In the years leading up to 1922, several attempts to open a hospital in Kittson County were made, and ultimately failed. In 1919, Dr. A.W. Shaleen led the cause to build a hospital. He was able to rally approximately 500 spirited townspeople and the “G.A. Norberg” American Legion Post of Hallock to encourage the use of funds authorized by the State Legislature for a memorial to honor the soldiers of World War I. Finally, on March 27, 1922, Kittson War Veterans Memorial Hospital opened its doors. The original facility served the area for 36 years before an opportunity to expand to accommodate the needs of the community presented itself.
The ownership of the old hospital building was transferred to the County to be used as a Nursing Home and the hospital was opened in the location that it stands today. The facility was consistently crowded and it was decided that extra care for elderly patients was necessary. In 1968, a 40 bed Skilled Nursing Care Unit was opened to assist in this area of need. As the years progressed, there became even more need for space in the facility. In 1981, a new 55 bed Intermediate Care Facility was opened, and many people who had been waiting for rooms were able to be admitted.
Area needs were still needing to be met, and in 2000, a new medical clinic was opened to provide primary care services to the community. Finally, in 2007, an 8 unit assisted living facility was opened. As major renovations have come to an end within the facility over the past few years, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to improve.
Throughout the history of the organization, the purpose has remained the same since its opening. A quote taken from the dedication of the organization in 1922 states the same thoughts we have today, “Since a community hospital is today an essential institution, a first class hospital is naturally a credit to a city and community. Moreover, the presence in a community of a well-managed and well-equipped hospital with its high standards of sanitation, its thoroughly modern methods, its competent physicians and surgeons, and its near and capable staff of nurses does more than merely minister to the ills and ailments of humanity; its presence and atmosphere have a psychological effect which tends to instill courage and faith in the hearts and minds of the people of the community and by its concrete example of practice of the social virtues of fellowship and mercy and by its efficiency elevate the standards of life generally.”
Over time, things change. Names have changed. Locations have changed. People have changed. However, the purpose of this organization has always been the same. Kittson Healthcare is here to serve our communities. They are family, neighbors, teachers, and community members, and will always be our number one priority.