A History of Giving
The history of philanthropy at Meriter goes back to our founding in the late 1890's when Minnie Hobbins, with the help of the Madison Women's Club and Attic Angels, raised the funds necessary to build Madison's first permanent hospital, Madison General. Ms. Hobbins lead a vigorous fundraising campaign, which included a $15,000 pledge from the Madison City Council and a successful door-to-door effort. In 1903, Madison General Hospital opened its doors.
Madison's growing population in the early 1900's created a need for more hospital beds, and Methodist Hospital expanded services with a new building in 1927. Local entrepreneur, William D. Curtis was a leading fundraiser for the project as well as financial supporter. He created a trust for the construction and ongoing operations of Methodist Hospital in the amount of $50,000.
In the decades that followed, generous philanthropic support helped to build quality health care for our community. In 1987, Madison General and Methodist hospitals merged to form Meriter Health Services. In 2014, Meriter Health Services affiliated with UnityPoint Health, the nation's 13th largest nonprofit health system with 15 community hospitals, 280 clinics and over 900 physicians serving patients in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Two nursing schools are also part of our legacy - the Madison General Hospital School of Nursing (c.1902-1982) and the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing (1921-1974). These two schools, both of which maintain vibrant alumnae associations, trained over three thousand nurses.