Our History


For over 100 years, Washington County Hospital and Clinics has been providing healthcare services to Washington County and surrounding community residents. Founded in 1912, the 25-bed Critical Access hospital and 43-bed nursing home provides inpatient, outpatient, long-term care and emergency services for the Washington County and surrounding areas.

The hospital was originally founded as Washington County Hospital, the first rural county public hospital in Iowa and perhaps the nation. The name change to Washington County Hospital and Clinics (WCHC) occured in November of 1998 in an effort to encompass more of what our hospital offers and after completing a major expansion project. In 2006 and 2007 the hospital was able to invest even more in the future of healthcare in Washington by constructing new hospital facilities. These state of the art facilities offer the latest in technological advancements in healthcare, while reflecting on comfort and a pleasing environment for patients and their families.

WCHC's entire healthcare team strives to meet the changing medical needs of the communities we serve. With today's shift to shorter hospital stays, WCHC provides an extensive outpatient surgery department, radiology and rehabilitation services. The McCreedy Home also extend the continuum of care available in our communities. WCHC continuously meets healthcare needs with compassionate treatment, state-of-the-art technology and a competent staff of professionals.

In 1907, local physicians and a nurse established the five bed Washington Hospital in a private home in the town of Washington, IA. In November 1910, voters approved tax funds for a hospital building, thereby funding the first rural county public hospital in Iowa and/or perhaps the nation. The original hospital was then built in 1912 with a capacity of 34-40 beds. Expansion due to service demand, technological advances and regulatory pressures have been a priority throughout the history of WCHC.

In 1942 another addition brought the capacity of the hospital to 54 beds and 13 cribs. In 1968 a new facility adjacent to the original structure was constructed and contained 50 beds. The original hospital was then converted to a private long term care facility until 1988. This facility is the M.L. McCreedy Home, after one of Washington's most noted physicians and is a licensed 43 bed facility.

On August 25, 1997, WCHC broke ground for a 6.7 million expansion and renovation project which was completed on June 27, 1999. The project involved three phases which added new and renovated space to several clinics and outpatient areas.

On May 9, 2006 WCHC again broke ground for a major construction project. With the main inpatient, OB and Surgery areas nearing 40 years of age, deteriorating infrastructure necessitated a change. After a two year planning process, the decision was made to move forward with a $22 million expansion and renovation project. All patient care areas except for Physical Therapy have space in the new construction. These areas include Inpatient Unit, Obstetrics, Radiology, Surgery, Emergency Room, Laboratory, Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Specialty Clinics and Cardiac Rehabilitation. . The new addition of 50,970 square feet also has new gift shop space and waiting areas for families and friends. Phase I of the two phase project was complete in July of 2007. Phase 2 remodeled 28,140 square feet of space for administration, McCreedy Home and Physical Therapy. In 2013, remodeling of the McCreedy Home resident rooms and common areas began.