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Our History


Ward Memorial Hospital History

In the decades prior to 1956, Monahans was served by several privately-owned hospitals and not until the late 1940's did it become apparent that a more centrally governed, single owner facility was needed to provide the rapidly growing health-care needs of Ward County's citizens.

In 1949 a Chamber of Commerce hospital committee was formed and began taking the first steps toward a visionary project. The Chamber's "Hospital Committee" compiled the costs of building a new hospital to present to taxpayers - the first hospital bond issue was defeated in 1950.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. After one private hospital discontinued practice due to inadequate facilities, leaving only one that could handle just 23 patients, the need for a county hospital was again fronted to the citizens in 1953. With the support of local doctors, civic groups and women's clubs, a bond election was called in March of 1954. In June of 1954 the voters voted six-to-one in favor of a county hospital.

Ward Memorial Hospital - Early 1960's
On October 15, 1956 Ward Memorial Hospital opened its doors as a 35-bed facility with C.A. Woody serving as administrator.

For the next two decades the hospital grew, both in size and its capabilities in providing health-care for the entire West Texas area. Then, on April 19, 1977, three powerful tornados touched down - in and around Monahans, lifted and came together as one just above Ward Memorial Hospital.

The tornado completely demolished the new west wing and much of the Coronary Care Unit, causing damage estimated at 3 million dollars and reducing the hospital from 49-beds to a "patched-up" 30-bed facility. Not only was the hospital devastated, the entire city suffered from the effects of the tornado.

Neighbors Caring For Neighbors! Shortly after the disaster, it was decided to build a new facility rather than make repairs on the damaged building. A $4 million bond issue was passed and in 1978 construction began on the east side of the original building. In 1980 the new building - as today's Ward Memorial Hospital, was completed.

Services, goals and visions of the future were never left to stagnate in the times after 1980. And those goals and visions continue to thrive at Ward Memorial Hospital to this day.

Presently, Ward Memorial Hospital is a Level IV Trauma Center - currently licensed as a 25 bed Critical Access facility providing quality healthcare services to 14 surrounding counties.

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~ Neighbors helping Neighbors ~