Foundation History


1966 – Sisters of Providence announce they can’t expand or replace St Joseph’s Hospital
1967 – The August flood devastates the city of Fairbanks and leaves the only hospital beyond repair
1968 – Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation is formed
1969 – 18-bed Alaska Native care unit designated through $1.9 million from Federal government


1970 – May – Groundbreaking for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
1972 – March - Grand opening of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital-patients transferred from St.
Joseph’s Hospital
1974 – Inpatient capacity increased to 116 beds
1975 – Day rooms converted to wards
1976 – Ground breaking for the North Tower at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
1978 – Dedication of new 70,000 sq ft North Tower of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
1978 – Intensive Care Unit opened


1982 – Purchase of Carriage North (Denali Center)
1983 – Completion of new Fairbanks Memorial Hospital 5-story South Tower (162 beds)
1987 – Jim Gingerich named Administrator
1989 – The Learning Center Daycare for children of employees opens

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 28-person, all-volunteer Board of Trustees comes from the membership, FMH Medical Staff, and Foundation Health Partners employees, and it reports to the members every year at an open meeting.  Trustees, serving on volunteer committees, spend countless hours planning for the future of the FMH/DC campus and TVC and making decisions not for personal benefit, or for the benefit of a few, but for the benefit of this community.


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 purchases a new building on 23rd Avenue
1995 – Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center moved to South Tower of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
1996 – Outpatient Facility completed
1996 – Spring – Sleep Lab opens
1996 – September – Outpatient Surgery Facility opens
1997 – The Medical Dental Arts Building, later to be named the Doolittle Building, was purchased by the Hospital Foundation
1999 – Mental Health Unit expansion


2000 – Cancer Treatment Center opens
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 and Vascular Center Opens
2011 – Renamed the Cancer Treatment Center to the J. Michael Carroll Cancer Center
2015 – Circle of Hope completes fundraising and purchases Tomosynthesis 3-D mammography machine for FMH.
2016 – Fairbanks Memorial Hospital terminates operating agreement with Banner Health.
2017 – Foundation Health Partners begins operations in January
2017 – March – New Surgery addition opens.
2019 – Shelley Ebenal named systems CEO for FMH, Denali Center & Tanana Valley Clinic