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Female doctor holding a pen and writing in a notepad.
Female doctor holding a pen and writing in a notepad.

Compass Memorial Healthcare History

Compass Memorial Healthcare is a 25-bed critical access hospital located in the City of Marengo, Iowa County, Iowa. CMH is the only hospital in Iowa County, Iowa. Marengo is a rural community of 2,535 residents and Iowa County has 15,671 residents per the 2000 census. Marengo sits adjacent to the Iowa River and is approximately 35 minutes from both Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Iowa City, Iowa.

The Hospital was established under Chapter 37 of the Code of Iowa and opened its doors in May 1956. The original hospital structure had a total square footage of 11,720 square feet. Between 1956 and 1971, the patient ward was remodeled. The Hospital also built an activity room addition around 1962 off the west wing of the original building. The activity room addition measured approximately 600 square feet.

In 1971, the Hospital undertook a major expansion and remodeling project that included the addition of 5,125 square feet. Renovation included the nurse's station, pharmacy, OB ward, relocating lab, clean and soiled utilities rooms, and a new emergency entrance canopy. Another addition was built off the east facade in 1975 which added a new room for physical therapy, a large storage area and an auxiliary room. The 1975 addition measured 2,628 square feet.

A construction project in 1977 primarily involved expansion of the administrative suite and main lobby. At that time the existing public restroom off the larger lobby was made handicap accessible. The total floor area built in 1977 measures 1,422 square feet, bringing the total current square footage of the Hospital to 21,495 square feet.

The 2004-2005 Project:

The Compass Memorial Healthcare started a project in 2004-2005 to expand, renovate and upgrade the existing hospital facility. As a critical access hospital, it continues to have 25 beds and provide inpatient services at 4 levels of care. acute, observation, skilled nursing, and extended care.

The expansion program consisted of constructing approximately 27,200 additional square feet onto the existing hospital of 21,495 square feet and renovation of approximately 4,800 square feet of existing space.

The new construction repositioned the main entrance to the east side of the Hospital from the south side. The main entrance has an overhead canopy and there is close-in parking.

Fifteen private rooms and 5 semi-private rooms were added. All have private bathrooms with showers. The emergency department has 3 treatment rooms. Separate covered entrances for emergency walk-in patients and for patients arriving by ambulance were added. The imaging department has new X-ray equipment and computerized tomography (CT). Access to the whole imaging department as well as mobile diagnostics such as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound were improved.

A surgical suite was constructed with 1 operating room, 1 minor/endoscopy room, and prep/hold/recovery bays for inpatient and outpatient procedures.

Distinct space has been provided for outpatient specialty clinics. This allows additional specialties such as otolaryngology, gastroenterology, and general surgery to join existing clinics in cardiology, dermatology, audiology, orthopedics, and podiatry.

A 6-bed dialysis space was added for patients. The Compass Memorial Healthcare Foundation helped provide funding for the completion of this service.

The construction provided private registration areas, laboratory and specimen collection areas, respite services, a decontamination shower, and a family consultation room.

The construction provides patient privacy and staff efficiency. All new construction and remodeled areas meet ADA compliance. The renovated areas improve patient accessibility. Enlarged spaces are provided for combined physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech rehabilitation. Located in the rehabilitation department, there is an activities-of-daily-living area that includes a kitchen and bath, where patients can be evaluated for the potential to return to independent living. The pharmacy was enlarged. The new nurses' station provides line-of-sight visibility of the emergency walk-in entrance. A 24-hour snack lounge for visitors was also added.

In 2006, Compass Memorial Healthcare expanded its family practice clinical services. The Compass Memorial Healthcare Family Medical Clinic is located across the street and provides services in Family Practice, Pediatrics and Women's Health.

The Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic was added in 2014 in Williamsburg. Patients can be seen for Family Practice, Pediatrics and Women's Health.

The 2016-2018 Project:

In 2016, the hospital began a $23 million dollar renovation and expansion project to better serve the needs of our patients and their families. The square footage added from this project was 43,487 bringing the hospital's total square footage to 60,182. The Marengo Family Medical Clinic has been relocated into the front of the main building. In 2018 the specialty clinic services were moved closer to the new front entrance. The new facility provided patient wing upgrades during the second phase of the project.

Name Change:

On August 15, 2017 Compass Memorial Healthcare, formerly Marengo Memorial Hospital, revealed the hospital's new name. The change of the name to Compass Memorial Healthcare truly encompasses our service area, which is broadening in all directions. Come Discover the Difference at Compass Memorial Healthcare.