Our History

In 2011, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital celebrated a century of commitment, caring, and service as a non-profit community hospital. What began as a 20-bed hospital with one doctor is now an 86-bed facility with more than 200 providers on medical staff representing 45 specialties. Today Bozeman Health is the largest private employer in Gallatin Valley with more than 1,800 employees.

Pulmonary Care Excellence Award 2015 HealthgradesIt never occurred to John Bozeman as he led settlers to the Gallatin Valley that he was making history. It also probably never occurred to Dr. Henry Foster when he built the Bozeman Sanitarium on the corner of Lamme and North Tracy that he, too, was making history. Centralized healthcare began in the Gallatin Valley with Dr. Foster's medical facility. After Dr. Foster died, his widow sold the Bozeman Sanitarium to Dr. J.F. Blair in 1902, and he renamed it the Blair Sanitarium. Dr. Blair later leased his sanatorium to the Deaconesses and then offered to sell it to them for $20,000.

In 1911, your community non-profit hospital, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, was born of a partnership between the community and the Methodist Church when each contributed $10,000 to purchase the Bozeman Sanitarium from Dr. Blair. Once the sale was complete, the Sanitarium was renamed Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and was managed by Methodist deaconesses. A "deaconess" was a woman who dedicated her life to service. The deaconesses cared for patients, cleaned the hospital, and typically received a small stipend plus room and board.

By 1920, additional hospital facilities were needed, and in spite of pressing financial problems at the time, area citizens and the Methodist Church responded in support of a new hospital. The 50-bed hospital cost $125,000 to complete. The former sanatorium building was renovated to house the deaconess nurses. The population of Gallatin County at that time was 15,864. By the 1940s, the last of the deaconesses in Bozeman had moved or retired, closing the era of the deaconess. In 1944, a west wing was constructed to serve as the nurses' dormitory. A few years later, this building was converted to patient services, and the capacity of the hospital was increased to 104 beds (patients shared rooms and had longer hospital stays than is the norm today). In 1955, a full time radiologist was hired and a modern x-ray department opened.

In 1956, the governing board and management recognized the growth that would come to the Bozeman area, and thus purchased 500 acres of land east of town. (During the 1960s Bozeman Deaconess began building the Hillcrest Retirement Community on Highland Boulevard.) In 1957, the hospital opened a newly equipped physical therapy department; two years later, a modern laboratory was established. In 1961, Bozeman Deaconess celebrated its 50th anniversary.

In 1969, an intensive care unit was built attached to the original buildings built in 1920 and 1944. In 1971, a $1.7 million addition was completed on the hospital, which was still located on the corner of Tracy and Lamme. The hospital purchased a radioactive isotope scanner in 1977.

By 1980 the population in Gallatin Valley had grown to 42,865. In 1983 the need was established for a modern acute care facility. In light of rapid changes in healthcare and area population projections, trustees formulated a long range development plan to relocate and construct a new facility west of Highland Boulevard and north of the Hillcrest Retirement Community on the land it had purchased in 1956.

Construction of a building

The 86-bed hospital with all private rooms opened in 1986, in an area that continues to offer ample space for future expansion of services. At that time there were 60 physicians on medical staff. The 'new' hospital was built on 90 acres, leaving 400 acres free for future use or sale. Trustees recognized that the land would appreciate in value and offer the potential to lower health care costs in the future. In response to requests for office space by area physicians, attached medical office buildings were constructed. Highland Park 1 opened in early 1990.

Also in 1990, the Cardiac Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program began and the Pharmacy at Highland Park opened. Highland Park 2 was fully occupied by July 1992. The Cancer Treatment Center (now Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center) opened in 1994. Highland Park 3 opened in 1998 for medical office space and now houses the Cancer Center, the Dialysis Center and Outpatient Services. Bozeman Deaconess Foundation was incorporated in 1999.

Between 1996 and 2006 Gallatin County saw a 27% growth rate. Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital responded to meet growing community need to improve community health and quality of life. A 10-bed emergency department opened in October 1999. In 2001, Hillcrest was rebuilt and now includes Aspen Pointe (retirement living) and Birchwood (assisted living). In 2003 the Cardiac Cath Lab opened, offering diagnostic catheterizations to 500 patients. Additional medical office space became available when Highland Park 4 was completed in 2005.

Bozeman Deaconess Medical Group began in 2005 as a partnership to support continued access to essential and expanded services to the community. Robert A. Hathaway (now Spinelli Internal Medicine) and Internal Medicine Associates were the first clinics to join the group. By the end of the year, there were nearly 50 employed physicians and more than a dozen employed midlevel providers. A new surgery suite was constructed in 2005, and two new OR suites added, to meet the increased number of surgeries performed at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. Advanced Medical Imaging also opened on the Bozeman Health campus. Bozeman Health Cancer Center was renovated in 2006 to offer fully integrated cancer care. Also in 2006, Aspen Pointe added 32 new apartments. The Wound Clinic opened; the following year, a hyperbaric chamber was added. And, the first interventional cardiologist joined the medical staff. Until that time, people having a heart attack had to go to Billings for lifesaving treatment.

In 2007, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital began the Hospital Medicine program. Surgical Services expanded and a new Perioperative Services (formerly Day Surgery) wing was built. The Sleep Disorders Center expanded from three to six sleep rooms. Bozeman Health Internal Medicine Associates moved into expanded space on the top floor of Highland Park 4. Big Sky Women's Specialists (now referred to as Bozeman Health Women's Specialists) Neurology and Urological Associates joined Bozeman Health. Bozeman Health Diabetes Center opened. The new state of the art Laboratory, with fully automated instrumentation opened. And, Bozeman Deaconess was named Business of the Year by Prospera Business Network. That also was the year Bozeman Deaconess began planning a community-wide Electronic Health Records system.

In 2008-09, obstetric delivery rooms were renovated and remodeled and the nursery expanded. A Vascular Lab, where radiologists and cardiologists offer minimally invasive procedures to treat vascular disease and blockage, opened in 2009, as did The Knolls Phase I for adults 55 and better and Synergy Medical Spa. Also that year, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care, Infectious Disease, Rheumatology and Family Medicine & Pediatrics (formerly Medical Associates) joined Bozeman Health. Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital received American Heart Association Training Center Designation and the Bozeman Health Foundation celebrated a decade of philanthropy with $10 million raised for healthcare services in 10 years. The Greater Gallatin United Way presented its Community Impact Award to Bozeman Health and the Health Information Center opened in Highland Park 2 Atrium.

Notable additions of new technologies, medical services and treatments in 2010 include Bozeman Health Cancer Center accreditation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Bozeman Health Cancer Center also became a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network member. Bozeman Health and 16 school districts formed a health literacy partnership. Bozeman Health launched a safety campaign based on aviation and nuclear industry error reduction practices. The hospital safety campaign earned VHA's Work Force Improvement Award for successful communication strategies. Bozeman Health began offering telepharmacy services to Big Sky, and the Bozeman Health Foundation launched the Cornerstone Campaign to raise funds for an expanded Emergency department.

The multispecialty Bozeman Health Medical Group expanded to include primary care (family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics), cardiology, otolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, gastroenterology, nephrology, rheumatology, urology, travel medicine, infectious disease, neurology, geriatric medicine, palliative medicine, oncology, pulmonary medicine and critical care, cosmetic surgery, diabetes, hematology, medical oncology, sleep medicine and the newly joined Nephology clinic.

Bozeman Health continued to expand services and facilities in 2011-12. With the successful completion of Bozeman Health Foundation's $9 million Cornerstone Campaign, Phase I of the new Emergency Department opened, providing 19 state-of-the-art examination rooms for patient care. Phase II, opened in January 2013, included a complete renovation of the existing 10-bed ER into a new triage area with seven updated exam rooms.

Fresenius Medical Care purchased Bozeman Dialysis Center, expanded treatment option for out-patients and instituted in-patient dialysis at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center was selected by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) as a research affiliate to offer 75 new clinical cancer research trials locally, and by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) to participate in a national prostate cancer study. A new patient call light system was installed in the hospital to provide better care, faster response and improved safety. The Foundation launched a new $3 million campaign to purchase and build a new vault for a new linear accelerator that delivers radiation treatment for the Cancer Center, and expand chemotherapy.

Teaming up with Gallatin City-County Health Department and Community Health Partners for Immunize Montana, Bozeman Deaconess Health Services helped raise vaccine rates among children and adults in the state. Some received their immunizations at the new Community Care Connect (CCC) bus that travels around three counties providing a number of health screens. Bozeman Deaconess Health Group added specialties in neuropsychology and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Four of its primary care clinics were the first in Montana to earn Level III Medical Home Recognition, the highest level from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which also gave three-year recognition to Bozeman Deaconess Diabetes Center.

In 2013, Advanced Medical Imaging was among the first in the state to offer low does chest CT scans for lung cancer. Also, Bozeman Deaconess Heart Center celebrated ten years of cardiac services in the Gallatin Valley, while Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center earned STAR Program® certification for its excellent rehabilitation services. And Bozeman Deaconess announced plans for building a new 50,000 square-foot medical office building on campus to meet increasing demands for facility space.

Expansion of Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center continued in 2014, with the opening of a larger and updated medical oncology/infusion center. Bozeman Health Medical Group clinics launched Patient Portal, a secure online health management tool that allows patients to make appointments, obtain some of their medical records and lab results, pay bills and send messages to their providers. Providing off-site preventative healthcare, particularly for the uninsured and under-insured, was revamped when the Community Care Connect bus was replaced with the new HealthCare Connections mobile outreach vehicle. Same Day Surgery Center joined Bozeman Health.

In early 2014, Bozeman Health broke ground on the Big Sky Medical Center located in Big Sky, MT. Opening in fall 2015, the Big Sky Medical Center will offer 24/7/365 Emergency Services with a heli-stop for air ambulance. It will feature a four-bed inpatient unit for admissions and observation with space to increase to eight beds. The facility will include an onsite diagnostic imaging center with general radiology, CT scanner, ultrasound, and mobile MRI, laboratory services, and an integrated pharmacy with extended retail pharmacy services. A primary care clinic and physical therapy services will also be onsite.

Also in 2014, Clinical Research Group of Montana joined Bozeman Health. The number of medical providers also continued to increase, with more than two dozen physicians and midlevel providers joining the medical staff in 2014, for a total of more than 60 employed physicians and nearly two dozen employed midlevel providers at the end of the year. Coming from top-ranked medical schools, residencies and fellowships, our providers and nursing staff are some of the reasons Bozeman Deaconess Health Services has been honored with numerous awards over the years.

In 2014 alone, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics™, one the nation’s 100 Great Community Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review, and a 2014 Healthstrong Hospital by iVantage Health Analytics. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital was recognized for the sixth time as a Five-Star Community Value Provider, with a 2014 Community Value Leadership Award from Cleverley + Associates and was honored for the third time with an “A” grade in the Hospital Safety Score administered by The Leapfrog Group. Finally, Healthgrades recognized Bozeman Deaconess as one of America’s 100 Best hospitals for Pulmonary Care. Bozeman Deaconess also received a Healthgrades 2015 Pulmonary Care Excellence Award, as well as Five-Star recognition for treatment of heart attack and heart failure, total knee replacement, COPD, pneumonia, GI bleed, bowel obstruction and sepsis.

We have always been, and continue to be, dedicated to providing quality medical care and helping you improve your health.

Gallatin County