Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Was Born 90 Years Ago
When you enter the Ravalli County Administration Center to pay your taxes, register your car or see the county commissioners, you are walking the same hallways as nurses and doctors did 90 years ago in what was then the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.
The building has its 90th birthday July 1st. That day in 1931 it opened to the public. Though the hospital built a new facility on Westwood Drive in the 1970s, the original building is still in sound condition and now serves as the county's main office facility.
In 1929, a group of people met with Margaret Daly, Marcus Daly's wife, who wanted to build a hospital to serve the public. Two years later, at the dedication ceremony, her son-on-law James Gerard said, "Mrs. Margaret Daly presents to the people of the Bitterroot this fully equipped hospital, together with a sum of money to help maintain it. And, she makes it the only condition that this hospital shall always be available to those of all races, nationalities, and to all creeds, and that politics shall never interfere in its management. Long may this hospital administer to the inhabitants of this happy valley."
Christina Voyles, MDMH Marketing Director, notes that the original staff was seven doctors and 16 nurses. The first patient needed an appendectomy. A few days later, in honor of the Dalys, the first babies born at the hospital were named Roy Marcus Daly Brady, James Daly Carver and Margaret Daly Rouse. Now, in 2021, the hospital employs over 650 caregivers and 13 clinics, with new clinics coming to Stevensville and Darby next year under the new Bitterroot Health brand.
CEO John Bishop said, "We are proud of the legacy Margaret Daly started 90 years ago, and look forward to continuing her mission. The evolution of MDMH has always been about furthering her vision of care for all in the Bitterroot Valley. It's a privilege to be part of her benevolent mission and carry her dream into the future."