Public Safety Warning Notice: Wesch-Oak Building at 717 N. River St. Unsafe
Fall River Health Services is a comprehensive healthcare system that services Fall River County in South Dakota.
Fall River Health System is comprised of Fall River Hospital (Critical Access Hospital) and Fall River Health Clinic (Rural Health Clinic). Fall River Health Services is a non-profit corporation of professional team members committed to excellent, quality and patient focused healthcare for the whole person. We provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the individual, family, and significant others. We are committed to our patients, employees and our public.
Our vision is high quality primary health care and eldercare to Fall River County and surrounding communities in order to fulfill needs of residents and foster strength in growing the local economy.
1201 Hwy 71 South
Hot Springs, SD 57747
"Our vision is to be the medical center of choice for the citizens of Fall River and adjoining counties. We are committed to providing the medical care needed in a setting close to home."
Residents of Hot Springs and the surrounding communities have had access to health care since 1917 when Dr. Perry Nichols built a cancer center on the hills overlooking the town, now Castle Manor Nursing Home. By 1938, that building had become one of the local hospitals. That hospital went together with six other rural hospitals in North and South Dakota to form Lutheran Homes and Hospital Society, which later became LHS, and eventually Banner Healthcare.
Hot Springs has had a reputation for healthcare for more years than we realize. The local native tribes, namely the Lakota Sioux used the warm waters here as healing agents. The Evans Plunge pool was opened in 1890, built over a grouping of warm springs. The federal and state governments chose this location for their veteran's services in the VAMC in 1907 and the Michael J Fitzmaurice State Veteran's Home, built in 1889. Another hospital, known locally as "The Sisters’ Hospital", was established by 1907, and was located at the corner of Minnekahta and North Chicago. West River Crippled Children's Hospital (for the children with polio) was also built in Hot Springs in the same area as the cancer sanatorium and was housing patients in 1951.
The Sisters’ Hospital closed in the 1960's, and the polio epidemic had waned. The citizens of Hot Springs knew they needed more room for their hospitalized patients, and LHS expanded their services. The vacated West River Crippled Children's Hospital was renovated and joined to the existing castle structure in 1967, and became the new home of Southern Hills General Hospital. The castle building was renovated from the inside out to become Lutheran Nursing Home in 1968. These structures housed the hospital and nursing home for the next 40 years with LHS / Banner Healthcare. In 1998, Lutheran Health Services (now Banner Health) elected to close the Southern Hills Hospital leaving the community and surrounding area with no emergency or other hospital services, a major concern for local families.
For the next year, the community maintained a 24-hour emergency clinic at the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs as Banner Healthcare was slowing down its health care services in Hot Springs, SD. Later, when Banner Health announced plans to discontinue the remaining outpatient services and the assisted living and nursing home facilities, the community rallied to save the facility. A newly reorganized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation was used to conduct fund raisers within the community and purchase the Southern Hills Hospital on December 1, 1999. In the spring of 2001, the facility was able to secure the necessary documentation to become a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and on June 21, 2001, Fall River Hospital reopened. The facility’s designation as a CAH was significant in its ability to reopen its hospital services and continues to be significant for its long-term future. The hospital currently operates as Fall River Health Services, Inc. (FRHS)
Due to the age and physical condition of the building that FRHS was originally operating out of, FRHS’ Board and management determined a replacement facility was necessary. Construction of the replacement facility began during calendar year 2008 and FRHS moved its operations, excluding nursing home services, into the replacement facility on March 29, 2010. The replacement facility is a 43,000 square foot building that includes 25 acute care beds, a physicians’ outpatient clinic, and various other ancillary departments which include an emergency room, a pharmacy, medical laboratory, various therapy departments and a dietary department. The existing nursing home services, along with the old building and other nursing home assets were transferred into another not-for-profit corporation, Community Health and Development, Inc. (CHAD), which now provides these services independent of FRHS. This made possible with community support and astute fiscal management. We now look forward to bringing Castle Manor Nursing Home into the 21st century by building a new structure and bringing the services onto the campus of Fall River Health Services in the next few years.