It could be said that Finley Hospital feels like a home away from home. The warm, friendly staff exudes a sense of family and unity with their patients and with one another. What many may not know is that Finley actually was a residence, belonging to Dr. John W. Finley and his wife, Helen.
Dr. Finley was Dubuque's first general physician and the second permanent physician of both the county of Dubuque and the state of Iowa. He had the reputation for being a kind man with a deep, invested interest in his patients. This was a well-earned reputation, for Dr. Finley would travel many miles by horseback to attend to patients in surrounding areas and would even help with household chores before getting back on the saddle and traveling to another patient in need. He and his wife were very active within the Dubuque community, belonging to the early settlers group, helping to organize the Presbyterian Church, and forming the Northwest Medical Society (currently known as the Dubuque County Medical Society.)
Dr. Finley always wanted to establish a medical school and a hospital. Unfortunately, his efforts to do so were unsuccessful and he eventually passed away before he could see his dreams come to fruition. Helen helped to honor one of her deceased husband's two wishes. In her will and testament, she specified that her estate should be used to found a hospital in Dubuque named after her husband. The articles of incorporation for The Finley Hospital Company were adopted February 21, 1890, and the Finley residence transformed into a twenty-seven room hospital with only 40 beds.
Although Finley has grown rapidly from its humble beginnings, now housing 126 beds, it still prides itself in carrying on the legacy of Dr. Finley's compassion and active involvement in the community. It is without a doubt that Dr. Finley would be proud of the way Finley Hospital takes care of our neighbors by making sure each patient is treated as an individual with different needs.