Winona Memorial Hospital, known then as Memorial Clinic, opened its doors to patients in 1956. The Glossbrenner mansion, 3202 North Meridian Street (a site on the National Register of Historic Places), served as headquarters for the 24-bed clinic established by Joseph E. Walther, a practitioner of general and internal medicine.

Walther founded the clinic at his office location because of his frustration with the shortage of hospital beds encountered by his emergency patients. The clinic secured private start-up funding for $1 million with the assistance of Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News publisher Eugene C. Pulliam, attorney Frank M. McHale, and banker Frank E. Mckinney Sr.

Memorial Clinic expanded to 42 beds in 1958. In 1965, groundbreaking ceremonies took place for Winona Memorial Hospital at 3232 North Meridian Street, a 278-bed medical-surgical complex built at a cost of $6.8 million. Walther named the hospital in honor of his mother, Winona McCampbell Walther. Opened in December 1966, the hospital complex later added a professional building and convalescent center, increasing its capacity to 405 beds. In 1983, a $16.6 million ($43 million in 2020) wing opened, featuring new emergency and ambulatory care facilities as well as a 24-bed critical care unit. 

Texas-based Republic Health Corp. purchased Winona Hospital for $56 million in 1985. Proceeds from the sale established the Walther Cancer Institute, a project given impetus by the death of Dr. Walther’s wife from cancer. Winona Hospital was renamed Midwest Medical Center from July 1991 to February 1994. The hospital had over 20 specialized medical departments, including a physical rehabilitation institute, sleep-wake disorders center, and behavioral services program. More than 600 physicians were on staff.

Over the next decade, the hospital experienced more and more financial struggles in competition with other hospitals and health care facilities across the city. By September 2004, the site had announced it would be closing its doors for good. In October 2011, the building was demolished by the city after being deemed an asbestos-related health hazard.

Revised March 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.