History

October 1953: First organizational meeting conducted to build a hospital in Albany.  Federal funds provided by Hill-Burton law would bring matching funds.  A 31-bed facility was planned.

April 1956: Gentry County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) construction began after $335,000 was raised locally to match Hill-Burton funds.

September 1957:  Gentry County Memorial Hospital accepted its first patient.  Private room cost was $15 per day; semi-private and obstetric room cost was $11.

June 1966: A gift of $60,000 from the Mrs. Lula Hundley Whaley estate made possible a 19-bed expansion, nearly doubling the hospital’s capacity.

July 1974: Announcement was made that a 6-bed critical care unit was planned at a cost of $50,000.  The funds were raised locally.

August 1975: New critical care unit opened; final cost was slightly over $100,000, all of which was raised locally.

March 1977: GCMH contracted to build a $235,000 physicians clinic on Highway 136.

January 1984: GCMH Home Health Agency opened.

June 1986: A $350,000 renovation project was completed by converting 13 rooms to private rooms and a renovation of the entrance, corridors, and nursing station.

March 1991:  A $650,000 expansion and renovation project was completed, including a 4,500 square foot addition for a new emergency room, business offices, waiting room, and administrative offices.  Former business space was converted to an outpatient wing.

October 1991: The hospital opened its Skilled Nursing Unit.

May 1998: A $1.3 million Outpatient/Surgery/Physical Therapy addition was completed.

December 1999:  A new helicopter pad was completed as a result of a cooperative effort of the hospital, the City of Albany, and the Albany Rotary Club.

March 2001: GCMH completed a newly renovated and expanded Skilled Nursing Facility which features 10 patient suites with all new  furnishings and private bathrooms with showers.  The new unit also includes an  activity/dining area for patients to interact with hospital staff, as well as family and friends.     

August 2002: The Gentry County Memorial Hospital Association membership voted to change the hospital’s name to Northwest Medical Center at its 2002, annual meeting.

January 2003: Gentry County Memorial Hospital began doing business as Northwest Medical Center on January 1, 2003.  The hospital’s association members voted to make the change to reflect the region Northwest Medical Center services. 

May 2004: Tornadoes pass through Albany, ripping off parts of the hospital roof.  In addition, the hospital suffered significant interior water damage as a result of the thunderstorms that followed.  Damage estimates reached approximately $2 million.

May 2005: Northwest Medical Center opened a new kitchen and dining area, offering more selections and services to patients, visitors, and staff.   

September 2005: Northwest Medical Center began offering room service for patient meals, which provides more control and flexibility for their meals during their stay.

February 2006: Northwest Medical Center opened a new 5-room, state-of-the-art emergency department to increase patient capacity and improve patient visibility for physicians and nurses.  The new department is located in the hospital’s former critical care unit.

March 2009: Northwest Medical Center purchases a state-of-the-art, Siemens Magnetom Essenze 1.5T MRI machine.  The technology advances MRI usage and options allowing for superior diagnostic capabilities. 

February 2011: Northwest Medical Center began implementation of a comprehensive, integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and a patient financial system. 

October 2011: Northwest Medical Center implements digital mammography technology with higher, more detailed imaging quality, improved diagnosis capabilities, and significant reduction in radiation exposure.

October 2012: Northwest Medical Center went "live" with Electronic Medical Records (EMR).  This technology streamlines processes, increases patient safety, and improves communication across departments and care teams. Accurate, up-to-the-minute information is available where and when users need it, resulting in more informed and effective treatment and decision making.