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The Upper Valley’s Newest Healthcare System is Also One of its Oldest

Published in the September 2022 Issue Published online: Sep 08, 2022 Health & Wellness
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AS OF JULY 1, Madison Memorial Hospital, together with its clinics, partners, and providers, is officially Madisonhealth. The change has been a long time coming. Back in 1947, to help raise funds for a new hospital in Rexburg, the local Lion’s Club held a raffle, with tickets offered at $10 apiece. Prizes included a Chevy sedan, a record player, a refrigerator and a washing machine. The event raised $40K, which was a sizeable amount, but not quite enough.

On Sept. 14, 1948, voters went to the polls to approve a tax levy to make up the difference. Three years after that, residents enjoyed their first views of the brand-new hospital, situated on the hill at the east end of Main Street. The hospital’s first full month of operations included the following:
• Total number of patients: 32
• Total number of beds: 29 (21 of them in shared rooms)
• Patient bathrooms: 4
• Monthly revenues: $1,889.35
• Cost of one day of care, per patient: $25
• Total staff: 23 employees
• Total payroll: $2,920
• Length of a nurse’s shift: 48 hours
• Groundskeepers’ wages: $200/month
• Daily NICU charges: $1 per baby

By comparison, today’s Madisonhealth has 720 employees and monthly revenues of $15 million. The organization provides expert care for thousands of patients every year, with 69 licensed, fullystaffed beds (none of which are in shared rooms). June 14, 1976, was to be the day on which construction of a new building for the hospital would begin. As fate would have it, only 9 days before that date arrived, the city was struck by the most damaging catastrophe in its history. At 11:57 am, the Teton Dam was breached, resulting in a massive flood which released 80 billion gallons of water. Eleven people were killed, along with 16,000 livestock. About 80% of the structures in the greater Rexburg area were either damaged or destroyed.

Many of the hospital’s employees became homeless that day, camping out in the building’s basement, unable to determine the status of their own homes until days after the flood had happened. Understandably, the hospital’s expansion project was put on hold. Construction was initiated the following year, however, and a grand opening ceremony was held on Oct. 24, 1978. Since that time, several additional expansions have taken place, culminating in the modern, efficient building occupied by the hospital today. In 2020, amid the ongoing COVID pandemic, Madison Memorial held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a much-needed, 12-bed Behavioral Health Unit, under the direction of two newly-hired psychiatrists. This was a powerful response to the long-standing call for more mental healthcare options in the community. The Behavioral Health Unit has run close to capacity since the day it opened, affirming the vitality of the services it offers. In recent years, hospital leaders have pondered ways of helping the public understand that the organization can no longer be accurately described as merely a hospital. Indeed, Madisonhealth now includes 6 clinics, 720 employees, 270 providers and a network of affiliated businesses, suppliers and partner organizations.

After much discussion, the decision was made to change the name of the organization to something that would better describe it. And just like that, Madisonhealth was born. “Madisonhealth” is an umbrella brand, encompassing the following:
• Madison Memorial Hospital
• Seasons Adult & Family Care
• Seasons Family Medicine
• Seasons Pediatrics
• The Women’s Center
• Rexburg Medical (previously known as Rexburg Medical Center)
• Madison Orthopedics
• Madison Surgery Center
• 270 physicians and providers with hospital privileges
• 720 employed staff members
• 40 contracted therapy specialists
• 9 contracted CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists)
• Many suppliers and business partners

In addition to the above, Madisonhealth shares ownership in two local, healthcare-related enterprises – Madison Carriage Cove and Teton Radiology Madison. It’s affiliated with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the University of Utah and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Madisonhealth was recently awarded a perfect 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Becker’s Hospital Review cited Madison Memorial as one of the nation’s top 100 rural and community hospitals. Just this year, Madisonhealth became the first organization in the state of Idaho to be awarded the prestigious Pathway to Excellence designation. Fully owned by Madison County, Madisonhealth treats patients from around and beyond East Idaho.


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