Loring Hospital History
Early in the 1900s, the local Commercial Club began exploring the possibility of getting a hospital for Sac City. Mr. Frank W. Loring was a member of the committee. While viewing one of the proposed sites he informed the committee that he and Mrs. Loring had been planning to leave most of their estate for the building and endowing of a hospital for Sac City. They were always interested in the operation of smaller hospitals and investigated many things relative to their management. They realized that many were unsuccessful because they were not properly endowed after they had been built.
Mr. Loring wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and study medicine, but he followed his father's advice and went into the dry goods business. He went on to become one of Sac City's most prominent businessmen. Mr. and Mrs. Loring were people who never experienced want, but they were always considerate of others, especially those in need. They helped provide for many in distress. Any worthy cause was supported by these two fine people. The building of a hospital enabled them to further their interest in medicine and make a significant contribution to the community.
Although numerous suggestions had been made during the years that followed in regards to building a community hospital, those who knew of Mr. and Mrs. Loring's plan by-passed these suggestions in order that their plan would eventually be carried out.
Mr. Loring aimed to have a hospital which would be fully approved by the American Medical Association so that it would be liberally patronized by members of the medical profession and to have a substantial endowment fund established and devoted to the support and maintenance of the hospital. He requested that Charles Brynestom, A.T. Brownell, and Miss Jennie Fickes be appointed to execute the trust. After the will had been probated, the Trustees took over in 1941 and worked diligently to liquidate some of the assets and invest others in order to establish a working capital. The present site was purchased and included a large frame house which opened under the name of Loring Hospital in 1942, primarily as a maternity house. Mr. Loring's only regret in life was that he did not take up the study of medicine as he had hoped to do. This desire was never realized, but his contribution to the field of medicine was close to becoming a reality, a hospital for the residents of Sac County.
In 1947, because of ill health and absence from Sac City on many occasions, Mr. Brownell resigned from the board. Mr. A.G. Redman was appointed to replace him, but he too was out of town a great deal. In 1948, his resignation was received and the court appointed Mr. H.E. Theissen.
The trustees continued to work hard to follow through on the dreams of Mr. and Mrs. Loring. Another individual, Dr. C.D. Gibson, was instrumental in fundraising and promoting the building of the hospital. Generous donations from Sac County residents were added to the estate funds and construction of the hospital began in 1948 by McCorkle Construction Company. Total cost of the project, including furnishing, was just over $300,000.
The new 32 bed Loring Hospital held its open house on Sunday, August 20, 1950. Loring's first patient to be admitted was Anna Wickershiem of Sac City on September 22, 1950. Catherine Glanz, RN, was the first administrator.
In December 1965 architectural sketches of a 33 bed addition to Loring Hospital were revealed to the public. Aided by many volunteers, a successful financial drive was conducted with the donations being added to the Loring Trust. This campaign made possible the signing of contracts on April 1966 for the new hospital addition.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new addition were held on Sunday, May 1, 1966. Turning the first spade of earth were Carl Steward, Chariman of the Board, and Dr. Gene Michel, Chief of Staff. The new addition was built by Paul McCorkle Construction Company of Sac City and took about one year to complete. The cost of the construction phase was approximately $520,000, plus furnishings.
On July 18, 1967 patients were transferred from the old facility to the new addition and remodeling started to convert the old unit into an extended care unit. Loring Care Center admitted its first resident on January 18, 1968.
In 1994, Loring Hospital entered into a management agreement with Trinity Regional Hospital in Fort Dodge for the purpose of continuity of management. This also provided Loring Hospital with an entry into a large network of rural health facilities. This allowed for the sharing of expertise in management, purchasing and recruiting medical personnel.
In 1996, Loring Hospital launched a capital fund drive to build an outpatient clinic to connect the hospital with Medical Associates, PPMC. After carefully studying all the options, including renovation of the existing facility, the most efficient, patient convenient and cost-effective option was to construct a new outpatient facility. The project was designed and built by Davis Design of Storm Lake. A $400,000 USDA Rural Tele-education grant made possible the installation of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and the Iowa Central Community College Television Network(ICTN) in our conference and education room. The total overall cost of the project was 1.8 million dollars.
The new outpatient facility began seeing patients in September, 1998. The center provides a means to attract top quality physicians and medical specialists. It also provides the community with more convenient and integrated options of service reducing the need to travel for certain medical treatments. The facility contains a new physical therapy area, education room, cardio-pulmonary rehab and five treatment rooms for outpatient and chemotherapy services.
Many community hospitals in rural Iowa are supported by county or city funds generated by local taxes. Loring Hospital receives no funds from tax levies and is supported strictly from funds generated from its ongoing business enterprises, and by the generosity of the citizens it serves. Previous support for expansions, equipment and other needs has come from individual donations from the Frank Loring Trust, the Grace Noble Trust, the Ora and Eva Greer Estate and other numerous bequests and donations.
Loring Hospital now does business as a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. The Loring Trust continues as the fund raising entity for the benefit of the hospital. The Loring Foundation was created as a separate non-profit organization to own and operate Oak Terrace Estates, a senior citizens independent living facility.