. Schulz was also named by Gov. Mark Dayton as one of 11 appointees to a task force, which was created through legislation earlier this year to tackle questions about financing and operating the state’s health care programs including MNsure and MinnesotaCare.

Lawrence Blue was named CEO at Prairie Ridge Hospital & Health Services.  

Lucia Anderson, MBA, BSN, RN, was named Chief Operating Officer in addition to her role as Chief Nursing Officer for the organization. 

Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) and Dave Gaustad of 20/20 Optical announced a purchase agreement effective September 1, 2015 for LRH to acquire the optical shop that has operated from a leased space at LRH for nearly 2 decades.   

Doors opened on the new 30-million dollar 80,000 square foot state of the art clinic building on time and on budget on December 14th, 2015.

2016

Lake Region Healthcare’s Community Garden, “Lake Region Takes Root” was among the innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health care honored by The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA)Last year, in it's 3rd year, the garden produced 7,781 pounds of food, impacting 3,500 individuals in the community by donating the food to the Otter Tail County Women Infant & Children program and three area food shelves.

 

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