Caribou Memorial Hospital

CMH is a 25 bed federally certified Critical Access Hospital. It is owned by Caribou County, which has had a county hospital since 1923. The organization is governed by a board of volunteers appointed by the county. It has been under the direction of a CEO, John L. Hoopes, since 1999. The hospital has not received any county tax support since 2009, is totally debt free and is profitable from operations. Services include an Emergency Department, with 24/7 physician coverage, full radiology and clinical laboratory services, outpatient services, including wound care, ICU/CCU and inpatient beds, including “swing beds.” (See the complete list of services provided, including tele-medicine.)

 The History

The history of Caribou Memorial Hospital began in 1923, with the Caribou County Commissioners agreeing to build a “real” hospital in Soda Springs, to keep the famed Dr. Ellis Kackley from moving to Lava.  That hospital, called Caribou County Hospital, was located adjacent to the court house (where the US Bank now stands).  It was replaced in 1969 with 25 bed Caribou Memorial Hospital, which included a now 30 bed nursing home.  In the 1990s, a new Emergency Room and medical clinics were added to the hospital.  All of the local providers are now employees of the organization, to provide better coordination of services.   Many medical specialists, including visiting surgeons, are now coming to Soda Springs, which greatly increased after CMH completed its new state-of-the-art Surgery Center in 2011.  The organization is still county-owned, but since 2009 it has received no county tax revenue.  It is self-supporting and is certified by the federal government as a Critical Access Hospital, and the LakeView Clinic is a Rural Health Clinic.

 Message from the CEO

CMH has evolved over the past fifteen years to become a high quality, profitable, and respected healthcare provider in Southeast Idaho.  We no longer receive any county fax funds to support the organization, as we did for 86 years.   We support the county’s economy by employing about 150 well-paid professionals, including our doctors.  We work to improve the county’s health and well-being with an annual health fair, breast cancer awareness, free flu immunizations and free psychiatric care, in conjunction with our Foundation.  Caribou County residents are among the healthiest in Idaho, which is one of the healthiest states in the US.  Our high quality of life is a well-kept secret.  All of us at CMH are continually working to improve our performance and quality, because we want to become even better, keeping more people at home and in excellent health.

CMH Mini-Museum

John L. Hoopes, CEO