Authority for the "Miners' Hospital"
The initial authority for construction of the "Miners' Hospital" was included within the Constitution for Wyoming when the territory was admitted to the Union on July 10, 1890. At that time, Wyoming was given various land grants by the federal government totaling 4 million acres of which a 30,000 acre tract, designated as the "Miners' Land Grant," was specifically set aside for the construction and operation of the "Miners' Hospital." In the 1892 general election, the people of Wyoming designated Rock Springs as the location of the new hospital. Following the vote, the first Wyoming Legislature appropriated a levy for the hospital and the Union Pacific Railway Company donated 15 acres of land to the state for the construction of the hospital.
Rock Springs is Chosen
Rock Springs was a particularly significant choice since it was located directly on the new transcontinental railroad, which linked the East and West coasts of the United States. Moreover, Rock Springs was a rich source of the clean, hot-burning coal necessary to fuel the powerful steam engines. Thus, mining built the foundation of what became Rock Springs and served as an important mining center in the United States well into the 20th century.
The Hospital Completed
On December 2, 1893, dedication ceremonies were held with the Masons of Rock Springs Lodge No. 12 placing the cornerstone. Within a year, the hospital was completed and officially opened as the Wyoming General Hospital. In 1901, a one-story nurses' dormitory was built adjacent to the hospital and was remodeled in 1914 adding two additional stories. In 1932, a two-story masonry wing was added to the east. In 1940, a similar structure was added on the west.
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County
On January 1, 1948, by act of the 29th Wyoming Legislature, ownership
of the Wyoming General Hospital was transferred to Sweetwater County and the hospital officially became Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. The hospital moved to its current location on College Drive in 1973 when the county approved a $5.5 million bond issue for a new facility.
A New, Modern Facility
On May 7, 1978, the old hospital closed its doors and the new $13 million Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County admitted its first patient. In 1984, the Board of Trustees, the County Commissioners, and hospital officials broke ground for a $6.5 million expansion and renovation to provide ambulatory diagnostic facilities, which were completed and dedicated on October 11, 1985. Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County was officially rededicated on October 24, 1986.
Stepping into a New Era in Health Care
We have entered a new era in health care as our first large-scale renovation, completed in 2010, added approximately 54,000 square feet of new construction along with 64,000 square feet of existing space being renovated. Our second project, which was completed in 2014, is a new Medical Office Building & Physician Clinic. The building totals four floors and 80,000 square feet. It includes the services of the hospital’s employed medical practice that provides: obstetrics and women's health, family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, behavioral health, general surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, & throat), oral surgery, adult primary care, nephrology, critical care, addiction medicine, hematology/oncology, urology, sports medicine and orthopedics, and pulmonology. The Medical Office Building also features expanded services such as rehabilitation services (physical, occupational and speech therapy), dialysis and cardiopulmonary rehab. The anchor of this project is the new, full-service Cancer Treatment Center. This state-of-the-art center, designed by the Huntsman Cancer Institute, is the first of its kind in the southwestern Wyoming region.