Foundation History


1966 – Sisters of Providence announce they can’t expand or replace St Joe’s

1967 – August – Flood

1968 – Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation is formed

1968 – July – St Joe’s closes

1969 – 18-bed Alaska Native care unit designated through $1.9 million from Federal govt

1970 – May - Groundbreaking for FMH construction completed 3/72

1972 – Grand opening of new hospital-patients transferred in April (88 beds)

1974 – Inpatient capacity increased to 116 beds

1974 – Condominiums at MDA built

1975 – Day rooms converted to wards

1976 – Ground breaking for North Tower

1977 – Fairbanks Clinic built next to MDA Condominiums

1978 – Dedication of new 70,000 sq ft North Tower

1978 – Intensive Care Unit opened

1982 – Purchase of Carriage North (Denali Center)

1983 – Completion of new 5-story South Tower (162 beds)

1987 – Jim Gingerich named Administrator

1989 – The Learning Center Daycare opens

1992 – Women’s Center remodeled to create labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms

1994 – New Denali Center completed for $15 million

1995 – Mike Powers named Administrator

1995 – The Learning Center Daycare relocates to new building

1995 – Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center moved to South Tower

1996 – Outpatient Facility completed

1996 – Spring – Sleep Lab opens

1996 – September – Outpatient Surgery Center opens

1997 – February – ER Renovations completed

1997 – MDA/Fairbanks Clinic building purchased

1999 – Mental Health Unit expansion

2000 – Cancer Treatment Center opens

2001 – Master Plan

2004 – Relocation and expansion of Clinical Laboratories

2005 – Fairbanks Imaging Center Grand Opening

2006 – Spine linking FMH to Imaging Center completed

2007 – Expanded Emergency Department Opens

2007 – Cardiac Cath Lab Opens

2008 – Purchased Tanana Valley Clinic

2008 - Construction begins on Heart Center

2010 – Harry & Sally Porter Heart Center Opens

2011 - Renamed the Cancer Treatment Center to the J. Michael Carroll Cancer Center

How It All Started.
Beginning in about 1910, the Sisters of Charity owned and operated St. Joseph’s Hospital.  In June of 1967, the Sisters announced they would close St. Joseph’s, and a bond proposition got started.  The 1967 Flood changed Fairbanks, and it sealed the fate of St. Joseph’s and the idea of a government-owned hospital.  A $5.5 Million bond issue for a new hospital went on the ballot in early October, but again local voters said no.  A few days later, the Sisters set a final closure date for the old hospital.

Harry “Red” Porter and some other interested community members immediately went to Fargo, North Dakota, to talk with Lutheran Hospital and Homes Society.  LHHS came to Fairbanks and helped outline an action plan for a new community-owned hospital.  From this came The Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation, an Alaska non-profit and federally tax-exempt corporation that was formed to plan, fund, construct, and find an operator for a new hospital.

The Hospital Foundation started fund-raising, and LHHS agreed to operate the new hospital.  A $1 Million pledge goal in the community was doubled by April of 1968, and in June the City gave The Hospital Foundation 25 acres of land at 16th and Cowles.  With about $6 Million in State and Federal matching funds in hand, The Hospital Foundation later raised yet another $500,000 from the community to finish paying for the new $8.5 Million hospital.  Thanks to a group of community volunteers and the financial contributions of many, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital opened its doors in March of 1972, debt-free and operated by LHHS.

The Hospital Foundation owns the hospital solely for the benefit of the community.  Our 25-person, all-volunteer Board of Trustees comes from the membership, FMH Medical Staff, and Banner Health employees, and it reports to the members every year at an open meeting.  Trustees, in volunteer committees, spend countless hours planning for the future of FMH campus, working with Banner Health and Community and State leaders, and making decisions not for personal benefit, or for the benefit of a few, but for the benefit of this community.