Fairbanks Memorial Hospital: 'people first'.

Author:Stricker, Julie
Position:SPECIAL SECTION: Corporate 100--Corporate Spotlight - Organization overview

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is a business that holds its community close to its heart. As the primary healthcare center for Interior Alaska, the facility has been working to provide treatment options formerly found only in Anchorage or hospitals outside the state.

"The hospital is vital to the community as the sole community provider of hospital care," says spokeswoman Clover Tiffany. "We truly believe in 'People First,' and so, between the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation and FMH [Fairbanks Memorial Hospital], we find ways to provide the services our community needs. Patients don't need to travel outside of Fairbanks or Alaska to receive those services and can recover at home, closer to family and friends and support systems."

The hospital has 152 licensed beds, and staff oversaw 1,111 births and discharged 5,290 patients in 2012, the most recent statistics available, Tiffany says. Another 32,251 patients visited the emergency room and 150,367 utilized outpatient services. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and its equipment are owned by the foundation, which has a management agreement with Banner Health.

Banner Health is a nonprofit based in Phoenix, Arizona. It operates twenty-four hospitals and other health-related entities in seven states.

The hospital employs approximately 1,300 people and had $214 million in adjusted net revenue for 2012.

"Over 90 percent of that comes back or stays in the state through salaries, benefits, supplies, utilities, etc.," Tiffany says.

Early Beginnings in 1906

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has its roots in the former St. Joseph's Hospital, which dates to the first years of the city. Begun in 1906 by Jesuit priest the Reverend Francis M. Monroe, it was one of the first frame buildings in the fledgling community largely made of log structures. The hospital had thirty-five beds and the nuns of St. Joseph's Church were the nurses.

In 1910, the Sisters of Charity took over hospital operations.

The hospital served the town for decades, but by the middle of the 1960s, the sisters told city leaders they could no longer expand or replace the facility and would close it in 1967. The devastating 1967 flood damaged the hospital, which sat just off the banks of the Chena River. A $5.5 million bond issue to construction a new hospital was turned down by voters and a decision was made to build and operate the hospital as a nonprofit, community-owned facility.

Forty Years of Growth

A nonprofit foundation, the...

To continue reading