History of Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital
Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital’s mission to be the trusted provider of rural health care services can be traced back to 1946 when the Burlington Rotary and community members dedicated time, money and volunteer hours towards building a county hospital in Burlington, Colorado.
At midnight on February 28, 1946, the Hayes General Hospital became the temporary Kit Carson County Public Hospital and Dr. H.M. Hayes donated and signed a bill of sale for all permanent equipment.
To help raise money for the hospital project, the Farm Bureau created a Ten Acre Club. Farmers donated over 900 acres of wheat which accounted for $26,638 for the construction of the hospital. By virtue of their large donation, the Farm Bureau received the honor of laying the cornerstone during Memorial Day services. The inscription of the cornerstone reads as follows: “1947 Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital Dedicated to Veterans of World Wars Laid by Kit Carson County Farm Bureau Sponsored by Burlington Rotary Club.” The Ten Acre Club fundraising campaign was again used in 2008 for the construction of the addition to the hospital and is the reason for having wheat in the KCCMH logo.
On June 23, 1948 Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital was open for receiving patients and was able to care for all cases of major or minor surgery, maternity and medical cases. Mr. J.S. Rockwell, county treasurer was hired as the business manager, Miss Alice Adams as superintendent of nurses and Mrs. Marjorie Griffin as head night nurse.
In July of 1948 Dr. Raymond Beethe arrived in Burlington and practiced medicine with Dr. H.M. Hayes. Over his years of service and dedication, Dr. Beethe became a strong supporter for KCCMH and today is remembered for his compassion and eagerness for others to learn about medicine.
Over the years, there have been numerous changes and additions to the hospital to update the building and remain current with technology. In 1968 an addition to the south end was completed. This addition increased the capacity of the hospital from 32 beds to 45 beds. In 1977, new additions to the administrative and business officers were completed and in 1978 a chapel was built on the south end. This chapel was donated by Ben F. Parmer and is still in use today. In 1991, an enclosed emergency entrance was built with the capacity to hold two ambulances. This new addition was also donated by Ben F. Parmer.
In 1996 Kit Carson County Health Service District (KCCHSD) was formed. The purpose of forming KCCHSD was to encompass the clinics and home health and hospice outside of the hospital.
In March of 2000, the building of Parke Health and Wellness Center was completed. The ground floor of Parke Health Center was designed for physicians’ office space, 12 exam rooms, 2 procedure rooms and parking space for 30 cars. The lower or basement level offers rehab services consisting of physical therapy, speech therapy and cardiac therapy; three training rooms; a 42-foot by 28-foot exercise room, and a hydro-therapy room.
In 2008, a building was added to the north side of the hospital to house inpatient rooms, radiology, emergency room and laboratory. In addition a new front of the hospital was added to provide needed space for admissions, billing and lobby area.