Van Diest Medical Center History
The first hospital in Hamilton County opened its doors to the public in 1903 and was located on a parcel of land, which today is at the corner of Des Moines and Ohio Streets in Webster City, Iowa. St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital of Dubuque and the Sisters of Mercy operated the facility until 1927, when it was apparent that a new, modern structure was needed. The sisters later abandoned the hospital and it was torn down in 1930.
Just one year later, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors ordered an election on a bond issue to build a hospital. The bond issue passed and the county named the first hospital board. The new hospital would be constructed to care for 28 patients. This county-wide effort resulted in the hospital becoming Hamilton County Public Hospital with the new building constructed on a three-acre tract, just west of the original building.
The hospital saw an expansion in the 1950s, with another occurring in 1977. It was shortly before this time in 1972, that the Hamilton County Hospital Auxiliary was formed. In 1989, the hospital broke ground again, adding 20 private patient rooms and joining the 1950s addition together with the new 1989 addition.
In 2008, local business owners Bob and Mary Van Diest pledged and donated 10 million dollars toward the building of a new replacement facility. With construction completed in 2010, the new hospital opened as Hamilton County Public Hospital d/b/a Van Diest Medical Center in its new location at 2350 Hospital Drive, just east of the Hamilton County Courthouse. The hospital is certified by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and is federally-accredited as a Critical Access Hospital, licensed for 25 patient beds, and employing approximately 255 people.
The hospital underwent its most recent building project when it received another generous donation of three million dollars from Bob and Mary Van Diest to construct a new medical clinic. Attached and located north of the hospital, Van Diest Family Health Clinic opened its doors in 2016. In October of the same year, the hospital merged with Webster City Medical Clinic, acquiring approximately 45 new staff members including physicians and advanced level practitioners to complete our care team at Van Diest Medical Center. The hospital also has Family Health Clinics located in Jewell, Stratford and Fort Dodge, Iowa.