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EIRMC turns 30 years old

The Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls officially turned 30 on Thursday.

For the past few months, the hospital has celebrated its three decades of service with a 30,000-canned food drive — and it surpassed that goal just in time for its birthday.

The drive broke its goal by about 350 cans. The food was collected by physical donations at the hospital and virtually through On that website, people entered their email addresses to donate one can, and EIRMC would then commit to purchasing that canned good on their behalf. The food will be given to the 11 food banks in EIRMC’s service area.

“Its been really great to see people get involved, to check on the website and be involved in the virtual donations. And it’s been really an amazing experience to see people really get involved and be invested in our anniversary and in the ways we’re choosing to celebrate with that canned food drive,” said EIRMC’s community relations specialist Jessica Clements.

As we take a look back, EIRMC has had a very interesting history. Thirt years ago, the medical center stemmed from two hospitals: Parkview, which was run by a Catholic church, and Riverview, which was run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both churches were small and wanted better facilities, but neither could afford the upgrades on its own.

“It was a time of concern and some conflict in Idaho Falls,” said EIRMC founding board member Jerry Scheid.

The difference in faiths of the two small hospitals played a role, but the sides were also upset about the sacrifices each made within their own hospitals.

“It seemed at the time that the smaller facilities just couldn’t keep up with the growth of the area,” Scheid said.

Eventually, with the help of the Hospital Corporation of America, the two hospitals came together and EIRMC was born. Once EIRMC opened, people started to see the benefits of combining the two hospitals and having one big medical center. This brought the community back together.

“And in that 30 years, we’ve been able to transition our hospital from a small community-based hospital to a major regional referral, tertiary-care medical center. And it’s been a lot fun to be a part of that ride, part of that journey,” said EIRMC CEO Doug Crabtree.

“It’s certainly met our expectations and our dreams, I think. And it is in every sense of the word a regional medical center. We have a real source of wonderful health care here, and that is what, I think, my board hoped for,” Scheid said.

Looking at the present, EIRMC currently has over 1,400 employees. Forty-five of those employees have been with EIRMC since day one.

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