On February 4, 1946, R.R. Wilson, a Grant County Pioneer, wrote a letter to the Board of County Commissioners offering $100,000.00 towards building a hospital in Ulysses.
In March 1946, the County Commissioners appointed a Board of Hospital Trustees. They included Verlan C. Phillips, chairman; Chas. Hickok, secretary; R.H. Joyce, Sr., treasurer, O.P. Williams and R. Fred Maxwell. In April of the same year, Dr. and Mrs. George Coffey donated a city block on North Main as a hospital site, and the Trustees retained an architect. In October 1947, petitions were prepared calling for a special election to vote a $100,000 bond issue for the hospital.
In November of 1948, the Trustees found the $200,000 would not be adequate to build a hospital. A campaign began to raise additional funds. The first big donation was received in September of 1948 when Columbian Carbon Company pledged $5,000 and an amateur show was organized to raise additional money.
A fund drive for the hospital was kicked off in December 1948 when 50 people met at the Crocker Theater. The group began the drive to raise $100,000. Pledges totaling $36,000 were raised by the end of the first week. Other donations followed.
In August 1949, a construction company from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which had been awarded the $227,088 contract for constructing a 24-bed hospital, began work. When the bond issue was actually prepared, the amount was reduced from $100,000 to $50,000 with money to be used to complete and equip the hospital.
In June of 1950, the County Commissioners leased the hospital to the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Catholic charitable corporation whose headquarters were in Wichita, Kansas. In January 1951, two Sisters, one of which was Sister Bernice, administrator, arrived in Ulysses to open the hospital with a staff of 12 employees and one physician, Dr. M.A. Brewer. On February 4, 1951, the open house and dedication was held.
By 1956, the 24-bed hospital was operating at a 99% capacity with months as high as 110%. Because of the constant increase of patients, a new addition which increased the number of beds from 24 to 37 was approved. The new addition opened in January of 1957.
By 1960, the hospital was serving an area extending as far as Springfield, Colorado.
By August 1961, the hospital had expanded to a staff of 42 employees. The patient load had expanded to the point of overcrowding by the beginning of 1965. The second week of February 1965, there were 48 patients including babies in the 37-bed facility with over 100 admissions a month. Discussion began for hospital expansion. There was some question of whether or not the county had the authority to float another bond issue at that time. But Bob Wilson’s estate provided a surprise by granting a further legacy of $25, 937.15 to be used for building purposes. In 1968, the facility increased in size from a 37-bed hospital to a 53-bed facility. It also included surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, emergency room and office facilities. Some minor renovation was also completed at that time.
In early part of 1967, the Sisters of St. Joseph made the decision to no longer manage Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital. The number of Sisters in the St. Joseph order had diminished forcing the Catholic organization to make a decision as to which hospitals they would continue to manage. The order made the difficult decision to withdraw from Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital.
In August of 1967, the Mennonite Board of Missions of Elkhart, Indiana assumed management responsibility. The ownership and operational structure of the hospital was as follows: The hospital was owned by the citizens of Grant County. Three county commissioners appointed the seven member-Grant County Board of Trustees who were responsible for the physical plant and equipment. The Mennonite Board of Missions, who acted in an advisory capacity to provide a service as a part of their mission role, appointed the eight members of the Local Board of Directors who were all members of the Mennonite Church except two at-large members. The Mennonite Board of Missions assisted the Board of Directors in the selection of the hospital administrator.
In 1986, the hospital was given the opportunity for its employees to opt out of Social Security and begin a program for the employees to invest their portion of the withholdings that would replace Social Security and the hospital’s contribution would be maintained at a percent of interest not to be invested.
The Mennonite Board of Missions continued to manage the hospital until 1987.
In 1987, The Board of Trustees elected to engage in a contract with Great Plains Health Alliance of Phillipsburg, Kansas to manage Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital. Therefore, the Mennonite Board of Missions local board was dissolved and the Board of Trustees assumed the responsibilities of the hospital.
In 1990, a $1,450,000 expansion and remodel was completed. This project included a new emergency room, remodel of the surgical lounges and dressing rooms, remodel of the basement to include a new conference room, storage room, and areas for physical therapy and respiratory therapy.
In 1992, the Board of Trustees made the decision to discontinue the contract with Great Plains Health Alliance for management responsibilities. The hospital elected not to have a management group manage the hospital at that time. However, in 1993, the Board of Trustees engaged in a contract with Epic Health Services. During a period of reorganization with Epic Health Services and other organizations, continued management service with Quorum Health Resources was continued.
In 1994, discussion between the Board of Trustees of Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital, the Board of Trustees of Western Prairie Care Home, and the County Commissioners centered on combining the two boards into one. After a number of meetings, the decision was made by the County Commissioners to form one board. The nine-member Health Services Board operated as trustees for both the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital and the Western Prairie Care Home. The Health Services Board was originally created to combine services such as purchasing, plant operations, environmental services, limited dietary services, accounting, and in turn save money.
Effective March 20, 1996, the Grant County Commissioners made the decision to split the Health Services Board into two separate boards; one for Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital and one for Western Prairie Care Home.
On May 1, 2000, the Ulysses Family Physician clinic opened to serve Grant County and surrounding areas. This rural health clinic is managed by the Board of Trustees of Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital.
On June 18, 2003, the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees voted not to continue the services of Quorum Health Services.
In January of 2002, discussions concerning the condition of the current infrastructure of the hospital building (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, etc.), the needed increase of space for current departments, and space for new services needed to continue to provide quality services, raised questions to determine if we would be better served by upgrading the current facility or building a new hospital.
Many discussions followed in the next several months weighing the pros and cons of remodeling and the building of a new structure. In March of 2003, it was the consensus of the Board to send letters of invitation to architectural firms for remodeling, building new, or a combination of both.
A task force comprised of community members, medical staff, employees, administration, and the hospital board began developing the direction of the new facility. Input from all of the departments was brought forward to be included in the new plans.
After many interviews with a number of architects, the Board of Trustees elected Leo A. Daly as the architect. A budget of $24,000,000 was set for the new 26 bed facility. On November 7, 2006, a government obligation bond in the amount of $19,500,000 was presented to the community. The community supported having a quality healthcare system in Grant County by passing the bond.
On May 5, 2008, a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held. The facility was completed in July 2010.
On February 1, 2016, Bob Wilson Memorial and Centura Health entered a management agreement making it the second Kansas hospital in the Centura system. The hospital and clinic is staffed with associates who provide excellent patient care in Grant County as well as surrounding areas.
Bob Wilson Memorial Grant Hospital is a 26-bed facility serving the community since 1951 with a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including: Case management, CT Scan, Diabetic Education, Dietary Consult, EEG/EKG, Emergency Care, Laboratory, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Obstetrics (prenatal, postpartum, delivery), Primary and Specialty Clinic, Physical Therapy, Radiology, Respiratory Therapy, Surgery, swing beds and ultrasound.
This website offers a variety of information regarding our hospital, clinic, services, and employment opportunities. We are committed to providing the best healthcare services. If you have any suggestions regarding how we might improve our services or this site, email us.