Shawano's First Hospital

Posted 20 February 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

Shawano Municipal Hospital
Shawano Municipal Hospital, 1938 

By Linda Gilbert, Shawano Medical Center Foundation manager

“It was my thought that due to the numerous automobile collisions and auto accidents which seem to be very prevalent in our county, and the increase in manufacturing, and factories giving rise to more industrial accidents, that a county of this size should have a well-established hospital. It seemed to me that more people suffered from the effects of delay in treatment and hauling them great distances to hospitals, than they suffered from the original injury, and believing the City of Shawano to be the central point, I started agitating the construction and building of a hospital.” 

Those words, written by Shawano Mayor PJ Winter, are as relevant today as they were in 1931. In the days leading to the construction of the first Shawano Municipal Hospital, health care was at a crossroads. Instead of caring for sick and injured patients at home, patients were looking to hospitals for safe, modern, effective health care. Despite the economic turmoil of the times, Shawano area residents were able to plan and build a hospital that they called “Shawano’s most successful institution.” Municipal bonds formed the basis for the hospital, and individuals and organizations contributed money, services, and equipment.

Unlike Shawano’s original hospital, the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano will not need municipal bonds and will not receive tax money for its construction.  But it still depends on local support! This support continues today through the Shawano Medical Center Foundation, Shawano Friends of Hospice (both a part of the ThedaCare Family of Foundations), and the Shawano Medical Center Auxiliary. The Foundation is in the midst of its capital campaign, “Living Well Together.” If you would like to learn more about it, please call Linda Gilbert at (715) 526-7419.