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the history of Ivinson

Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal has had quite a his­to­ry, but pri­or to its estab­lish­ment, health­care in Albany Coun­ty was pio­neered by var­i­ous enti­ties includ­ing the Union Pacif­ic Rail­road and the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary. Homes of physi­cians and nurs­es were even sites of small med­ical facil­i­ties dur­ing the late 1800’s and ear­ly 1900’s. 

Gertrude Gould, a for­mer Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal board mem­ber, wrote a book called His­to­ry of Health and Hos­pi­tals in Albany Coun­ty, Wyoming”, which traced steps of var­i­ous health­care insti­tu­tions that even­tu­al­ly led to Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal’s estab­lish­ment in 1917.

Gould’s his­tor­i­cal account begins in 1868 when the first known hos­pi­tal was cre­at­ed at Fort Sanders. Sur­viv­ing 16 years, Fort Sanders’ hos­pi­tal was pri­mar­i­ly meant for mil­i­tary per­son­nel and was aban­doned in 1882 when the fort shut down.

Anoth­er hos­pi­tal, ini­ti­at­ed by the Union Pacif­ic Rail­road, was locat­ed on the west side of Laramie near what is now Fre­mont Street and oper­at­ed dur­ing the same time peri­od as Fort Sanders. This hos­pi­tal is esti­mat­ed to have closed in 1871 as rail­road con­struc­tion con­tin­ued west­ward.

A marked evo­lu­tion­ary change in health­care occurred in 1883 when the Catholic Sis­ters of Char­i­ty came from Cheyenne deter­mined to build a hos­pi­tal in Laramie. Suc­cess­ful in their endeav­or, St. Joseph’s hos­pi­tal was erect­ed through tire­less fundrais­ing and an appro­pri­a­tion from the Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Leg­is­la­ture. The Albany Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers paid the hos­pi­tal for ser­vices pro­vid­ed to patients unable to pay. How­ev­er, finan­cial hard­ships final­ly led to St. Joseph’s demise in 1895. Pri­or to being torn down, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming used this build­ing under the name of Tal­bott Hall.

Dur­ing the ear­ly 1890’s, the Albany Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers start­ed pro­vid­ing health­care to the poor and indi­gent with the devel­op­ment of a poor farm” that even­tu­al­ly evolved into the Coun­ty Hos­pi­tal. Pri­mar­i­ly serv­ing pau­pers, Coun­ty Hos­pi­tal stayed in com­mis­sion until 1950 when Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal took over con­trol. It was com­plete­ly closed in 1965 when its ser­vices were no longer nec­es­sary.

Fol­low­ing the down­fall of St. Joseph’s, sev­er­al hos­pi­tals sur­faced through­out Laramie in dif­fer­ent homes of physi­cians and nurs­es. The McCor­ma­ck Hos­pi­tal, which was locat­ed at 465 N. Fifth, is one of the homes still stand­ing today. Oth­er home hos­pi­tals includ­ed the Lawrence Hos­pi­tal where City Hall cur­rent­ly stands; the Northrup Hos­pi­tal in a home still locat­ed at 619 S. Fifth Street; the Hor­ton­stein Hos­pi­tal at 407 S. Fifth Street; and the Grand Avenue Hos­pi­tal at 603 Grand.

Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal was con­struct­ed in 1917 and was first locat­ed at 10th and Ivin­son Avenue (at the time this road was known as Thorn­burgh), which is cur­rent­ly home to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Police Depart­ment. Real­iz­ing the need for expan­sion, cit­i­zens of Laramie vot­ed in 1968 to devel­op a hos­pi­tal dis­trict to aid in fund­ing con­struc­tion for a new build­ing for Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal. The hos­pi­tal’s new build­ing was com­plet­ed in 1973 at its cur­rent loca­tion of 255 North 30th Street.

Over the past 45 years, Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal has improved the care it pro­vides Laramie res­i­dents expo­nen­tial­ly. Expan­sions to the the 30th street facil­i­ty have includ­ed the con­struc­tion of the Mered­ith and Jean­nie Ray Can­cer Cen­ter, as well as the addi­tion of a med­ical office build­ing for out­pa­tient ser­vices and vis­it­ing providers.

In 2014, IMH cel­e­brat­ed the com­ple­tion of one of the largest cap­i­tal projects in the his­to­ry of the hos­pi­tal. An expan­sion (which took less than two years to com­plete) added 30 new patient rooms, a new 9‑chair dial­y­sis unit, 3 state-of-the-art oper­at­ing rooms, and an updat­ed lob­by and cafeteria.

A short while there­after, the deci­sion was made to re-imag­ine the exist­ing med­ical office build­ing at IMH. By 2017, the new Med­ical Offices at Ivin­son were offi­cial­ly opened to the pub­lic. The build­ing fea­tures 35 exam­i­na­tion rooms, 3 pro­ce­dur­al rooms and a new park­ing garage that adds 52 addi­tion­al park­ing spaces to our cam­pus. This expan­sion makes it pos­si­ble for all Ivin­son Med­ical Group providers and vis­it­ing providers to prac­tice in one cen­tral location.

The open­ing of the new med­ical office build­ing coin­cid­ed with the addi­tion of sev­er­al new pieces of tech­nol­o­gy to the hos­pi­tal, as well as the Hospital’s 100th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. Tech­nol­o­gy added to the hos­pi­tal includ­ed a new 64-slice CT machine, a 3D mam­mog­ra­phy machine, and the addi­tion of the new DaVin­ci Sur­gi­cal robot.