Gundersen Moundview Hospital and Clinics originally opened in July 1959 as Adams County Memorial Hospital, following a ten-year effort to build a hospital. Plans initially began in 1949 when a group of citizens filed articles of incorporation and began distributing handouts to stimulate public support. Ultimately this attempt, and others in subsequent years, was unsuccessful.
In 1956 new interest stirred when B.P. Ingersoll, MD, offered to sell his clinic-hospital building with the intent of enlarging it into a 15-20 bed hospital. A new group of citizens met, elected Robert Roseberry as their chair, and began soliciting community support. Three months later, a donation of land by George and Mary Polivka made it possible to build a new hospital in Friendship rather than expand Dr. Ingersoll's building.
In 1957, Arthur Weihe, MD, relocated from Illinois to practice medicine in Adams County. He purchased Dr. Ingersoll's building and remodeled it into a clinic. Dr. Weihe was instrumental in raising funds for the new hospital. While waiting for it to be built, Dr. Weihe drove 40 miles daily to the nearest facility to visit his hospitalized patients.
Fundraising for the hospital intensified during the Village of Friendship's Centennial Celebration in 1957. Solicitors collected pledges throughout the county, local governments made contributions, and area organizations held fundraisers. The community raised 60% ($168,000) of the funds needed to build the hospital, with the remaining funds obtained through the federal government's Hill-Burton Act. Construction of the $280,000 hospital began in 1958.
As the building progressed, a group of women canvassed area organizations to recruit volunteers to paint, sew linens and drapes, and clean the floors and windows prior to the hospital opening. They also held fundraisers, including smorgasbords and ice cream socials. These volunteers formed the first Hospital Auxiliary (now Partners) under the direction of Marcia Weihe, Dr. Weihe's wife.
When the hospital opened in July 1959, it featured an inpatient ward, surgical suite, maternity ward, emergency room, laboratory, x-ray room, and support services. In 1960, Martin Janssen, MD, joined his father-in-law, Dr. Weihe, to practice at Roche-a-Cri Clinic and the new hospital. The two physicians were integral to the success of the hospital and clinic. They worked closely together, rotating call in the evenings with at least one of them available at all times. Dr. Weihe served as the hospital's first chief of staff until his retirement in 1977. Dr. Janssen then assumed the role, serving as chief of staff until 2008.
Through the years, the hospital has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the communities it serves. New technology and services have been added on a continuous basis. Building expansions were completed in 1965, 1978, 1996 and 2005. Coinciding with the 2005 expansion was a name change from Adams County Memorial to Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics.
In October 2017, Moundview Memorial joined forces with Gundersen Health System, a regional system based in La Crosse, to become Gundersen Moundview and enhance the level of services and quality provided in the communities we serve. Gundersen is known for its excellence, high quality standards and expertise in developing new services in rural areas, including primary and specialty care.
Through all of the changes at Gundersen Moundview, one thing remains constant: our commitment to provide the community with quality care, close to home.