CHI Oakes Hospital

History of CHI Oakes Hospital

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Health care in Oakes has a long and very interesting history. In 1923, the Benedictine Sisters of Manitoba, Canada bought the large residence of Mr. W. T. Noonan, the President of the North American Creameries, and established St. Anthony Hospital.

In 1937, the Sisters of Mercy of Valley City took over the Hospital and named it Mercy Hospital.

Early in 1950, Bishop Leo F. Dworschak of the Fargo Diocese, and Father Edward McDonald, pastor of St. Charles Church, persuaded the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Hankinson, North Dakota to consider purchasing the hospital. On September 22, 1950, the first Franciscan Sisters took over the operation of the hospital and named it St. Joseph’s Hospital, with Sister Mary Agnes as the first Administrator.

After several years of operation it soon became apparent that the present building could not meet the needs of the community and the standards of the state division of hospitals. In 1954 a fund drive was started. The next year plans were made and construction began on a new hospital located at 314 South 8th Street, Oakes. Dedication of the 36-bed hospital took place on October 14, 1956, and the patients moved to the new building on October 22, 1956. The two Physicians at this time were Dr. R. W. Van Houten and Dr. W. A. Craychee.

In 1972, space was once again needed and the addition of the ambulance garage, purchasing department, storage, laboratory, and oxygen storage were added.

The Sisters who had occupied the second floor of the hospital moved to other accommodations in 1977 and that area was used for medical records, in-service and conference room, and offices.

In 1981, Oakes Community Hospital celebrated 25 years of dedicated service to the sick and injured. This institution is pledged to continue to serve in this same responsible manner in the years to come.

Dedication of a wing housing the Clinical Laboratory, CT scanner, Emergency Rooms, Out-patient services and Lobby took place May 1, 1994. The new addition covered 2,650 square feet.

On September 21, 1995 Oakes Community Hospital was notified that the hospital was certified as a Trauma Level IV hospital.

In 1996, Oakes Community Hospital celebrated 40 years of dedicated service to the sick and injured. The mission remains to serve all persons, regardless of age, race, creed or religion.

From 1960-2001, Oakes Community Hospital was Joint Commission Accredited. In 2001, OCH converted to a Critical Access Hospital with state certification.

Oakes Community Hospital leased the Oakes Clinic and the outlying clinic sites known as Southeast Medical Center, from July 1994 to July 1999. In July 1999, Southeast Medical Center separated from the Hospital. Professional medical services for Emergency Department coverage were contracted with the Southeast Medical Center. The Oakes Community Hospital was served by physicians and allied professional staff from the Southeast Medical Center.

In the continuing effort to provide the best possible care for the patients, another major step in the history was completed in March1998. Recognizing the importance of maintaining holistic care, as well as the changes of healthcare in today’s world, the Sisters of St. Francis transferred the sponsorship of Oakes Community Hospital to Catholic Health Initiatives, which is the largest healthcare corporation in the United States.

In 2005, due to 50 years of wear as well as the need for more room for expanded services, CHI announced that it would help the community build a new facility. A fund drive with an initial goal of $1,000,000 was started; this goal was surpassed. A total of $1.5 million was raised. Ground breaking for the new facility, located at 1200 North Seventh Street, was held on August 16, 2006. Dedication of the new, 20-bed facility took place on June 3, 2007.

PACs (a system that allows for images to be transmitted digitally for evaluation and diagnosis) and Telepharmacy began in 2007 after the move into the new hospital.

Records show that the first baby was born in 1938. After many deliveries, the difficult decision was made to close the obstetrical unit at the hospital on June 30. 2009. The last baby born in the hospital was delivered on June 27, 2009 by Dr. Rup Nagala.

In January 2010, a contract was entered into with Coast to Coast Health Care Services to provide physician coverage for the OCH Emergency Department. These physicians, as well as the physicians and mid-level staff from Sanford Oakes Clinic (formerly Southeast Medical Center), have privileges to admit patients to the hospital.

On February 8, 2010, Oakes Community Hospital opened the Oakes Community Clinic within the hospital. Administrative offices were remodeled to create space for this clinic. The first two providers seeing patients were Thomas Cooper, Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Kathryn Cooper, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, as well as physicians from the Coast to Coast group. In March 2010 visiting physicians and surgeons began seeing patients in the clinic and hospital. Daniel Stanhiser, M.D. came in June 2010 and was named the first Medical Director for Oakes Community Clinic.

As a result of dedicated clinic staff, Cardiac Rehabilitation was reintroduced as an Oakes Community Hospital service. Outpatient Physical Therapy also became a vital service.

In August 2010 Oakes Community Hospital opened the LaMoure Clinic. The first provider in this clinic was Larry Hendricks, Physician Assistant. Mobile Digital Mammography came to the LaMoure Clinic in October 2010. This clinic was closed in 2012.

In September of 2011, Dr. Katie O’Brien-Paradis joined the medical staff and currently serves as Chief of Staff.

With the availability of advanced technology the following services began being offered: eEmergency (in the hospital Emergency Department), OCH was the first North Dakota hospital to utilize this; and PADNet (circulation testing of the extremities) in Oakes Clinic, Telemedicine specialties, and fixed mammography at the hospital.

In 2013, Meditech was introduced as the platform Oakes would use for electronic health records in the hospital, and in 2014, AEHR (ambulatory electronic health record) was implemented in the Clinic.

Oakes Community Hospital partnered with several other entities for efficiency and standardization of processes, which include: Conifer and MedSynergies for revenue cycle, CHIPS for physician enterprise management and WiPro for Information Technology.

In 2014, the hospital’s name was changed to CHI Oakes Hospital to better identify with being part of a strong healthcare system, Catholic Health Initiatives.

In 2019, CHI Oakes became part of CommonSpirit Health which was created by the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health as a single ministry.

History of Sisters of St. Francis

The Sisters of St. Francis are a sponsoring order of CHI and continue to support CHI Oakes Hospital by maintaining a mission in Oakes, North Dakota. This Congregation of Sisters originated in Dillingen, Germany in 1241. Today, they are an International Congregation with their Generalate in Dillingen, Germany, and Provinces in Germany, United States, Brazil, and India. In the past, the Sisters had Missions in Albania and Africa; they still maintain a Mission in Spain.

At all times and in all places, the Sisters primary goal and purpose is to love and serve God and His people. In the footsteps of their founder, St. Francis, they strive to be Christ-like according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

During their long history, they have cared for the elderly, taught in schools, and nursed the sick in private homes, on the battlefields in several wars, in army hospitals, in city hospitals, and finally in their own hospitals.

In 1913, twenty-four of these Sisters began the ministry of domestic work in seminaries in the United States at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. In 1928, they opened their Provincial Motherhouse and Academy in Hankinson, North Dakota.

In this center, they received new members and expanded into the teaching and nursing fields in the United States.

In 1945, the Sisters opened St. Anne’s Guest Home for the elderly in Fargo, North Dakota, which in 1952 was moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota.

St. Gerard’s Nursing Home, Hankinson, North Dakota is also operated by the Sisters of St. Francis.

CHI Oakes Hospital

1200 North 7th Street
Oakes, North Dakota 58474
(701) 742-3291


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