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For your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health & Well-being - August 2003

Allen Memorial Hospital

“Dreams Really Do Come True!”

Allen Memorial Hospital – The Past
The early settlers, who came into Grand County in 1880, were without the services of a doctor. From 1884 until 1897, Mrs. Gillie Ann Haze Brack, familiarly known as “Grandma Brack” performed the functions of nurse and lay doctor. In 1897 Dr. J. W. Williams arrived from Ordway, Colorado. From his arrival until his retirement in 1919, Dr. Williams served as Doctor and Druggist for both Grand and San Juan Counties, an area which he covered on horseback and for which he was paid the sum of $150 per year. In 1919, the Moab Hospital Company was incorporated with a capital sum of $5,000 to build a hospital.

In the spring of 1920, after service in the armed forces during World War I, Dr. I. W. Allen arrived in Moab to start his medical career which was to become a 28 year span of service to the community. He was appointed County Physician at a salary of $100.00 per month, which position he held until he retired in 1948.

The discovery of Uranium in Grand County brought with it the realization that a larger and more completely equipped hospital was urgently needed to serve the increased populations.

Allen Memorial Hospital opened its doors “Dedicated to the service of Humanity” in 1957. Named for Dr. Allen in honor of the 28 years he gave to providing quality medical care for the citizens of the region, the new Allen Memorial Hospital was built at a cost of $625,000.

The building housed a truly state of the art health care facility. The hospital included 10 maternity beds, 2 labor beds, 1 delivery room, 1 emergency room, an isolation suite, and 23 “nursing unit” beds. The Medical Staff consisted of Dr. Ekren, Dr. Mayberry, Dr. Munsey, and Dr. Goon. In December of 1957, Allen Memorial Hospital was named the Modern Hospital of the Month, by The Modern Hospital Publishing Company, “for excellence of architectural design, functional planning, economy of construction and operation, and proper provision for hospital needs of the community.”

Allen Memorial Hospital – the Present
Today, Allen Memorial Hospital has a full Emergency Suite, 2 birthing rooms, 10 acute beds, and 14 long term beds plus Grand County Hospice. We have a permanent Medical Staff of 8 along with the services of about a dozen visiting specialists.

The Hospital has undergone a number of expansions over the years allowing us to offer CT Scanner Services, MRI services, Mammography, Ultrasound, Cardiac Treadmill testing and Echocardiograms. The emergency room has physician coverage 24/7. Acute and rehabilitation services include physical therapy, respiratory therapy, nutritional therapy and full diagnostic laboratory services. General Surgery and Obstetrics are busy departments within the hospital and the extended care wing is home to 14 of our older citizens whose health makes it impossible for them to remain in their homes.

Allen Memorial Hospital - The future
The time has come again to replace the hospital in Moab. In May of this year, the Board of Directors of Moab Valley Healthcare, Inc., the hospital’s governing body, officially gave identity to Moab Regional Medical Center.

A dream of this community for years, the new hospital is rapidly becoming a reality. In June, Moab Valley Healthcare, Inc. officially purchased the hospital’s new home, 12.23 acres of land bordering William’s Way, from the Grand County Hospital Service District.

A fundraising campaign was launched on June 18th. With the assistance of Rural Health Management who provides management services to the hospital, work has begun on the extensive application process for HUD 242 funding to cover the bulk of the construction. Total cost of the project, which will include a professional building, is projected to be $14,000,000. HUD funds are expected to cover about $9,500,000. The remaining funding will be sought from local participation and grant funding. Funds have already been raised from local private donors and area foundations for the purchase of the land.

In July, the Board of Director’s selected JGA Architects, Engineers, Planners, to design the facility.

Initial meetings of the design team with hospital and community representatives have already begun. “We expect to be in the new facility by late Spring of 2006”, stated hospital CEO, Marla Shelby-Drabner.

The new building is not the only exciting change coming to our community. Plans are currently being finalized for the opening of an Internal Medicine practice and we are in the final stages of recruitment for an orthopedic surgeon. With the demographics of our community and the ever increasing popularity of Moab for the outdoor adventurers, we feel a need to make these services available right here in Moab.

The campaign theme of “Dreams Really Do Come True” was chosen because this new facility has been a community dream and it is coming true.

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