Our History

The History of Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

The Hayward Area Memorial Hospital sits upon land where an Indian Boarding School…built and operated by the Federal Government…once stood. The Boarding School opened its doors on September 1, 1901.

The complex began with a school, two dormitories and a warehouse. Later, a large barn, root cellar and other farm buildings were added and used to teach modern farming methods to students who spent half a day in vocational training. Administration buildings including offices, another dormitory and a residence for the superintendent were added.

In early August, 1929, work began on the construction of an Indian Hospital on the government owned property. The Sawyer County Record, dated August 21, 1929, stated that, “The building, of brick and tile, is considered modern in every detail.” The two-story, 32-bed hospital served the government complex until 1953.

During the Depression, the Indian School property (except for the hospital) was taken over by the Department of Labor for the housing of transients. Hayward residents lived there with their families or were employed there and others visited the camp. Those who lived there indicated that the camp was almost completely self-sufficient. There were large gardens, farm animals, dairy cows and a “barn so clean you could eat off the floor.” A butcher shop employed men who were also in charge of the poultry and other animals that were raised for food. Fruits and vegetables were delivered to the cannery to be processed and distributed to prisons. The root cellar was completely full of potatoes and other vegetables. There was a gym for basketball games and other activities, an auditorium, recreation hall, greenhouse, laundry, sawmill and a church all on the acreage.

Prosperity returned to the nation during the late 1940’s and by 1952, the last of the transients had been moved off the land. The camp was closed in 1952.

A group of local businessmen called The Hayward Area Memorial Hospital Association was organized in 1947 for the purpose of securing a hospital for the Hayward area. They began negotiations with the Federal and State governments when they learned the Indian Hospital might become available to the community.

The 640-acre hospital property was acquired in the spring of 1953 through an Act of Congress. The Hospital Association then turned it over to Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Society of Fargo, North Dakota. The facility opened its doors to the public on July 1, 1953.

Between 1953 and 1956, an extensive remodeling program was undertaken. The process modernized the facility and updated the equipment.

In 1970, a study by the State Board of Health determined the need for additional nursing home beds in the growing community of Hayward. With that determination, the local Advisory Board of Hayward Area Memorial Hospital arranged to build a long-term care center adjacent to, and connected with, the hospital. The Hayward Nursing Home was dedicated on Sunday, November 1, 1970.

Once again, the need for changes in the local hospital became apparent to meet the ever-growing health needs of the population. An entirely new facility became part of the plan. The first step in the plan began in 1974 with a community fund raising campaign.

On April 3, 1977, the following words were given to those assembled at the dedication of the new Hayward Area Memorial Hospital – “We open these doors in the name of quality health care to all who seek it.”

In 1995, a construction project added new space for the Physical and Occupational Therapy Departments plus a conference room.

Around this same time expansion of the Hayward Medical Campus began to take place with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Duluth Clinic-Hayward on December 15, 1997. The new 24,000 square foot medical clinic opened its doors on August 31, 1998.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the North Woods Building (now known as Northlakes Community Clinic) was held on June 2, 1998, and it was occupied in March of 1999. The completion of the Duluth Clinic-Hayward and the North Woods Building meant the people of the Hayward area would have increased access to quality health care where they live and work.

Planning for an inpatient hospital addition began in 2000, with the completion of a facility master plan. In August of 2001, the selection process for an architectural firm began.

An open house on July 14, 2004 marked the move into a new inpatient unit of the hospital and the renovation of a portion of the older building. The difference between old and new was dramatic. All private rooms with large windows replaced the older double rooms.

Surgical suites with upgraded high tech equipment, a dedicated Outpatient Department and a bright and attractive lobby and reception area were presented to the community. The Radiology and Laboratory Department’s expansions followed in February of 2007 bringing new equipment and room for the growing number of patients.

A new, state-of-the-art emergency room was opened in 2009, with seven private exam rooms, and dedicated trauma and cardiac rooms. The addition of a magnetic imaging resonance (MRI) suite and a new Respiratory Therapy Department was completed in 2013.

The Radiology Department has continuously upgraded imaging technology. In 2016, upgraded mammography services included the addition of 3-D Mammography, improving diagnosis and saving women trips out of the community when biopsy is needed.

In January 2017, Urgent Care services were added to improve community access to healthcare. Many people were leaving the community, traveling a minimum of 50 miles to the next closest hospital offering the service. August saw the opening of a newly remodeled Rehabilitation Services. A pediatric gym, expanded fitness space, designated wound care clinic and an area for women’s health were all added. Additional staff, with specialty certifications,  means greater individualized care for patients. Continuous upgrades to computer technology and electronic medical records have kept pace with the building’s changing image.

History of Hayward Nursing Home and Water’s Edge

The changing needs and expectations of the people in the area, in addition to population growth, prompted the Governing Board of Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Hayward Nursing Home to build assisted living apartments and a new, single story long-term care center.

On February 1st of 2011, 20 new assisted living apartments opened in the newly named complex called Water’s Edge. The one and two bedroom apartments quickly filled and tenants began to enjoy the amenities of having a chapel, hair salon, spa, exercise room and a bistro in the building. The attached hospital and clinics made living at Water’s Edge a highly desirable place to call home.

The old Hayward Nursing Home housed 76 residents in a large, two story building for over 40 years. During that time, the delivery of care had been based on a hospital model where daily living activities centered upon medical needs. The rooms were small and there were two residents per room. Meals and other activities were delivered on a schedule.

It was time to change to a model that respected everyone’s privacy and individual needs. Private rooms and baths, larger living spaces and access to landscaped courtyards and the amenities of the facility were all included in the new Care Center that opened on May 17, 2011.

Renamed the Heritage Building, the old nursing home renovation began. The first change brought a new updated kitchen and cafeteria for guests and staff. Offices and meeting rooms were added to the building allowing for areas of the hospital to be converted to more appropriate patient care services.

In May 2017, a groundbreaking to expand the assisted living from 20 to 40 apartments took place. With the expansion, the living options now include independent living apartments for those who want a great place to live, but do not yet need assistance. The addition, which opened on September 1, 2018, also includes a large fitness area, community meeting room and library.

A Bright Future

Our constant focus on our mission makes upgrades to services, staff, technology, and facilities inevitable. We strive “To continuously improve the health status of the people of the Hayward area.” In August 2018, we began the process of conducting another facility master plan with the architectural firm of BWBR. We are proud of how far we have come, and we look forward to an exciting future to serve you!