In 1945, the communities in Bowman and Slope Counties realized there was a need for organized health services. In July 1946, a city block in the west side of Bowman was donated for the location of a hospital. In 1955, the hospital was leased to the Episcopal Church. This new corporation was called St. Luke’s Tri-State Hospital Association. A new addition to the hospital was completed during the summer of 1968 and brought the total bed capacity of the facility to 39.
Sunset Nursing Home opened in 1964. Again, the land was donated where the home was built. On January, 2001 St. Luke’s Tri-State Hospital and Sunset Care Corporation consolidated and became Southwest Healthcare Services. Bowman Ambulance Service and an assisted living facility also became a part of Southwest Healthcare Services in the early 2000s. Southwest Healthcare Services is now encompassed by a 40 long-term bed facility, an acute care clinic including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, lab, radiology, and more all on one long-term care campus in which the hospital had been added onto in 2017.
With a capital campaign to double the square footage of the hospital and healthcare facility kicking off in 2013, Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T) stepped in to assist their local community. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust was actually one of the biggest donors for the building project. It really helped us to build the new hospital here in Bowman,” mentions Human Resources Director Allison Englehart. The entire campaign with support from many in the local community raised over five million dollars.
When speaking about the impact that DCB&T has had on the hospital and the Bowman community, Benz maintains, “It’s all in their name. They also help with our annual fundraiser event. They always have a table and are involved with the big ticket items at the live or silent auction.” Englehart mirrors his statement stating, “I am really impressed with the bank (DCB&T). They are really truly are very community minded. You see them out everywhere doing barbeques and helping with 4-H. They take community seriously. They not only helped us with the bigger campaign, but they help us every year with our fundraising as well.”
The newer joint facility with all amenities in one place really acts as one regional healthcare location. With no other hospital between Bowman and Spearfish, many of their patients come from the south but they do also see patients from the north and surrounding areas. As they have seen a 30% increase in emergency room visits and 23% increase in their clinic over the past several years, they knew the volume of patients were on the rise and needed adequate room to provide services. Another issue they hope to tackle with the new facility is to have the best technology in order to provide the highest quality of healthcare to their ever-growing patient population.
“The shininess of the new facility along with being handicap accessible is nice and easy for our patients,” says Marketing Director Cole Benz together with Englehart. Other benefits have included better dietary services to the hospital, no transferring of patients between the hospital and long term care, and one centralized business office as well as a reduction in overhead expenses with one campus.
“We are constantly trying to improve and figure out new ways to treat our patients as well as outreach, educate and get them involved,” says Benz. “As the biggest employer in the community, there is always an economic aspect as well.” With a mission to provide healthcare excellence to the local communities, they believe this new campus will provide them many benefits for years to come.
For more information about Southwest Healthcare Services, please visit: https://swhealthcare.net/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director