Our History

It All Began With A Penny

It began with one penny and grew to millions. The current Howard Young Health Care facility began with the dream of Dr. Kate Newcomb, the "Angel on Snowshoes" who delivered medical care to early residents of the area. In the early 1940s, Dr. Kate hoped to somehow establish a hospital for her patients. As the community began a fund raising campaign to build a hospital, local school children learning what a million was, decided to collect pennies for Dr. Kate's hospital.

Word of the campaign reached Ralph Edwards, host of the popular "This is Your Life" television show. In 1954, Dr. Kate appeared on the show. After the nation heard her story, pennies flooded the Woodruff post office from all over the country. On July 21, 1954, The Lakeland Memorial Hospital opened its doors. Additions to the building were made for the next 20 years and that original hospital is now the Dr. Kate Convalescent Center.

The current Howard Young Medical Center facility was made possible through the generosity of S. Howard Young, a New York art dealer who loved life in the Northwoods. A patient of Dr. Henry Ashe, Howard Young, who died in 1972, had kept a promise he made to the physician to make a donation to the Lakeland Memorial Hospital. When Young's will was read, it was discovered that he left the bulk of his $20 million estate in trust to the community to build a new hospital. On February 28, 1977, the Howard Young Medical Center opened its doors to patients.

Ministry Medical Group- Woodruff (formerly Howard Young Clinic) is the culmination of a $17 million, 110,000 square foot construction and remodeling project that began in the winter of 1996 to enhance services at Howard Young Medical Center. Phase one of the project, completed in May of 1999, included a new intensive care unit and emergency room. Phase two houses the Ministry Medical Group Clinic services of Family Health, Women's Health and Physical Medicine along with a new Patient Registration area, Gift Shop, and newly remodeled and expanded Pharmacy, Lab and Radiology.

Ministry Medical Group Clinic services are now being provided in one location, which is physically attached to the new Emergency Services and hospital areas. The Clinic offers our community an inviting and comfortable atmosphere that is geared to hospitality and customer service with more convenience in accessing all of their health care needs.

In 2001 Howard Young Health Care affiliated with Ministry Health Care as a positive step toward solidifying the future growth and stability of health care services for the community. Ministry Health Care is a values-based network of aligned hospitals, clinics and other providers, based in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Ministry also offers Home Health, Hospice, Long-Term Care, Dialysis and many other services.

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