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Our History

1905 - First hospital building is ready for use in Ely.

1907 - The Steptoe Valley Unit of the hospital is built. It was financed by Nevada Consolidated Copper and later taken over by Kennecott until it was given to the county.

1953 - The first Board of Trustees was appointed. Vail Pittman (was the owner and editor of The Ely Daily Times, later became Governor of Nevada) - Chairman, Harold Bishop - VP Chairman, Dorothy Collins (mother of Chief Justice John Collins), Gerald Culbert, and Reed J. Anderson, M.D.

1964 - A bond was approved and the people voted to build the new hospital. County voters passed a $500,000 bond issue.

1967 March - The county official assured a $417,000 federal grant and $50,000 was appropriated by the state. The total cost for the new facility was set at $1,165,000.

1968 Jan - Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the new hospital site. Ella Mae Peterson, hospital administrator, and William Bee Ririe, veteran White Pine doctor for whom the hospital was later named, were holding shovels at the event.

1969 Jun - The new hospital dedication took place. The 44 beds and the majority new equipment the hospital boasted were made possible through Fleischmann Funds.

1969 - JCAHO accreditation was obtained.

1983 Dec - Nevada State Legislature established NRS 450.550 through 450.800 providing for the creation of County Hospital Districts. Soon after, White Pine County Ordinance 165 established a County Hospital District Board of Trustee. The Board of County Commissioners created the White Pine County Hospital District Board of Trustees pursuant to NRS 450.620.

1990 - A physician clinic was opened with 2 family practice physicians in the Reed J. Anderson building.

1999 - Construction began on a clinic building adjacent to the hospital.

2000 - Clinic construction was completed and there is now space for 10 full-time physicians.

2000 - Eastern Nevada Medical Group merged with William Bee Ririe, expanding services, including surgery, internal medicine, and visiting specialist services.

2001 Feb - William Bee Ririe converted to a Rural Health Clinic, as well as a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital.

2007 - The largest upgrade and expansion project since the initial building of the hospital was completed. It increased space for the hospital facility, laboratory, and other areas. This expansion improved patient access to areas between the clinic and hospital for appointments and various outpatient services. It also provided convenient access to Emergency Services. All of these things allowed William Bee Ririe Hospital to improve its quality of care.

2009 Oct - The Board of Trustees approved a three-phase Operating Room and Endoscopy Suite expansion.

2011 Jun - The new operating rooms were dedicated to Norman G. Christensen, M.D., in honor of his 40+ years of service to William Bee Ririe Hospital. The final phase of this project is expected to be completed in 2012.