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Q&R Clinic / Bismarck Hospital / Medcenter One / Sanford Health

By | Last Modified: November 13, 2019

Established in 1902, Q&R Clinic is the nation’s second-oldest surviving clinic (behind Mayo Clinic).

Doctors Eric P. Quain & Niles O. Ramstad founded the clinic. The clinic was housed on the second floor of downtown bank until relocating to 221 N 5th in 1927. That building was expanded several times, in 1953, 1966, and 1973.

In 1983, Q&R Clinic and the affiliated Bismarck Hospital completed an $11.9-million expansion on South 7th Street that included a 6-story tower and closed a block of Thayer Avenue. The former Q&R building at 221 N 5th Street then became the newly combined City/County Building, which remains today.

Medcenter One (Sanford)

Bismarck Evangelical Hospital was founded in 1907, and became the first hospital in western North Dakota to have an x-ray machine. The name changed to Bismarck Hospital in 1955, and then again to Medcenter One in 1984. Sanford Health merged with Medcenter One in 2012.

1993 Merger and Expansion

1993 was a particularly important year for Medcenter One, having merged with long-time partner Q&R Clinic and completed a $7.9 million expansion after years of intense scrutiny and lawsuits. The project adds two stories to its main hospital building, while also adding a new 30,000-square-foot outpatient center across of Rosser Avenue, attached via skyway and underground tunnel to the main hospital.

The project faced intense scrutiny prior to approval, largely the result of objections from competing Saint Alexius. The disagreement came to a head in November 1990 when the state Health Council – a citizen panel that approves major expansions and expense requisitions by medical facilities – denied Medcenter’s certificate of need for the expansion, which originally was estimated at $9.5 million to included a shelled third floor addition to accommodate future expansion, on top of the two floors that are ultimately added. The reduced-scale project won approval in January 1991. In plea for approval, Medcenter One agreed to reduce its licensed bed capacity from 256 beds to 232.

Soon after, a court injunction halted Medcenter’s progress of its outpatient building, after commencing construction of “shelled” third and fourth floors. The Health Council was under the assumption that the outpatient building would only be two stories. Medcenter appealed to the state Supreme Court that the added cost fell under the $750,000 limit required for Council approval. The Council reversed its objection and approved the additional two stories in July 1992.

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