Contact: Sasha Dull
Prairie du Chien, WI – Crossing Rivers Health is celebrating 65 years of providing healthcare to the area. “We care for the communities we serve throughout the lifespan, from birth to the end of life,” says Katie Garrity, President of the Crossing Rivers Health Board of Directors. “The biggest impact that 65 years of care excellence has brought is a sense of comfort, and safety for our region.”
Opened in 1957 as Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital with a staff of 29 people, the organization has grown significantly in the years that followed. Renovations and expansions at the original location on East Taylor Street accommodated for an increase in beds and allowed for new services to be provided. Urgent walk-in care was added in 1997 and the hospital became designated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a Critical Access Hospital in 2003. Garrity adds, “The community has confidence that when their babies are born, when their children have accidents or injuries, when they hurt their backs shoveling, or say goodbye to loved ones, Crossing Rivers Health is there to care, to treat, and to provide the best resources back to health.”
Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital changed its name to Crossing Rivers Health in 2014 as it opened a new clinic and continued construction on a new medical center. The new facility opened the following year and continues to grow as the organization follows its mission of providing exceptional healthcare by extraordinary people. Chris Brophy, who became Crossing Rivers Health CEO in 2021, comments, “Looking back on the 65 year history of the organization, nothing stands out more than all the people that have contributed to making this a great healthcare environment over the years.”
Today, over 300 people are employed by Crossing Rivers Health, providing compassionate, high-quality care in a friendly, safe environment. Of those employees, 21 have provided over 30 years of service. Linda Schoulte, Inpatient Services Director, is the current longest serving employee at 43 ½ years. Schoulte says the most noticeable change over the years is technology, “which has made patient care safer with higher quality.” She continues, “Patients are diagnosed quicker with more accuracy and appropriate treatment.”
Safety and quality of care have been a constant priority over the years. “We continue to be provided with the skills, education, equipment, and supplies to do our job and do it well,” says Schoulte, “we stay abreast of changes in the standards of care and best practices for patient care.”
Crossing Rivers Health will celebrate the 65-year milestone in a number of ways the remainder of the year while reflecting on the organization’s history of providing care to the area, including the development of a history wall, planned to be unveiled this fall. While celebrating the past, Crossing Rivers Health continues to look to the future as it also begins construction of a clinic expansion, which will be attached to the North end of the medical center.
“Crossing Rivers Health, and Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital before that, has made a major impact for the people of this community and surrounding areas. This hospital, being in a rural area, has saved many lives- lives that would not have survived traveling to a hospital that is an hour away,” says Schoulte, “The community has access to superior care right here.”