History of McKee Medical Center
The first hospital in Loveland was Sutherland Hospital established in 1896 by W. P. Sutherland, MD, in his home on 6th and Grant. His screened-in porch was turned into an operating room. The First United Methodist Church now stands on this site. In 1917, Dr. Sutherland passed away and a group of physicians leased and maintained the hospital until 1929.
Site of the new hospital, circa 1973
Hospital begins to take shape
Legacy Project wing, circa 2005
In 1929, William Gasser, MD, established a 10 to 14-bed hospital known as Loveland Hospital. This hospital was in existence until 1947. From 1947 to 1951 Loveland had no local hospital.
In 1945, the Loveland Elks Lodge contributed $50,000 to start a drive to raise funds to build a new hospital in Loveland. The people of Loveland approved new bonds to build a hospital. However, the Colorado State Hospital Advisory Board said a hospital in Loveland was not a high enough priority to receive funds through the Hill Burton Act, a federal program to help build hospitals in rural areas A Loveland group, including attorney Conrad Ball, gained the support of Gov. William Lee Knaus for a hearing before the State Board of Health. That hearing led to the approval of federal funds.
Discussion occurred as to who and how the hospital would be operated. Elks Lodge representatives met with the city council and proposed that the city lead efforts to develop, manage and operate the hospital as city-owned property.
After considerable discussion, the city decided against it, saying a hospital's operations should not be affected by changes in city personnel due to elections, etc. The city therefore declined the $50,000 offered by the Elks.
A committee was organized to work with the Elks Lodge and the city council to obtain a hospital. The committee called chambers of commerce in towns where other Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society hospitals were located. Upon completion of their research, Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society of Fargo, N.D. was selected to participate in building a new facility in Loveland. The 42-bed, 35,300-square-foot hospital was a lease arrangement, and was completed and opened Nov. 25, 1951. The location was Douglas and 8th Street. Over the next several decades, the hospital provided services to an ever-expanding population. In 1968 the Loveland Memorial Hospital District was formed to take the responsibility of the hospital from the city of Loveland and shift it to the district.
During this time, local farmer Thomas McKee was a patient in the aging, crowded hospital. He recognized a need and donated 29.5 acres of his farm for a new health care facility. In 1973, Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society agreed to build a new facility on the property donated by Tom McKee.
In 1976, McKee Medical Center opened for business. McKee opened with 80 beds at 94,355 square feet, and began operations shortly before the Big Thompson Flood. During the aftermath of the flood, McKee received hundreds of patients and the new facility faced its first disaster. The new building proved to be the town’s greatest asset.
McKee has experienced a number of expansions through the years:
- 1981 - Expansion of the Boiler Room/Addition of second and third floor - C Wing
- 1982 - Expansion of Medical Imaging
- 1990 - McKee Conference and Wellness Center/Medical Imaging expansion
- 1991 - Emergency Department
- 1993 - Medical Office Building – first and second floors
- 1994 - Surgery expansion
- 1995 - MRI building
- 1998 - Surgery expansion
- 2001 - Medical Office Building – third and fourth floors
- 2002 - Cancer Center
- 2003 - Records storage
- 2005 - Legacy Phase I – OB/Telemetry/Materials Management/Surgery
- 2007 - Emergency Department/Lab/Pharmacy
In 1999, Lutheran Health Systems and Samaritan Health System merged, and created Banner Health, the largest nonprofit, non-religious affiliated, multistate health system. Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Banner Health has 23 hospitals and other facilities that offer an array of services including hospital care, home care, hospice care, nursing registries, surgery centers, laboratories, and rehabilitation centers. These facilities are located in six Western states and one Midwestern state.
As of 2011, McKee Medical Center has 132 licensed beds at 421,972 square feet, and boasts a variety of services including Cardiovascular, Level III Trauma, Emergency Services, Surgical, Robotic Surgery, Clinical Laboratory, Nutrition Services, Medical Imaging, Digital Mammography, Care Coordination, Wellness Services, Women’s Services, Transitional Care, and a comprehensive Cancer Center.