On Saturday, September 9th, the Cripple Creek Care Center will be hosting a community celebration to mark their 40th Anniversary.
Beginning at 11am through about 1:30pm, the Center invites community members to join them for food, music, goody handouts, facility tours, ribbon cutting for our new bus, and acknowledgement of individual and business contributions to the success of this District asset.
This will all take place at the Care Center, located at 700 North ‘A’ Street in Cripple Creek.
This is part of our community’s history…and part of our community’s future.
Come and celebrate what community effort and support can accomplish!
The Cripple Creek Care Center represents the best in community cooperation and involvement. Though the summers saw tourists passing through, back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Cripple Creek and Victor were pretty sleepy and isolated little communities – especially during the winters. The 1970 census recorded a population of 258 for Victor, and 425 for Cripple Creek.
By that time, the medical and hospital services for what was once a booming gold mining district had faded away. What was once St. Nicholas Hospital had become the Hilltop Nursing Home. Even with these limited services, the facility was then too old and out-dated to remain open. It closed in 1972. The community was without any local medical care.
The nearest hospital was almost 50 miles away in Colorado Springs. The route to Colorado Springs was north on Highway 67. Following the old rail route to the District, the highway was even more of a rugged mountain road than it is today. One big challenge was “the tunnel.” Located about half way between Cripple Creek and Divide, the tunnel was one of the last true remnants of the railroad to Cripple Creek. In the 1970’s cars had to pass through it, but could do so only one direction at a time. It tested the patience and courtesy of drivers back then!
Though at this time the population was at its lowest numbers since gold was discovered, local business leaders were determined to provide modern medical services to the area residents and the visitors who were the staple of the summer tourist economy.
Coming together in the truest sense of the word “community,” area residents began planning and fundraising for what many considered an impossible goal.
They started by establishing the operational foundation of the facility. After months of work, on November 10, 1975, the Southwest Teller County Hospital District, a Colorado Title 32 Special District, was officially formed and approved as the governing and management basis for a medical facility.
Three days later, the first Board of Directors organizational meeting was held. The first Board of Directors members for SWTCHD were: Jack Gaffney; Chairman, Muriel Murphy; Secretary & Treasurer, and Wayne Mackin, Theodore H. Mueller, and Gregory Robertson. The Nursing Home Administrator was Sue Huffman, Doc Denman was the medical director, and Good Samaritan was the management company.
Once the District was formed, planning and fundraising began for the combined medical clinic and nursing home. Nine months later, on August 28, 1976, groundbreaking took place and construction began for the Hilltop Community Health Care Facility.
On June 19, 1977, the dedication ceremony was held and the doors to the A.C. Denman Clinic and the Hilltop Nursing Home were opened.
The nursing home occupied the eastern portion of the building with two main wings/halls offering 60 beds. The western portion, or clinic area, was separated from the nursing home by double doors and had a three-bed unit for emergency care, an x-ray room, a lab, two exam rooms and two small doctor offices. The building also had an attached garage and covered ambulance dock.
Now, 40 years later, this facility is still open and serving the District community members. Today, however, it operates under the name “Cripple Creek Care Center” and no longer offers a medical clinic.
Those dreamers and planners who worked so hard more than 40 years ago to bring this to their community would be proud of what it has become today: a 5-star rated 24/7 skilled nursing care facility that serves the needs of the area’s elderly and disabled.
In the past five years, through the governance of the District’s Board of Directors, the Care Center has undergone capital improvements that have completely updated and upgraded the building, landscaping, mechanical infrastructure, residents’ rooms, public and office areas, and service areas such as the kitchen and laundry rooms.
Through the efforts and care of the Administration and staff, the Center maintains a 5-Star rating.
Learn more at www.cc-care.org.
In 2013 the name under which the Special District operated was changed to the Southern Teller County Health Services District. This was done to meet current Colorado Title 32 guidelines, and to better reflect our service area, and the management of the District’s ambulance service.
Through the current Board’s management, the District remains debt free.
Learn more at www.stchsd.org.
From: Cripple Creek Care Center