First Care Health Center has a rich history that has historical "roots" in several countries.
In Ireland in 1775, Nano Nagle founded a religious community, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This community was different from others of its time for instead of restricting the sisters to remain in the convent, Nano set a new precedent by sending them out to seek the people in need. Years later some of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary arrived in Fargo where they also looked for ways to help those in need.
While the Sisters were looking at needs around them, Dr. Weed was looking at the need for a hospital in Park River. In 1944, the Park River Hospital Association was formed to raise funds to build a hospital. Six years later in July 1950, after being postponed by World War II, construction began. The facility was named St. Ansgar's Hospital. In choosing the name of this little-known Scandinavian saint, an appeal for support was being made to the large numbers of Scandinavians who live in the area as well as support from the equally numerous Catholics. In addition, Dr. Weed had approached the Sisters about providing management services for the facility. So the Sisters whose Irish foundress encouraged them to seek people in need around the world now found themselves in Park River. The first administrator was Sister M. Bernadette Liston and on July 10, 1952, St. Ansgar's Hospital opened its doors for patients.
In the 1980's with healthcare rapidly changing, St. Ansgar's affiliated with Catholic Health Corporation, a nonprofit, multi-institutional organization in order to improve and strengthen the hospital. In 1996 another change in affiliation occurred when St. Ansgar's became part of Catholic Health Initiatives. On December 31, 2000, Catholic Health Initiatives ended its affiliation with St. Ansgar's Health Center. The facility now has a new name, First Care Health Center.
It took commitment and vision to plan and build a hospital in the 1950's. That commitment and vision is still found at First Care Health Center. Continuing the rich faith-filled tradition of the Sisters of the Presentation and continuing to provide "Professional Care with a Personal Touch" is the mission of First Care Health Center. Keeping pace with rapidly changing technology, attracting and maintaining a highly trained professional staff, and providing services to people at every stage of life are some of the challenges we face.
Because we have the help and support of you, our customers who feel we are a needed and vital part of the community, First Care Health Center looks forward to the future with optimism and hope.