The original Ebenezer Hospital was established under the auspices of the Norwegian Lutheran Church with a Board of Directors established in 1902. By 1948 the name was changed to Madison Hospital and the governance continued independently as a private not-for-profit hospital relying solely on fees for services and donations to sustain its operation.
By 1986 the Madison Hospital Board of Directors realized the hospital was in a vulnerable position concerning its long term financial stability and consequently entered into a short term lease agreement with Sioux Valley Hospital of Sioux Falls, South Dakota until 1988. Meanwhile the interdependence with Madison Lutheran Home was well established through the hospital’s long standing contract to have dietary and laundry services from the Madison Lutheran Home. By 1985, housekeeping and maintenance services were added.
In 1990, after two years of planning and legal work, the Madison Hospital became part of the business entity know as Madison Lutheran Home. This title refers to the entire health care complex of the nursing home, hospital, clinic, satellite clinic, and HUD housing residence.
Governance issues continued in the early 1990’s due to multiple boards reporting to an overall Board of Directors. This arrangement was part of the transition completed in 1992. By then, only one nine member Board of Directors, elected by delegates at the annual meeting, was necessary. Also in that year, an arrangement of management support services from the Board of Social Ministry was begun. This contractual arrangement has been renewed regularly since 1992 until it expired in 2004. The board of directors meets monthly to study business issues that affect the delivery of services.
Since 1994, the Board of Directors overriding concerns have been physician retention, adequate space and technologies to provide quality services, and expansion of services when possible. They are dedicated volunteers who take their role seriously and must learn many legal intricacies to make decisions affecting accessibility of health care in our rural area.