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Bingham Healthcare's History

Bingham Healthcare: The region’s leader in healthcare innovation

Growing a team of world-class specialists and medical services to expand healthcare options throughout Eastern Idaho.

Nearly 150 years ago, W.W. Mayo opened a small hospital in rural, Rochester, Minnesota. Over the years, the Mayo Clinic has grown to become one of the most renowned medical facilities in the world. Amazed at its success, despite a rural setting, the medical community has dubbed it, “The Miracle in the Cornfield.”

Bingham Healthcare has not yet grown into what the Mayo Clinic is today, but about 10 years ago we adopted a mantra that has focused our ambition for world-class healthcare here in rural, Bingham County: “If world-class healthcare can grow from a cornfield in rural Minnesota, then why not a potato field in rural Idaho?”

This mantra has driven us to ensure that in everything we venture to do, we do so to the highest standards possible, and to do so with compassion and kindness. We are extremely proud of the growth and advancements that Bingham Healthcare has achieved this past decade.

Established as Bingham Memorial Hospital in 1950, it later became a state-of-the art, 501(c)3 non-profit critical access hospital located in Blackfoot, Idaho. Today, the 25-bed hospital now operates as part of Bingham Healthcare. At our core, we are a rural healthcare provider, solving complex healthcare delivery problems, by innovating the delivery model in rural Idaho.

Despite our growth for 72 years, our mission is to: advance our community's health, we provide high-quality care with compassion and exceptional service, and, with a vision to: be the region's most trusted resource for improving quality of life.

Our mission drives us to deliver incredible healthcare, through compassionate men and woman who put patients before profits. Within the last decade, we have established the region’s largest network of doctors, surgeons, and specialists, which also includes a growing number of hospitals, surgery centers, and physician offices—not just in Blackfoot, but also in Ammon, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Shelley, ID.

Bingham Healthcare is a forward-thinking healthcare network that employs more than 1,000 people throughout Eastern Idaho, with a world-class medical team of over 160 credentialed specialists. Our excellent physicians, state-of-the-art facilities, and devoted teams allow us to deliver outstanding healthcare services. We are a strong economic driver, providing benefits to all of the local communities. As a regional leader in physician and hospital synergy, our diverse network of physicians, nurses, and support staff work hard every day of the year to provide high-quality healthcare services in a caring and compassionate manner.

Services Provided

Bingham Healthcare is a strong economic driver, providing benefits to all of the local counties. As a leader in physician and hospital synergy, we offer over 100 types of patient services, including in-patient, out-patient, critical care, emergency, rehabilitation, same-day surgery, and transitional care services.

Bingham Healthcare has developed solid partnerships with world-class physicians in the region, and these relationships with physicians and other medical centers provide patients with access to premier medical services. Our medical staff is highly trained and extremely competent, and works hard every day of the year to provide high quality healthcare services in a caring and compassionate manner that the community and patients have come to value.

Our hospital in Blackfoot employs around-the-clock, board-certified emergency room physicians, provides the community with all major physician specialists, and offers a variety of choices for primary care physicians. Our team of physicians and staff have extensive understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of illness that affect all ages—from newborns to the elderly. Premiere surgical services are provided at Bingham Memorial Hospital, whether patients are having their tonsils removed or major spine surgery. We offer state-of-the-art lab and X-ray services, and use the latest technology in pulmonary rehabilitation. We use progressive rehabilitation and therapy programs, where we treat the patient, not just the illness.

Bingham Healthcare provides over 20 in-patient services, such as cardiology, internal medicine, interventional radiology, obstetrics, orthopedics, and pediatric care.

In addition, Bingham offers a variety of outpatient services, including chemotherapy, dialysis, occupational therapy, speech therapy and sports medicine


To view all HOSPITAL SERVICES, please CLICK HERE.

To view all PROVIDER SPECIALTIES, please CLICK HERE.

 

Our hospital and our affiliates also offer 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.

The early years

Due to the increasing population in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the residents of Bingham County required a more accessible hospital in Blackfoot, even though Bannock Memorial and St. Anthony’s were in operation in Pocatello, and Idaho Falls had the Sacred Heart and LDS Hospitals. The citizens of Bingham County started planning and fundraising in 1927 and, 23 years later, the 60-bed hospital was constructed with matching funds from the Hill Burton Act at a cost of $537,000. Bingham Memorial Hospital first opened its doors as a county general hospital on August 19, 1950.

In 1950, the hospital was first served by a dedicated team of medical staff:

  • Merrill Packer
  • A.E. Miller, Sr.
  • Walter Hoge
  • W.W. Bill Beck
  • Preston
  • Kenneth McGinnis

In its second year of operation, Dr. Dean Packer, Dr. J.O. Hampton and Dr. Ralph Goates joined the staff.

1960 through the 1970s

In the late 1970s, Bingham Memorial was remodeled and additional space was made available by building around the existing exterior of the facility. In October of 1979, along with the hospital remodel, a 28-bed Living Center was designed by two local architects: Tony Wegner and Mike Henderson of Design West. Dreams became a reality as construction soon began, supervised by the Christiansen Brothers. The total cost of the hospital project and living center was $4.7 million.

1980 through the 1990s

In 1984, a new physical therapy department and the expansion of the laboratory and nuclear medicine department was added. The emergency department was remodeled in 1993 to provide more efficient and confidential care. And, following delivery of care trends and patient preferences, the obstetrics area was remodeled in 1995 to include an updated labor and delivery area as well as a beautiful recovery and postpartum rooms.

A 50-bed skilled nursing home was built adjacent to the hospital by Brennan Construction Company of Pocatello. In 1997, a $3.5 million nursing home construction project started, which became the Bingham Extended Care Facility (now Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center). The facility was built to accommodate 100 skilled-care residents. In addition, a five-bed intensive care unit was opened at Bingham Memorial.

The dawn of a new millennium

In 2000 and 2001, the surgical suites and patient rooms were remodeled and upgraded with state-of-the-art equipment. Also, to continue to meet the growing needs of the citizens of Bingham County, a rural health clinic opened in 2001 and, a year later, a fixed MRI and sleep lab were added.

In 2004 and 2005, Bingham Memorial was granted Critical Access designation, which provides for cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, and the Mountain River Birthing and Surgical Center was acquired.

A dialysis center was opened in 2006 and, a year later, the newly updated and renovated Bingham Memorial Birthing Center opened. The former Mountain River Birthing Center became what is now known as the Idaho Doctor’s Hospital—a hospital jointly owned with physicians, specializing in spine surgeries.

A major milestone occurred on July 1, 2007 when Bingham Memorial Hospital converted to a 501(c)3 corporation. The hospital property and facilities are now leased from Bingham County and managed by BMH, Inc. The change in governance removed the responsibilities of managing the hospital from the county government and placed it in the hands of BMH, Inc. As part of the arrangement, BMH, Inc. has paid over $2 million to Bingham County through annual payments. Providing yet another benefit to the citizens of Bingham County.

In February 2009, Bingham Memorial entered into a joint venture with local physicians to construct the Bingham Memorial Medical Plaza, a medical office building in Blackfoot, which is adjacent to the hospital and accessible through a sky bridge over Poplar Street.

Some other notable advancements include the following:

  • 2010: Bingham opened their first urgent care in Blackfoot.
  • 2012: Bingham became the only accredited comprehensive center for Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Center of Excellence in Eastern Idaho.
  • 2014: Hugh Selznick of Bingham Healthcare’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine team and Dr. Adam D. Wray of Bingham Dermatology Center win the Excellence through Insight award from Health Steam.
  • 2015: Bingham was the first hospital in the state of Idaho, and one of the first in the country, to use a new, minimally invasive catheter system to treat a high-risk patient with coronary artery disease
  • 2015: Bingham was the first hospital in Idaho to implement the Cellvizio technology, a new cancer spotting technology.
  • 2016: Bingham and the Idaho Kidney Institute broke ground on a new dialysis center.
  • 2017: Bingham received the official Healing Hospital certification.
  • 2017: Bingham received a grant from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust for a new CT scanner.
  • 2018: Bingham added the Pocatello Women’s Health Clinic to its system, increasing the number of Ob-Gyns from 3 to 9.
  • 2018: Bingham opens a new facility in Idaho Falls—the Comprehensive Care Clinics—where 15 providers offer care in cardiology, ear, nose, & throat, elbow, hand, & microvascular, family medicine, foot & ankle, interventional radiology, interventional nephrology, pain management, orthopedics, sports medicine, and urology.
  • 2019: Bingham opened the New Leaf Geriatric Psychiatric unit, thus focusing on the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly. The unit is staffed by medical personnel specially trained to treat older patients with symptoms due to psychiatric conditions and unique mental health needs, such as mood disorders, anxiety, grief, and addiction.
  • 2019: Bingham published its first Community Resource Booklet, which provides patients and caregivers with a comprehensive list of all health and social service organizations in our region.
  • 2019: Bingham converted the Idaho Doctor’s Hospital into Grove Creek Birthing Center, which specializes in labor and delivery services and creates a more private and intimate birthing experience for young families.
  • 2019: Bingham acquired Ammon Medical & Urgent Care, their second urgent care in East Idaho.
  • 2020: Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Bingham Healthcare was the first hospital in the region to offer telehealth services. We also started offering COVID-19 vaccine services to the community as soon as they became available.
  • 2020: Thanks to a generous grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Bingham began to offer high-resolution, 3D mammograms.
  • 2020: Bingham opened an urgent care clinic in Pocatello, Idaho, their third in the region.
  • 2021: Bingham opens an urgent care in Shelley, Idaho, their fourth in the region.
  • 2022: Bingham Healthcare completed construction of their new Bingham Healthcare Specialty Clinic & an urgent care in Pocatello, their fifth in the region.

Accreditations and Important Designations

Our service line programs receive accreditation from outside organizations who validate our high level of quality care. Our facilities are Joint Commission Accredited. Regence Blue Shield and Blue Cross has honored our orthopedic total joint program as the region’s only Blue Distinction® Center+ for higher quality knee and hip replacement surgeries. The Empower Weight-Loss Clinic is a Center of Blue Distinction in addition to being the region’s only Accredited Center by the American College of Surgeons Quality Program. The labor and delivery team at Grove Creek Medical Center has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care.

The list could go on, but it is sufficient to say that from brain surgery to pediatric vaccinations, we seek to provide the highest quality care possible.

Leading the way in healthcare and technological advancements

Dedicated to leading the way and continuing to improve the quality of care our patients receive, Bingham Healthcare invests in the latest technology and has set the highest standards for surgical education and practice. Today, our providers can diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and conditions that were once unimaginable.

Bingham Healthcare’s robotics program is second to none in the United States. We have one of the most comprehensive robotics programs in the United States, rivaling technology you can only find at large academic centers in major metropolitan areas. We are now one of the only hospitals in the country to have the following highly advanced robotic technology capabilities:

  • Mazor X Robotic System for spine surgery,
  • Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System for technologically advanced knee and hip surgeries, and,
  • da Vinci Surgical System for general surgeries.

These new robot-assisted surgical systems allow for even greater precision, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, better clinical outcomes, and faster return to everyday activities.

Mazor X Spine Surgery System: Our talented spine specialists have extensive expertise in the areas of nonsurgical and surgical spine surgery, and are trained to treat a wide range of spinal injuries and constant pain. Their surgeons use the Mazor X Robotic System for minimally invasive spine fusions and offer artificial disk replacements—an alternative to fusion that preserves and even improves spine motion. In addition, they perform routine spine surgeries such as spinal arthroplasty, diskectomies and fusions in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spines.

Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical System:

Bingham offers knee and hip surgeries with the Mako System for knee and hip pain.

Traditional knee surgery typically dictates that a total knee replacement is necessary, even if a partial replacement is really all that is needed. Because the failure rate on a traditional partial knee replacement is too high, doctors choose to replace the whole knee instead. With the new Mako System, however, precision and accuracy is much higher, which gives doctors the confidence to offer a partial replacement to more patients.

Hip replacements, particularly those that are traditionally done by hand, leave all the skill to the surgeon. With the Mako System, the variability is reduced, thus increasing the accuracy of the placement four times and the accuracy of final leg bone length by six times.

da Vinci Surgery System: Surgeons at Bingham Memorial use the da Vinci system across a spectrum of major specialties, including general surgery, gynecology, and urology. Our team of exceptional general surgeons uses the system to perform procedures with minimal incisions that were previously more invasive.

Our surgeons specialize in surgical procedures on the esophagus, stomach, bowels, colon, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Some of the procedures they perform routinely with the da Vinci technology include: hysterectomies, ovary removal for benign conditions, partial nephrectomies and prostatectomies. Some of our general surgeons also treat diseases involving the skin, breasts, soft tissues, and hernias.

Famous firsts

Bingham is first center west of the Mississippi River to bring the treatment of autoimmune diseases and functional medicine to a teaching hospital.

With the combined expertise of Bingham Healthcare Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we have the largest orthopedic and sports medicine program in Eastern Idaho. Our doctors have more than 60 years of combined experience caring for Division I Athletes and are the official team doctors of Idaho State University Athletics. Not to mention, our team of athletic trainers work at almost every high school in the region. In addition, our physicians treat people of all ages throughout the region, and are experts at diagnosing and treating arthritis and other painful disorders or injuries that involve the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and other supporting structures.

EM-POW-ER Weight-Loss Program

In addition, our weight-loss program—Empower—is the No. 1 choice for patients throughout Eastern Idaho seeking non-surgical or surgical treatment for severe obesity. There are several new components to the program, including nutrition education. People in the program meet with a specialized dietitian to review food choices and learn how to incorporate those choices into a healthy living style.

We are regions only nationally recognized weight loss program—MBSAQIP Accredited – Comprehensive Center of Excellence.

Hospital Administrators

Through the years, Bingham Healthcare’s administrators have been: 

·         Alvin Knauss (1950-1952)

·         Toy Billings (1952-1953)

·         W.W. Bill Beck, M.D. (1953-1954)

·         Florence Walker (1954-1956)

·         M. James Forester (1956-1957)

 

·         E. Lynn Reed (1957-1974)

·         James Morgan (1974-1975)

·         Carl Staley (1975-1990)

·         Robert Peterson (1990-1998)

·         Louis Kraml (1998-2016)

·         D. Jeff Daniels (2016-2017)

·         Jake Erickson (2017 to present)

 

 

 

We are uniquely positioned to continue to steer medical practices in directions that will benefit Idahoans for years to come. From our roots as Bingham Memorial Hospital, which has blossomed into Bingham Healthcare, we are deeply committed more than ever to increasing our pool of talent and growing our extensive network of affiliates within the next decade and beyond. We promise an on-going commitment to patient care so that we are always uniquely positioned to benefit our friends, families, and neighbors for years to come—all while maintaining our proud rural heritage.