The Boone County Health Center has a proud 70-year history of serving the seven rural counties of Boone, Antelope, Greeley, Nance, Wheeler and western Madison and Platte Counties in northeast Nebraska.
The hospital was initially secured by a committee to investigate the possibility of a county hospital in 1946. As a result of the committee’s efforts to inform the citizens of Boone County of the need for a hospital, a vote was held on June 14, 1946 and was given the go ahead by a vote of 1554 to 703.
Fundraising efforts began with a benefit dance organized by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Albion. These funds were donated to the county funding and the hospital officially began with $100,000 designated by the County Board to building a county hospital. These funds were only to cover the building of the hospital and not for equipment or salaries.
Bids were taken the week of November 3, 1947. However, the bids were over the allocated amount and no action was taken at the next county board meeting. Investigation by the board of trustees in Lincoln on Friday, December 5th revealed the probability for hospital aid and officials advised the hospital committee that Boone County ranked third on the State priority list for hospitals.
On July 29, 1948, federal approval of the Boone County Hospital project was given and on August 9th, the county board was given the go ahead. Actual construction work on the project began on October 25th, 1948. County wide donations to furnish the hospital also began to be received. The drive for hospital funds went over the top on Wednesday, January 11, 1950 after a year of fundraising.
The hospital was finished and an Open House held on February 12, 1950. Despite blizzard conditions more than 1,000 people attended the Open House. The Hospital opened and began accepting patients on March 1, 1950.
During its first year of operation the hospital admitted 71 patients and delivered 47 babies. The average patient stay was 6 days and 18 surgeries were performed. Thirteen medical staff were credentialed and the hospital had a staff of four nurses, four nurse’s aides, two cooks and one front office staff.
Over the course of 70 years, the hospital has had twelve building projects. In recent years, these major projects have transformed an aging structure into a progressive acute care facility highly valued by the six counties it serves. All of these projects not only significantly upgraded the entire facility but were completed without levying any bonds.
Today, the Boone County Health Center is a critical access hospital offering 25 private rooms including a bariatric suite, a new OB wing with two spacious obstetrical suites, and an additional post partum room that can double as a labor, delivery and recovery room, a secure nursery, conveniently located next to the new surgery wing with eight glass-enclosed peri and post-op surgery bays and consultation room, and a large central hub workstation for medical providers and nursing staff. The hospital is supported by a modern radiology department complete with MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, 3-D/4-D ultrasound and nuclear medicine equipment. Laboratory services have kept pace with the growth and BCHC medical technologists now have the capacity to perform a large test menu with quick turnaround times.
Currently, seven family practice physicians, six physician-assistants and two nurse practitioners staff the Health Center and five medical clinics. The Health Center employs over 300 individuals drawn from the service area.