History of Cass County Memorial Hospital ──────────

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────────── History of Cass County Memorial Hospital ──────────

Cass County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) had its beginning in 1903 in a large frame house at the corner of East 5th and Oak Streets in Atlantic. This former residence was converted into a ten-bed facility and named the Atlantic Hospital. Sixteen more rooms were added to this original building before it was torn down in 1916 to be replaced by a new brick structure.

A section of the new hospital served as a nurses' residence until 1922, when the house just south of the hospital was purchased as a dorm for the nurses. Students, who were being trained in the nursing school operated by the hospital, were also housed in this residence. The hospital during this period had 42 beds, composed of private, semi-private, and three- and four-bed wards.
By the early 1950s it was apparent that to give proper health care to the community, expanded services and facilities were needed. A community-wide drive was successfully conducted to secure funds for this project. When the new wing was opened for occupancy in September of 1954, patient beds had been increased by 30, making a total of 72 beds. New x-ray, lab, and surgical equipment were installed and the hospital gained a new name: the Atlantic Memorial Hospital.
In the following years, new medical techniques were developed, equipment became more sophisticated, and new medical professions came into being. The hospital on East 5th Street, following these same national trends, became increasingly crowded. It was time to enter a new era, the era of Cass County Memorial Hospital, which began with the construction of a 104-bed hospital located on the east edge of Atlantic. Built on a 25-acre site donated by the E. A. Kelloway family, the new building was completed in October, 1968. Monies for this project were obtained by a federal grant, a county bond issue, and gifts from the citizens of Cass County.
The first major expansion of Cass County Memorial Hospital began in the fall of 1974. It was necessary to enlarge many areas, particularly the ancillary departments, to accommodate a growing need within the hospital.
Once again, in 1982, it became necessary to expand CCMH and a certificate of need for a 1.5 million dollar expansion was approved by the State Department of Health. This expansion included enlarging the existing power plant and the relocation of medical records, the doctors' lounge and the home health care department - the space increase amounted to 13,500 square feet. The project was completed in 1984.
Also in 1984, the state approved the conversion of some acute care beds to skilled care, enabling the hospital to provide nursing care on an intermediate level between acute care and nursing home care. In the spring of 1988 a 16-bed Mental Health Unit was opened on the second floor, and the beds in the hospital were classified as 74 acute care, 10 skilled care and 16 psychiatric beds. In 1992, as the need for mental health services increased, plans were implemented to merge the Southwest Iowa Mental Health Center with the hospital in order to improve continuity of care for patients.
Throughout the 1980s, the number of outpatient clinics increased significantly and new diagnostic capabilities were added in the form of a mobile CT (computerized tomography) unit and a mobile MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) unit. New diagnostic doppler ultrasound equipment and a new mammography unit were also added to the Radiology department.
Construction began in May 1995 on an $8.6 million addition and renovation to the hospital. The project provided a medical office building for 12 physicians, outpatient clinic and surgical areas, and centralized rehab services. It also included extensive remodeling of the existing facility, including installation of an in-house CT scanner, to provide for more efficient and patient-friendly outpatient and ambulatory services. The project was completed in 1998.
In January 2000, CCMH became a charter member of the Cass County Health System (CCHS). The Health System charter members included CCMH, Southwest Iowa Mental Health Center, and Cass County Medical Clinics (Atlantic Medical Center and Eye Associates). Southwest Iowa Surgery joined Cass County Medical Clinics and CCHS in October 2004.
In 2005, CCMH became a Critical Access Hospital. With this designation, the number of licensed beds changed to 25 Critical Access Acute and Swing beds, 8 Distinct Behavioral Health beds, and 10 Distinct Skilled beds. The Atlantic Medical Center became a Rural Health Clinic in October 2007, making it a division of Cass County Memorial Hospital, and increasing CCMH total staff to 413.
CCMH is a member of VHA Mid-America, one of the 29 regional health care systems composing the nation-wide not-for-profit health care alliance, VHA.

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