Bingham Memorial Hospital began as a county general hospital and is now a 501c (3) entity operating under the name of BMH, Inc. In 1950, a sixty-bed hospital was built by the citizens of Bingham County with matching funds from the Hill Burton Act at a cost of $537,000. Planning for the hospital began in 1927. It took the citizens of Bingham County twenty-three years of organizing and fundraising before the hospital became a reality and finally opened its doors on August 19, 1950. The hospital was first served by a medical staff of Dr. Merrill Packer, Dr. A.E. Miller, Sr., Dr. Walter Hoge, Dr. Beck, Dr. Preston, and Dr. Ken McGinnis. In its second year of operation Dr. Dean Packer, Dr. J.O. Hampton, and Dr. Ralph Goates joined the staff. Today, there is an active and consulting medical staff of over 100 physicians.
In 1969, a five-bed intensive care unit was opened at Bingham Memorial. The facility was totally remodeled in 1978 and 1979. In October of 1979, along with the hospital remodel, a twenty-eight bed Living Center was constructed. The total cost of the hospital project and living center was $4,700,000. Tony Wegner and Mike Henderson of Design West with Christiansen Brothers were the architects and also served as construction supervisors. In 1984, a new physical therapy department was added as well as an expansion of the laboratory and nuclear medicine departments. The emergency department was remodeled again in 1993 to provide more efficient and confidential care environment. The obstetrical area was remodeled in 1995 due to delivery of care trends and patient preferences. The labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum (birthing) rooms were remodeled. In 1996, the number of licensed acute care beds was reduced to forty to allow for optimum reimbursement.
In 1964, a 50-bed skilled nursing home was built adjacent to the hospital. It was built by Brennan Construction Company of Pocatello at a cost of $425,000. In 1996 the Living Center was phased out to allow for expansion of the Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to 70 nursing home beds. The year 1997 marked the beginning of a $3,500,000 nursing home construction/remodeling project, which resulted in a facility that could accommodate one hundred skilled care residents. Changes in reimbursement and additional facilities opening for business in the county resulted in a need for only seventy-five licensed skilled care beds, so some of the other rooms were fitted to accommodate physicians.
In 2001, all the patient rooms were renovated along with the main floor, including new carpeting in the corridors, cafeteria expansion, and a new lobby to accommodate outpatient registration. A rural health clinic was also opened in 2001 and a fixed MRI and sleep lab in 2002, to meet the growing needs of patients in Bingham County. The front entrance was renovated and the slope of the drive leveled and heated to eliminate ice build up as well as new signage in 2003. The property directly across from the facility was secured and the A.E. Miller building next to the hospital was purchased. The year 2005 saw the biggest expansion yet, with the purchase of the Mountain River Birthing and Surgery Center.
In 2004, Bingham Memorial applied for and was granted Critical Access designation, which provides for cost based reimbursement from Medicare.
In 2006, a dialysis center was opened, and in 2007 the Bingham Birthing Center was reopened at Bingham Memorial Hospital. The former Mountain River Birthing Center is now utilized for spine surgeries as Idaho Doctor's Hospital. July 2007 saw the groundbreaking for a joint venture medical office building which will be attached to the Hospital. It was completed in February of 2009 and named the Bingham Memorial Medical Plaza, allowing the hospital to consolidate the majority of the doctor's offices under one roof.
Bingham Memorial Hospital and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is and always has been a non-tax-supported facility. On July 1, 2007 the Hospital was leased from the County by a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. The corporation is governed by fourteen members and a 9-member Board of Directors. The change to a 501(c) 3 necessitated the formation of a group referred to as The Member whose chief responsibility it is to appoint members of the Board of Directors. The Member is made up of at least one representative from each incorporated city in Bingham County.
Contributions to the Hospital and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have traditionally been received from such functions as the Charity Ball and the Community Christmas Tree Fantasy. In the year 2000, the Bingham Health Care Foundation was established to promote private and corporate donations to the hospital and other healthcare organizations meeting the needs of the residents of Bingham County.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO) accredits both the hospital and the nursing home. Medicare and Medicaid certify both facilities.
Administrators through the years have been Alvin Knauss, Toy Billings, W.W. Bill Beck, M.D., Florence Walker, James Forester, E. Lynn Reed, James Morgan, Carl Staley, Robert Peterson, and today, Louis Kraml.
Bingham Memorial Hospital offers the following areas of primary and secondary care: Intensive Care and Critical Care, Emergency Care, General Surgery, Spine Surgery, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Family Practice, Obstetrics and Nursery, Gynecology, Pain Management, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics. Bingham Memorial also offers a full range of outpatient services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, sports medicine, respiratory therapy, radiology, MRI, laboratory, education, and nutrition services. Bingham Memorial also offers local services from a growing number of specialty physicians through ever increasing utilization of time share opportunities through the Idaho Physicians Clinic, formerly known as the Bingham Community Health Clinic.
Bingham Memorial Hospital, the Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Idaho Doctor's Hospital employ approximately 500 people.
Bingham Memorial Hospital and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is committed to the pursuit of excellence in its endeavor to provide a continuum of quality, compassionate, healthcare services for our residents and visitors to Bingham County, in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.