Carrington History

Our History

The idea for a hospital in Carrington took shape on September 23, 1915, when the Carrington Hospital Association was chartered. The cost of the first building was estimated at $13,400 with the final cost reaching $28,400. The stockowner's association built the original hospital in 1916, with opening day on November 22, 1916.


In 1941, the hospital was leased to the Presentation Sisters of the Diocese of Fargo. In 1943, a larger, more modern facility was needed. The cost of a 20-room addition was estimated at $40,000. The American Legion Post of Carrington agreed to act as sponsors of a drive to raise $20,000 and the Presentation Sisters offered to furnish the balance. Construction was delayed due to wartime conditions. The cost spiraled and along with several successful fundraising campaigns in 1945, 1947 and 1948, Federal aid was secured in 1955 to build and equip an adequate facility. Bishop Leo Dworschak laid the cornerstone for that building on October 20, 1955, and the building was dedicated on June 22, 1956. The final cost of this project was $396,000. This building now houses administration, business offices, the gift shop, conference rooms, Clinical Psychology and staff sleeping rooms. Ownership of this building was transferred to the Presentation Sisters in the mid 1970’s.


Because of an aging population in the Carrington service area, the original hospital was vacated by the Sisters and used as a nursing home care unit. This space was found to be limiting and a modern facility was needed. The Presentation Sisters then built a 38 bed skilled and intermediate nursing facility which opened May 25, 1964. This facility, originally known as Holy Family Guest Home, was later renamed Carrington Health Center Long Term Care. This facility was enlarged and remodeled in 1989. In March 2000, it was restructured into an adult basic care facility called Holy Family Villa with 24 single unit apartments.


Construction of the present hospital began officially on September 4, 1984, and opened in 1986 as one of the most modern, up-to-date facilities in the state of North Dakota.


In June of 1993, Foster County Medical Center was merged with Carrington Health Center and the Long Term Care unit. This merger was a financial move to receive federal designation as a Rural Health Clinic.


The Presentation Sisters witnessed many healthcare changes while providing healthcare to the Carrington area. Financial reasons, a decline in the number of Sisters, and the aging of those who were left presented the Sisters with many difficult choices. In 1980, the Sisters joined with Catholic Health Corporation of Omaha. This merger started with 18 hospitals and 7 long term care facilities and grew to 101 health care facilities located in 13 states. In 1996, in order to preserve their health care facility, the Presentation Sisters then helped form Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems.


CHI expresses its mission each day by creating and nurturing healthy communities in the hundreds of sites across the nation where it provides care. The nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, Englewood, Colorado-based CHI operates in 17 states and comprises 104 hospitals, including four academic health centers and major teaching hospitals as well as 30 critical-access facilities; community health-services organizations; long-term care facilities; home-health agencies; and other facilities and services that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care.


Carrington Health Center became part of CHI St. Alexius Health when they officially announced the formation of its regional health care system in April 2016. The system is the largest health care delivery system in central and western North Dakota and is comprised of a tertiary hospital in Bismarck, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) in Carrington, Dickinson, Devils Lake, Garrison, Turtle Lake, Washburn and Williston and numerous clinics and outpatient services. CHI St. Alexius Health manages four CAHs in North Dakota- Ashley, Elgin, Linton, and Wishek, as well as Mobridge Regional Medical Center in Mobridge, S.D.


For five consecutive years, 2014-2018, CHI St. Alexius Health, Carrington has been recognized as a “Health Strong Hospital” by being one of the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. Additionally, CHI St. Alexius Health, Carrington was named one of the top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in 2014, 2016, 2017 and again in 2018 by the National Rural Health Association.