During the summer of 1912, Dr. S. B. Hewett, Dr. D.C. Smith, and Dr. J.W. Davis opened a hospital in the large old house of Capt. J.D. Barker, which stood where the Girard Post Office stands today. While this privately operated hospital served Girard, 358 patients were treated, 325 of whom had surgery. After the property was transferred to the federal government for a post office site, the hospital closed in July 1916.
The Commercial Club of Girard saw the need for a hospital and circulated petitions in an effort to obtain a hospital for Girard. Their efforts succeeded, and in May 1916, the newly selected Hospital Board of Trustees purchased the site where the old Central School had burned the previous February (two blocks west of the square on Forest Avenue). In July 1918, a new hospital building began to serve the community. Joe Kearns of Pittsburg was the contractor, and the cost was approximately $17,000. Mr. Kearns was again the contractor when an addition was completed in March 1941.
In 1965, the Board of Trustees campaigned to build a new hospital. A $555,000 bond was voted on in July 1967 and thereafter Girard Medical Center was formed. The building site for the hospital was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Norman Steffens and children. Dedication and Open House was held on March 23, 1969.
In 1978, the hospital purchased 25 acres surrounding the facility. A physicians' clinic was built in 1988 next to the hospital. The first physicians to occupy the facility were Dr. Wesley Hall, Dr. James Wilkins, and Dr. Ron Calcote.
In 1983, an addition was made to the hospital for an ICU/CCU Unit, and in 1992 a major renovation was undertaken to add an Education Room, and expand ER, Lab, and Materials Management along with other updates.
The hospital board embarked on a second major renovation and construction project in 2008 in order to accommodate the growing healthcare needs of southeast Kansas. To date, this is the biggest construction project in the history of Girard, adding 30,000 new square feet of construction to the facility and renovating 12,000 square feet of the existing facility. This project doubled the size of the hospital by creating 12 private patient rooms and four private ICU rooms, expanding the therapy departments and nursing facilities, and adding a new front entrance and lobby. The project includes a brand new surgery center equipped with the latest technology.
The new facility was opened to the public on June 5, 2010.
Girard Medical Center continues to offer a full range of hospital services to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve. Not only is care provided on the main hospital campus in Girard, but Girard Medical Center now has six family practice clinics located throughout Crawford and Bourbon County in Arma, Cherokee, Frontenac, Girard, Uniontown and Fort Scott.