The LDS Church made headlines in September, 1974, with the announcement that it was giving its $60-million chain of 15 hospitals to the communities they served. A new non-Church, not-for-profit corporation was formed to operate the hospitals. The new entity acquired a name, Intermountain Health Care, and a president and chief executive Officer, Scott S. Parker, early in 1975. The new Board of Trustees included Thomas D. Dee, II, as treasurer.
It was mid-1976 before the lengthy legal divestiture proceedings were completed and the corporate offices were moved from the Church office building to 36 South State Street in Salt Lake City.
1975 was a record year for McKay-Dee Hospital Center. More patients were admitted, babies born, outpatients served, emergencies met, surgeries performed, and laboratory work done than during any other year.
The Hospital also opened a Gastroenterology Laboratory, purchased an Ultrasound system, installed a Gamma camera in Nuclear Medicine, added a telemetry monitoring system to the Coronary Care Unit, purchased four more fetal heart rate monitors and eight more vital sign monitors for ICU and the post-operative Recovery Room.
The Porter Family Practice Model Unit outgrew its quarters in the Professional building and was relocated in the Rocky Mountain Plaza at 3950 Harrison Blvd.
Three large construction projects were begun in 1975 – remodeling of the Emergency Room with costs defrayed by the children of founder Florence Dee Barker and her husband, Judge George Barker; construction of the Edith Dee Mack Green Auditorium and multipurpose classroom center; and installation of a waste compactor.
Watching the growth in the northern part of Weber County, the Board of Trustees announced 15.2 acres of property at 2400 North Washington Blvd. had been purchased as the future site of an outreach clinic.
In 1976, the Hospital recorded growth in three major areas – Rehabilitation Medicine, Psychiatric services and births. The fourth floor of the Dee Hospital was dedicated to Rehabilitation nursing. A fifth physician joined the group of doctors to provide 24-hour care in the Emergency Room, and remodeling of the area was completed and dedicated to Florence Dee Barker. The remodeling cost was $140,000.
Death of Founder
On October 4, 1977, the Hospital was saddened by the death of its last remaining founder, Lawrence T. Dee, who was 86. He had served as a trustee of the original Dee Hospital and member of the McKay-Dee Governing Board for 55 years. Mr. Dee was a familiar and well-loved figure in the Hospital where he "made rounds" at least once a week. The esteem in which he was held is evident in the resolution adopted by the Governing Board:
"WHEREAS, Lawrence T. Dee, with his mother and sisters, founded the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in 1910; and
WHEREAS, Lawrence T. Dee served on the Board of Trustees of the Dee Hospital and the Governing Board of its successor, the McKay-Dee Hospital Center, for 55 years; and
WHEREAS, he was a man of compassion, a philanthropist who gave of his own means that others might be made well, a gentle critic who urged us on to ever higher goals; and
WHEREAS, he was our dearly beloved friend whose passing marks the end of an era;
NOW, THEREFORE, this tribute to his memory is adopted by the Governing Board and Administration of the McKay-Dee Hospital Center; and
IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that an expression of the deepest sympathy is tendered to his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas D. Dee II and his wife Elizabeth, and their sons, Thomas III and David. His death leaves an empty place in our hearts that will not easily be filled."
Three obstetrical anesthesiologists joined the staff in 1976, as births rose to an all-time high of 4,210.
Authorization to purchase a computerized total body scanner was given by the Governing Board in 1977, following an in-depth study of the benefits and probable usage of the scanner.
In April of 1977, the Hospital submitted an application to the Utah Office of Health Planning and Facilities Development for approval to build an annex to the hospital to house outpatient surgery, storage and parking. The proposal was denied in September. An alternate was submitted and approved in December, giving authority to build a structure to house rehabilitation medicine, storage, and a parking terrace and to remodel the former rehab space into an outpatient center. The Hospital also received a go-ahead to complete a 31-bed nursing unit on the sixth floor of the McKay.
Connecting Corridor Completed
A major structural change was made in 1977 when a connecting corridor was built between the second floors of the McKay and Dee. Its completion gave better access to the mother and infant overflow unit on 2 Dee.
A second physiatrist joined the Rehabilitation Medicine staff in July and the long-awaited total body scanner was installed in September, providing physicians with a sophisticated new diagnostic service.
A major step forward in the care of sick newborns was made in January, 1978, when neonatologist W. Richard Weeks, M.D., joined the Hospital-based staff to direct care in the neonatal unit.
The Hospital acquired ownership of the McKay Professional building in 1978; and renamed it in honor of Lawrence T. Dee, who was closely associated with the Hospital from the time he helped his mother and sisters found it in 1910. He was named to the Dee Board of Trustees in 1922 and served continuously until his death in 1977.
The conversion of wards into private rooms continued; the net result to be 87 new private rooms for patient comfort and security.
The Thomas G. Barker Vascular Laboratory to detect the possibility of stroke was opened.
In January 1979, the orthopedic unit moved into its new home on the sixth floor of the McKay. Subsequently, patients from the third floor of the Dee were relocated on the fourth floor of the McKay and Rehab patients were moved down one floor to 3 Dee. These moves freed the fourth floor of the Dee so that construction could begin on a centralized diagnostic and treatment center for cardiopulmonary illnesses.
Groundbreaking for Annex
In March, 1979, patients and staff participated in breaking ground for the Annex to house Rehabilitation Medicine and storage. Part of the same contract was a new elevator system to connect the two hospital buildings on the "A" level, 3, 4 and 5 floors, as well as an extension of the clinical laboratory and new air exchange system for the operating rooms.
July 12, 1979 marked the tenth anniversary of the new David O. McKay Hospital. In that decade, 36,384 babies were born and 177,552 patients were admitted. 1979 also saw the opening of the Hospital's first outreach facility. On September 25, the McKay-Dee Medical Clinic, an after-hours physicians' office, was opened at 2400 North Washington Boulevard in North Ogden. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and noon until midnight on weekends to provide physician services to the residents of northern Weber County when doctors' offices are closed.
In chronological order, major events in 1980 were completion of a remodeling project on Pediatrics to open an intermediate care unit, the dedication of the new Rehabilitation Center, and a change in Hospital administration.
Dr. Eva Jean Law, assistant administrator/nursing, said the new pediatric unit, staffed by six nurses, was another example of how a hospital must constantly change to meet patient needs.
In September, Kenneth C. Johnson, in his ninth year as administrator, was named to the newly-created position of regional administrator for six Intermountain Health Care hospitals in Idaho and Wyoming.
Intermountain Health Care President Scott S. Parker praised Mr. Johnson as "the ideal candidate for this added responsibility."
The McKay-Dee Governing Board chose H. Gary Pehrson, a member of the Hospital's administrative staff from 1972 until 1977, to succeed Mr. Johnson.
Both administrators were on hand for the November 15 ceremonies naming the new Rehabilitation Center "The Donnell B. and Elizabeth S. Stewart Rehabilitation Center."
During the program, Mr. Johnson revealed for the first time that the Stewarts had contributed the new therapy pool in the Center, continuing their life-long support of the Hospital.
Completion of the Rehabilitation Center freed space on the "A" level of the Dee for construction of an integrated Outpatient Surgery Center. Patients enter the Center through the south door of the Dee Hospital, are registered on "A", and any tests ordered by the physicians are completed in the same area prior to surgery. After a period in the Recovery Room, the patient is returned to one of the 14 adult or 6 pediatric beds in the Surgical Center for an observation and recovery period before returning home the same day, usually within a total span of four to six hours for the entire procedure.
The new Center opened in August under the medical direction of Anesthesiologist James Wheeler, M.D. Completion of two new operating rooms followed, bringing a well-rounded out-patient surgery service to physicians and patients.
This new service is typical of the aggressive manner in which the Hospital has continued to foresee and meet changes in health care practice.
Annie T. Dee's determination to do something to take care of the sick laid a firm foundation upon which the 72-year-old McKay-Dee Hospital continues to build.
Hanrahan Named Administrator
After serving as associate administrator for three years, Tom Hanrahan became the CEO of McKay-Dee Hospital in 1986. Then in 1996 he was selected as vice president of the Intermountain Health Care Urban North Region.
Superintendents and administrators of the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital and the McKay- Dee Hospital Center have been:
- R.C. Lundy 1910 - 1915
- O.J. Stilwell 1915 - 1916
- Wilfred Rawson 1917 - 1933
- Howard Jenkins 1933 - 1941
- Lawrence Evans 1941 - 1951
- Kenneth E. Knapp 1951 - 1972
- Kenneth C. Johnson 1972 - 1980
- H. Gary Pehrson 1980 - 1986
- Tom Hanrahan 1986 - Present
Mrs. Annie T. Dee was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees. She was followed by:
- Henry J. Rolapp 1916 - 1917
- W.H. Wattis 1917 - 1929
- Sylvester Q. Cannon 1929 - 1938
- LeGrand Richards 1938 - 1958
- Thorpe B. Isaacson 1958 - 1962
- John H. Vandenberg 1962 - 1969
- Albert L. Bott 1970 - 1972
- Nathan C. Tanner 1972 - 1982
- Paul T. Kunz 1982 - Present