At United Hospital District, we are committed to care and committed to you.
Although United Hospital District (UHD) has been in existence as a district hospital under Minnesota statutes since 1966, the history of the organization has been traced back as far as 1886, when Blue Earth’s first recorded hospital, Smart Hospital, was opened by Dr. G.I. Smart in his home on the corner of Moore and E. 6th streets. The building had been purchased for $600.00.
Most recently, UHD completed a 13-month, $7.1 million renovation project, which improved almost 14,000 square feet of space and updated aging HVAC equipment. Largely focused on the Emergency Department and main lobby, several other areas of the hospital were additionally expanded and/or updated, including the Blue Earth Clinic, Cafeteria, Chapel, Gift Shop and hospital Pharmacy. An Open House celebration was held on February 29, 2020 and the hospital now stands updated and well prepared to serve the changing needs of the community.
Here’s a look back at UHD’s history:
In 1966, legislators in Minnesota created special taxing districts for the formation of hospital districts. United Hospital District, “…a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Minnesota under Minnesota Statute #447.31…” was created out of this legislation on December 12, 1966, and ownership was transferred from the City of Blue Earth to the special district on January 25, 1967. The original district was comprised of 14 communities and townships within Faribault County. In addition to the Blue Earth campus, an existing hospital in Winnebago was also part of the newly formed district.
1968: The new Governing Board determined an expansion was necessary at the Blue Earth location and property adjacent to the existing location was cleared for this expansion in the summer of 1968.
1971: Construction was completed and an open house for the new hospital building was held in January 1971. Just before the open house, UHD received its first successful accreditation by the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation, an accreditation UHD continues to hold.
1977: The Winnebago hospital site was closed on August 3, 1977, and both the Village of Winnebago and City of Winnebago subsequently withdrew from the District on February 29, 1980.
1981: On November 14, 1981, the Winnebago facility reopened as Fountain Lake Adolescent Treatment Center.
1982-84: Meanwhile, the Blue Earth facility continued to expand and groundbreaking for additional patient care areas, including a new special care unit, was held in November 1982, with an open house for the new addition two years later in October 1984.
1990-93: Fundraising for hospital activities was given a boost in 1990 with the formation of the UHD Foundation in June. Expansion of services continued in March of 1993 with a dedication ceremony for UHD’s first in-house CT unit.
1999: Major renovation of the facilities Emergency Room, Outpatient Services, and Rehab Therapy areas and the addition of a new Same Day Surgery center commenced with a groundbreaking in July 1999.
2000: The open house for the completion of this project was held in October 2000. Final cost: $4.2 million.
2003: Another renovation effort begins, focusing on UHD’s inpatient room, laboratory, and the addition of a third operation room. Ground breaking occurs in April, with an estimated cost of $4.1 million.
2009: Groundbreaking for the clinic and hospital expansion/renovation took place on September 15, 2009. The newly consolidated facility allowed all UHD providers to offer their services in one, easily accessible location. It also provided updated spaces for medical imaging, laboratory and food services enhancing your care experience.
2013-15: UHD establishes 501(c)3 status with the IRS and develops governance for UHD, Inc. board. The UHD, Inc. board, comprised of 13 UHD members, holds its first meeting in September 2013. In 2014, UHD signs a lease transferring the operation and assets to UHD, Inc. effective January 1, 2015 to begin operation as a Minnesota non-profit corporation.
2016: In April, UHD, Inc. opens the Fairmont Clinic location.
2018: UHD, Inc. purchases Smart Clinic of Fairmont in June. In December, construction begins on the Emergency Department and lobby renovation project at the Blue Earth facility. The primary objective for reconfiguring and expanding the ED and trauma rooms is to provide improved security and safety for patients, family members and staff.
2020: An Open House celebration was held on Leap Day, February 29, 2020 marking the completion and unveiling of the Emergency Department Renovation Project. Final cost: $7.1 million.