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Our History

More than 130 years of Compassionate Care

The initial authority for construction of the “Miners’ Hospital” was included in 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. Included in that was a 30,000-acre tract designated as the “Miners’ Land Grant,” 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 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.

an old two story building, the original hospital

The Day of All Days

On December 2, 1893, dedication ceremonies were held with the Masons of Rock Springs Lodge No. 12 placing the cornerstone.

A Dec. 7, 1893, story in the Rock Springs Miner reported:

“A day of suspension from labor and rejoicing. The corner stone of the Miners’ Hospital laid with ceremony in the presence of a large number of people.

“Saturday, the 2nd day of December, was the day of all days in Rock Springs. Former events of great importance dwarfed into insignificance when compared with the magnitude of Saturday’s achievements. Nothing has ever occurred in this city that can compare with it in bringing forth good results to mankind. Our citizens were a unit in appropriately celebrating the laying of the corner stone of the Miners’ Hospital and from far and near came visitors to share in our triumph. The entire city was in holiday attire, bunting and evergreens being the principal decorations.”

In January 1895, revised statues changed the name of the hospital from the Wyoming State Miners’ Hospital to the Wyoming General Hospital.

The original building was destroyed by fire Jan. 4, 1897. While the building burned to the ground, all of the patients were rescued and transferred to the second floor of the City Hall building, which now houses Rock Springs Historical Museum. The hospital was rebuilt on the same foundation and reopened in 1898. old photo of hospital fire

In 1901, a one-story nurses' dormitory was built adjacent to the hospital. It 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 an 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.

In 1973, the county approved a $5.5 million bond issue for a new facility.

On May 5, 1978, the old hospital closed its doors and the new $13 million Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County admitted its first patient.

The transfer of patients began at 8 a.m. during one of the heaviest snowfalls of the season. It included 25 patients, including one woman in labor and one paralyzed patient who had to be transferred in a moving van to accommodate all of the special equipment.

main hospital

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.

A 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.

The Specialty Clinics of Sweetwater Memorial

In 2014, a new building was erected to house MHSC’s numerous Specialty Clinics. The 80,000-square-foot building totals four floors. exterior of specialty clinic building with mountains in the background

It includes the services of the hospital’s employed medical practice that provides: Obstetrics and Women's Health, Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Otolaryngology (ear, nose, & throat), Urology, Nephrology, Neurology, and Pulmonology.

The building also features expanded services such as Rehabilitation services (physical, occupational and speech therapy), Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Sweetwater Sleep Center and the 8-chair Sweetwater Dialysis Center.

The showpiece of the building is the full-service Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center. This state-of-the-art center, designed by the Huntsman Cancer Institute, is the first of its kind in southwestern Wyoming. It includes full-service Radiation Oncology and Hematology/Medical Oncology.

Family & Occupational Medicine

In June 2016, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County bought a former health center building at 3000 College Drive.

It officially opened its doors as a one-stop Family and Occupational Medicine Clinic on April 24, 2017. A ribbon-cutting ceremony followed two days later.

In March 2020, Sweetwater Walk-In Clinic opened its doors at the 3000 College Drive location.

The convenient location is just down the street from the hospital, and now serves as a one-stop medical facility for Family, Internal and Occupational Medicine.