About North Colorado Medical Center  

A History of Health Care in Northern Colorado



First Hospital

The Island Grove hospital was considered to be a "poor house"

1902:  The first county hospital was built in 1902 at Island Grove Park for the isolation of the contagiously ill and the care of the county indigent.  John Knutsen was the first superintendent and his wife, Emma, the nurse. Upon his retirement , Mrs. Knutsen was  appointed superintendent and held this position for 24 years.



On May 7, 1906 work began on Weld County's "for pay" facility on 16th Street and 11th Avenue.  This two-story building known the Greeley Hospital was the most modern, up-to-date, well-planned facility of its kind for that time. This building housed 30 beds, and one equipped operating room for surgical cases and maternity work.

Hospital in 1904 

The Greeley Hospital, 16th St. and 11th Ave.

In 1904, responsibility for operation of the hospital was accepted by the County Commissioners, and the name was changed to the Weld County Hospital to allow the care of the indigent.  



1912:  A pull-motor was purchased for the hospital and the cost was shared by both the city and the county. 

1914:  A reversed "L" with a a wing was added to the northwest end of the building (facing 11th Avenue) at a cost of $19,121. The Otis Elevator Company also installed a new elevator for $2,210.

1920: An addition to the north wing began which completed the structure in the shape of a "U".


1921: Remodeling began on the older sections of the structure to accommodate a refrigeration system.

1923:  An X-ray machine was presented to the hospital by Frank, Walter B. and George H. Lustalet, Frank and Anna Green, Grace Lustalet Hunter and Winifred Hamas Kett as a memorial to Anna Sterling. 


In 1930 Phoebe M. Kandel was empowered to purchase alcohol and granted control of all intoxicating liquors and narcotics in the hospital.


On Aug. 7, 1942 a public meeting was held at the Greeley Chamber of Commerce to discuss the need for greater hospital facilities.  The Weld County Hospital was in need or reorganization and had been removed from Accreditation by the American College of Surgeon (the organization that evaluated the professional competency of hospitals in the United States and Canada.) Officials realized that a new building would be needed for more X-ray equipment, beds, laboratory areas, and space for ancillary services.


1943: A basic act of the State Legislature known as Chapter 110, 1943 Sessions was passed to enable a long range plan for community-hospital building and control by a continuing board of trustees, non-political and non-medical leaders appointed by the County Commissioners with five-year overlapping terms.

In 1944 The County Commissioners appointed the first seven-member Board of Trustees to serve five over lapping terms. None of the members received compensation. The Board sought to create standards and controls that would secure accreditation as a Class "A" hospital by the American College of Surgeons. 

Groundbreaking of new facility

1947 groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital, 16th St. and 16th Ave.

Specialists in pathology, radiology, and anesthesiology were needed as well as improved surgical and infant care facilities. Regulations and procedures for patient care and nursing conduct were established. The board also hired consultants who recommended a new 338-bed hospital to be built.


North Colorado Medical Center, 1952.

Entrance in 1950s

View of the entrance in the 1950s 

Nurses in 1966

On March 8, 1945 a 15.8 acre site at the southeast corner of the Green Farm (16th Street and 16th Avenue) was purchased for the new facility. 

A new 220-bed, $3.25 million facility opened. Nov. 9, 1952, it was financed through bond issues. Seventy patients were transferred from the old 11th Avenue facility and 52 from Island Grove. The 11th Avenue hospital became the Weld County Nursing Home and the park branch eventually became office space, and an alcohol treatment center, and finally was abandoned in 1989 until it was burned in 1998 as a training exercise to make room for the park's new community building.

1957:  Mead Hall was constructed on the northwest corner of the hospital to be used as a nurse dormitory.

1965:  Work was completed on the fifth floor of the north wing

1975:  The first phase of an emergency room opened.

1978:  Northern Colorado Oncology Center opened with the most advanced technology available.

1979:  A $21 million renovation and expansion was approved for west of the main building; construction started the following year.

1982:  The name was changed to North Colorado Medical Center and AirLife helicopter services were offered.

1983:  The hospital dropped support of tax dollars and control was transferred to NCMC Inc., a not-for-profit corporation.

1984:  A heart surgery unit was added to Cardiac Catheterization lab

1990:  NCMC and the University of Northern Colorado enter an agreement to train nurses.

1992:  The Monfort Family Birth Center open in a west expansion; NCMC Regional Burn Unit was dedicated following a $350,000 renovation project

1995:  NCMC is leased to Lutheran Health Systems of Fargo, ND. A new $17.5 million outpatient care center opens on the east side of campus.

1999:  Lutheran merges with Samaritan Health Services of Phoenix Ariz., and Banner Health is born.

May 2001:  Hospital board members reject a proposed partnership with Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins that would have created a new hospital near Interstate I-2

Dec. 2001:  The hospital board calls off negotiations to renew its management agreement with Banner Health.

May 2002:  Negotiations with Banner are successful. The management agreement is amended and crews began work on a $13 million project to triple the size of the emergency department, and a $4million project to improve electrical capacity and air conditioning.

NCMC Emergency Department2003:  the emergency department is completed. Work begins on the Second Century Project.

2003:  The Blood Donor Center moved to a new and more spacious quarters located on the first floor.

2003:  Summit View Medical Commons outpatient facility completed

March 2004:  A four-story parking garage is completed, adding over 750 parking spaces.

Fall 2004:  Cancer Institute completed - NCMC's cancer care program at this time, was the only program in Northern Colorado to hold the prestigious designation as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the America College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

New Main EntranceNovember 2005:  Second Century Project Opened - Featuring:

CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado — Located within a new addition on the southwest campus, our patients benefit from the enhanced state-of-the-art cardiac and vascular technology and larger patient rooms. The new facility continues to be staffed by the region's world-class heart specialists who provide a full-range of treatments and services

  • New Intensive Care Unit (ICU) — Sixteen (16) new private rooms and sophisticated monitoring systems for each patient.
  • Ultra-modern Operating Suites — New ultra-modern operating suites and recovery rooms are included on the ground floor of the the new addition. These rooms are "smart wired" for an array of multi-media capabilities.
  • Monfort Family Birth Center Addition (Completed Winter 2005) & Renovation (Slated for Summer of 2006)
    • Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICU)
    • Labor, Delivery and Recovery (LDR) Suites
    • Family Suites
    • Ante Partum Rooms
  • Heart Failure Clinic Reopened - North Colorado Medical Center's Heart Failure Clinic is a hospital-based hospital program run by heart care specialists. Our professionals provide evidenced-based medical management, while incorporating lifestyle modifications, and participates in clinical research studies benefiting northern Colorado residents.
North Colorado Medical Center
1801 16th St.
Greeley, CO 80631
(970) 810-4121
Follow Us:  
Facebook IconPinterestTwitter IconBlogYouTube Icon
Jump to top links