Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center History
Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center has a history that dates back to the early 1900's. In 1904, the Mennonite Sanitarium and Hospital was organized as a tuberculosis treatment center located in Swink, Colorado, about five miles west of La Junta. In 1919, the La Junta Hospital Association asked the management of the Mennonite Sanitarium and Hospital to operate the La Junta City Hospital, which was then located at the corner of 9th Street and Carson Street.
After managing the City Hospital for four years, the La Junta Hospital Association Board in 1924 proposed to the Mennonite Sanitarium Board that the Association would give all of its assets to the Mennonite Board if they would agree to build a general hospital of at least 50 beds and continue to do some charity work, and if the hospital would be open to the reputable physicians of the community. The proper authorization by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities of Elkhart, Indiana, was obtained. A dairy farm at the edge of town at the corner of 10th and Carson Street was purchased and is the site of the present hospital. By April of 1928, the hospital was open for business. The sanitarium patients from Swink were relocated to the new sanitarium, and the new hospital was in operation; the La Junta Mennonite School of Nursing was moved to the site of the old hospital at 9th and Carson. With these two buildings and the major addition of a south wing of the hospital building in 1947, the hospital provided care to La Junta and the surrounding communities. With the development of new treatments for tuberculosis, the sanitarium was closed in 1956. This building was used for a nursing home with the addition of Nursing Home West in 1963.
By 1964, the need for a new hospital facility become very apparent. The La Junta Community Hospital Corporation was formed, which had the authority to build a new facility. Bonds were issued and guaranteed by the Mennonite Board of Missions, and the new hospital construction was begun in 1969; in March of 1971, the new building was occupied. The Mennonite Board of Missions managed the Center under a management agreement from 1968 through 1998, at which time ownership of the hospital was turned back over to the City. A new not-for-profit corporation, Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, was formed, which took over operations of the Medical Center on July 1, 1998.