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The history of Crossing Rivers Health (formerly Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital):


Planning committee met, spearheaded by chairman M. John Pintz.

After a dedication and groundbreaking, the hospital opened with a staff of 29 people, including a hospital administrator, a director of nursing, a chief engineer, four registered nurses, four licensed practical nurses, eight aides, four cooks, one maid, one volunteer receptionist, one x-ray tech, one lab tech, one office manager and one accounts receivable clerk. During the first year of operation of the hospital, the average daily census of acute patients was 14. It reached a high of 60 shortly after building the addition in 1972–73.


Medicare and Medicaid programs were established. This completely changed hospital accounting and business office operations and brought on the submission of an annual Medicare and Medicaid cost report.


A major renovation and expansion of the hospital occurred with the increase of beds from 40 to 82.

Harold W. Brown became administrator of the hospital on April 1.

The hospital received its first Joint Commission accreditation.

The Home Health Care Agency opened.

Harold W. Brown was chosen as Wisconsin Hospital Administrator of the Year.


The Prairie du Chien Hospice program started.

The hospital celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gala celebration, including a “Las Vegas Night” of fun and gambling.

Services were diversified with the swing bed program (skilled nursing) as a demonstration project.

The hospital also started in-house stress testing and nuclear medicine and expanded home health to Iowa and Grant counties, Wisconsin.

The first computer software and hardware was purchased.

The hospital gave a portion of its land to the Memorial Hospital Housing Association, obtained a Farmer’s Home Administration 50-year loan for $675,000 at 1 percent and built the LaBatisse on Dousman elderly apartment congregate housing.

A State Rate Review Commission was formed. This state bureaucracy controlled charges, expenses, staffing and capital.

The hospital diversified its meals for senior citizens. The hospital had previously contracted and provided meals to the Crawford County prison. Initially, the hospital contracted with the county for congregate meals that were served weekdays in the hospital employee dining room. This was followed a year later by contracting with the county for home meals—Meals On Wheels—and later by bulk meals to the northern part of the county.

In conjunction with Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, a satellite hemodialysis unit was started at the hospital.

The hospital purchased the St. Gabriel’s convent, converted it to an assisted living facility and licensed it as a community-based residential facility with a capacity of 15.

Harold W. Brown received the Harold Macomber Coon, MD Memorial Award.

Differentiated case management of patients was started. The hospital was one of the first rural hospitals to implement this program.

The hospital developed the "Feeling Good" wellness program for employees, with plans to expand it to the community.


The hospital was awarded "Accreditation With Distinction," which at that time was given to the top 5 percent of all accredited hospitals.

In cooperation with the state of Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund, University of Wisconsin Extension and Prairie Education Resource, the Family Resource Center was started.

Significant additions to the facility were added: the outpatient wing, the educational room, dietary storage and an office area.

The hospital started selling durable medical equipment along with providing oxygen to patients in their homes. This was a continuation of the long-range plan to provide services in the home.

The Community-Based Residential Facility expanded to 30 beds, with each room having a minimum of a toilet and sink. Three two-room suites with half baths were added. At the same time, part of the old section was remodeled and a child day care known as WEE Care Child Care was started.

The hospital received the Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum’s Child Care Recognition Award from the state of Wisconsin for outstanding achievements and excellence in employee-supported child care.

The hospital, in recognition of its diversification, specifically the Family Resource Center, received the Wisconsin Hospital Association Global Vision Award.

Harold W. Brown received the first National Rural Health Association Volunteer of the Year Award for service to the Association.

In May, the hospital started urgent walk-in care.

The hospital became a rural training site for Southwest Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.


Hospital designated as a critical access hospital.

The National Rural Health Association recognized Harold W. Brown for his dedication and commitment to rural health care by presenting him with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

The hospital added massage therapy to services offered through rehabilitation services and a state-of-the-art CT scanner to medical imaging.

The hospital received the Business Friend of Education Award from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Palliative care was offered as a new service to area communities.

Partners of Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital (formerly the Auxiliary) celebrated its 50th anniversary.

C.A.R.E. (Crawford Abuse Resistant Effort) was named one of eight award winners at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving appreciation dinner held in Milwaukee.

The hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary with dignitaries, community leaders and employees.

Crawford County was named among America's 100 Best Communities for Young People from an application submitted by C.A.R.E. (Crawford Abuse Resistant Effort).

The Hospital Association held its 50th Annual Membership Meeting.

William P. Sexton was named CEO, following the retirement of Harold W. Brown.

For the second time, Crawford County was named one of America's 100 Best Communities for Young People.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened a newly remodeled coffee shop, a project funded by Partners.

The installation of new patient safety technology from Omnicell, Inc., automated the management and dispensation of medications, reducing the risk of medication errors and improving efficiency.

The hospital was first in the area to offer digital mammography.

A family nurse practitioner joined the emergency department staff to help cover weekend hours in urgent care.

The hospital established the Dr. Roger C. Rademacher Memorial Scholarship for Clinical Excellence to honor Dr. Rademacher's life, his expert mentoring and his passion for rural health care.

The purchase of new ultrasound equipment provided superior technology to better diagnose patients.

An additional Omnicell system was purchased for obstetrics.

A new 64-slice CT scanner was added to provide crisp, clear detailed images.

A full-time orthopedic surgeon joined the medical staff.

The Autism Support/Resource Group was established.

The remodel of the x-ray and fluoroscopy room was completed.

Partners presented the WAVE (Wisconsin Awards for Volunteer Excellence) Award at State Partners Convention.

Shared Health named Prairie du Chien Memorial the 2009 Hospital of the Year for exemplary fiscal performance.


A new orthopedic fracture table was added to the surgical suite to ease procedures.

The Lean curriculum was introduced and implemented.

The Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital Foundation was established, with hiring of Sasha Dull, foundation chief development officer.

Conservation efforts earned the hospital national recognition and funds for new environmentally friendly features—solar thermal collectors, storage tanks and renovations to provide energy and hot water.

The Master Facility Planning project was initiated.

The board of directors announced their bold and visionary decision to engage an architect in anticipation of building a new hospital. On Dec. 15, the hospital's offer to purchase land across from the Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport, which features adequate land for future expansion and allows easy access for patients and med flight and other emergency vehicles was accepted.

Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital was named one of the top 100 critical access hospitals in the U.S. by iVantage, an affiliate of the National Rural Health Association. The list was developed based on financial strength, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Lean training was implemented for continual improvement.

Technology and training was initiated for electronic health record meaningful use standards.

The hospital was accepted to participate in the nationwide initiative Transforming Care at the Bedside, focusing on improving care and efficiency so more time is spent on bedside patient care.

State-of-the-art technology and equipment was installed so both operating rooms were equipped to handle any surgical procedure.

A new fluid warming system was purchased for surgery.

After 24 years, the Congregate Meal Site moved to Bluff Haven's Village Plaza Community Room, allowing participants to enjoy the activities and social events planned at Bluff Haven.

Gundersen Lurtheran's dialysis satellite unit relocated to the lower level of their Prairie du Chien Clinic. The unit opened in the hospital in July 1986, allowing area patients to receive dialysis close to home.

The hospital foundation held its first fundraising gala, La Soiree. The event will benefited the hospice and home health programs.

The hospital received national recognition as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital from iVantage.

Awarded Top Performer by The Joint Commission for key quality metrics.


Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission.

Johns Hopkins recognized Crossing Rivers Health as a Top Performing Hospital.

Received the WHA Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

WHA Trustee of the Year awarded to Crossing Rivers Health Board President, Paul Ginkel.


Crossing Rivers Health undergoes name change and rebrand.

WHA 2014 Advocacy All-Star Award.

Reaccreditation of Laboratory by The Joint Commission.

Wisconsin Forward Award- Proficiency Recognition.

Crossing Rivers Health opens new primary care clinic in Prairie du Chien July of 2014- on the site of the new medical center.

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College partners with Crossing Rivers Health to open a new Crossing Rivers Health Clinic in the Health Sciences Building on the SWTC campus. Offering primary care to Fennimore, WI and surrounding communities.

Crossing Rivers Health receives Futuremaker Partners Award from Wisconsin Technical Colleges.


Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center opens June 11, 2015.

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