In 1904, what is now known as Waverly Health Center opened its doors to care for the sick and hurt. Since its humble start, WHC has become one of the cornerstones of Waverly and nearby towns. The health center is a major employer, community advocate and provider of essential services.
In 1974, 96 percent of the residents of Waverly voted to approve a $650,000 bond to buy the hospital from the Sisters of Mercy. On January 2, 1975, the hospital became city-owned with an elected Board of Trustees. WHC’s Board provides the city oversight of the hospital. From the start, hospital finances have been separate from the City of Waverly and no tax revenue is shared with the hospital.
Waverly Health Center continues to serve the community through high quality health care focused on each patient’s needs. In its 2016 fiscal year, WHC cared for 1,948 inpatients and performed 1,902 surgeries. The health center’s outpatient services continue to grow seeing 58,155 patients for hospital services and 58,456 clinic visits. They also helped welcome 267 babies into the world.
Serving as a major regional employer, the health center has 451 employees and a yearly wage expense of over $25 million. Over the past 10 years, the hospital has expanded to include medical clinics in Waverly, Nashua, Shell Rock and Janesville. The number of specialists in Waverly has also greatly expanded to include 14 WHC specialists and more than 16 visiting specialists. We often hear from business leaders that one of the reasons they chose Waverly for their business is because of the great health care services available.
Waverly Health Center not only provides direct health care services, but supports its critical role as a community partner. In fiscal year 2015, WHC touched more than 11,000 people outside of the hospital’s walls through community health services including health screens, presentations and other community programs. Hospital employees serve on local non-profit boards and participate in community coalitions and city commissions. WHC spent more than $1.6 million during the year to support improved community health, financial help to patients and bad debt.
There are some services the hospital provides that cost more money than the services bring in. For instance, the hospital continues to provide ambulance services even though it is not required for the hospital to do it. The hospital continues to support this service because it fills a very important need in the community.
For more than 110 years, Waverly Health Center has succeeded as a hospital by meeting the needs and expectations of patients and the community. With that as a priority and the support of the community, the hospital will continue as both a servant and asset to its neighbors.Share this story.