Ashley Regional Medical Center has been a part of the Uintah Basin since 1941. The first hospital in Vernal was located in the current St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and was attended by two full-time physicians. The hospital was originally named Uintah Basin Hospital and was owned and operated by Uintah County. In 1947, a smaller version of the current hospital was built on the present hospital site, and portions of that building have been incorporated into that current structure.
In 1977, Uintah County began construction on a new hospital on the same site, although some of the original building was still maintained and incorporated as part of the new structure. The new hospital was opened in 1979.
Following the completion of construction, Uintah County contracted the management of the facility to Hospital Corporation of American (HCA). Then in 1982, the hospital was sold to HCA and renamed Ashley Valley Medical Center. During the years that followed, the hospital and community continued to grow. There were four separate construction projects in the next 13 years which increased the size and capabilities of the facility. The Emergency Room was expanded, as well as, the Medical/Surgical, Obstetrics and ICU units. A Medical Office Building (MOB) for physician office space was built and then expanded to accommodate the ever expanding medical staff.
In May of 1999, Ashley Valley Medical Center became part of LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. In 2003, an expansion project added 17,000 additional square feet to the facility. The expansion included a new 9-bed Emergency Room, a new 4-bed ICU unit, and a completely new Same-Day surgery department with an additional surgical suite. In 2004, the radiology and OB departments were expanded and renovated.
In 2009, Ashley Valley Medical Center announced a name change to Ashley Regional Medical Center and built a new front lobby and additional MOB space at the south end of the hospital.
In 2016, a $35 million dollar investment in the facility was announced. The construction included a new Women’s Center and a new Infusion Center. Renovations were completed on other areas of the facility with construction being completed in 2019.
Ashley Regional has been the recipient of a number of quality awards in recent years. In 1993, Ashley Regional became accredited by the Joint Commission and has maintained that accreditation since that time. In our 1999 reaccreditation survey, Ashley Regional received a score of 99 out of 100 possible points, placing Ashley Regional in the top 5% of all accredited facilities.
In 2008, Ashley Regional was awarded the “High Five Award” from LifePoint as the top performing hospital in the entire LifePoint family regarding their guiding principles:
- Delivering high quality patient care
- Supporting physicians
- Creating excellent workplaces for our employees
- Strengthening the hospitals’ role in their communities
- Ensuring fiscal responsibility
Ashley Regional also won the “High Five Award” for their division in 2010.
In 2009 Ashley Regional received the HealthInsight Quality Award for high scores in CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) Core Measures. Core Measures are evidence based practices for specific disease processes set up by Medicare to improve outcomes for patients.
In 2017, Ashley Regional was named to two “Top 100 Rural Hospitals in America” lists, one by Becker Reviews and the second by Chartis. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 Ashley Regional was named again to the “Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals” by Chartis.
With CEO Ben Cluff’s retirement, Wes Taylor joined Ashley Regional Medical Center as the new CEO in April 2020. Taylor started during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly jumped into action to ensure safety for staff, physicians and patients.
In spring 2020, Ashley Regional Medical Center hired a Certified Nurse Midwife and received the fourth consecutive ‘A’ grade from Leapfrog Group. These and other independent organizations continue to highlight Ashley Regional as a leader in quality and safety. Including The Chartis In fall 2020, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ashley Regional completed a reaccreditation survey by the Joint Commission.
2021 brought some physician additions: a new Orthopedic and Sports Medicine physician and additional OB/GYN to the medical staff. Healthcare staff continued to persevere despite exhaustion from the pandemic. Ashley Regional Medical Center made a concerted effort to be more visible in the community. A team of staff focused on ensuring a presence within the community and established the first Ashley Regional Christmas Charity Village as part of the Vernal Holly Days celebration. The Christmas Charity Village earned the hospital a Certificate of Appreciation from the Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce.
Expanding services, the Mako SmartRobotics™ was introduced to Orthopedic Surgical Services in early 2022 to enhance the quality of care for patients in need of total hip, total knee and partial knee replacements. In late 2022, the medical staff expanded to include a pediatrician and another general surgeon.
In 2023, ARMC has had the honor of being named a Top 20 Rural & Community Hospital by the National Rural Health Association, as well as a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital for the seventh consecutive year by The Chartis Group. The team celebrated its one-year partnership with the University of Utah for TeleNICU. In August, a new podiatrist and internal medicine physician joined the medical staff.