History of Billings Clinic
People with a vision to bring the highest quality health care to the community founded our organization more than 85 years ago. Billings Clinic continues to embrace that vision today as a community owned and governed health care organization dedicated to improving the health of people in our region through health care, education and research.
Our history stretches back to the founding of the Billings Clinic and Billings Deaconess Hospital.
The Billings Clinic
Dr. Arthur J. Movius
The Billings Clinic evolved from the general practice of Dr. Arthur J. Movius who founded his Billings practice in 1911.
Movius was trained with a year's internship at a Minneapolis, Minnesota, hospital and had experience in the primitive surgery of the day. He, like other surgeons, depended on informal training to develop his skills: reading, medical center visits and experience.
The practice grew and by 1915, Dr. J.H. Bridenbaugh joined Movius as an assistant. Bridenbaugh took over obstetrics and the working of a strange gadget that had just been added, the x-ray machine. When Bridenbaugh went to war in 1917, he was assigned to radiology and received basic training in that field. After the war he installed new diagnostic x-ray equipment and radiation therapy - both radium and x-ray.
During the 1920's a third general practitioner joined the group. By 1930, a fourth physician with training in obstetrics was added. Shortly after, another general practitioner was added, bringing with skill in the management of fractures and trauma problems. The group was known as the Movius-Bridenbaugh Clinic.
Dr. J.H. Bridenbaugh
In 1939, the group devised a plan to bring in physicians as partners to the practice, and the name was changed to The Billings Clinic. Growth of the clinic after World War II required expanded facilities. In 1950 building construction began across the street from Billings Deaconess Hospital.
The Billings Clinic has grown from two physicians into the largest multi-specialty group practice in the region. Our 400+ physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners offer over 50 specialties ranging from allergy to urology. We have clinics in six locations in Billings and throughout the region in Bozeman, Colstrip, Columbus, Miles City and Red Lodge, Montana and Cody, Wyoming.
Billings Deaconess Hospital was incorporated in 1907 but didn't open until after World War I. Community support was elicited to fund the project. In 1922, The Reverend Charles D. Crouch was appointed by Bishop Charles Wesley Burns to complete the fundraising effort. Assuring each giver that every penny donated would be spent on the hospital, he is credited with having gathered over $75,000. The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1923, and the hospital opened on June 30, 1927.
The hospital had 58 beds and a medical staff of 12 doctors and 16 nurses. One floor was used as a nurses' residence, housing many students of the Billings Deaconess Nursing School.
As the population of Billings expanded so did the need for additional space. In 1943, a student nurse residence hall was constructed. This freed space in the hospital for more patient rooms. By 1952, the hospital added a north wing, increasing bed capacity to 144. Services were expanded to include new x-ray facilities, laboratory services, operating rooms, delivery rooms, psychotherapy services and the region's first isotope therapy department.
By 1961, a south wing was added, increasing the number of beds to 205. The pediatrics area was also enlarged and the hospital gained a new chapel. During the 1960s and 1970s, Billings Deaconess continued to expand its services and capabilities. In 1972, the hospital pioneered Billings' first open-heart surgery.
To better reflect the expansion of services in the region, Billings Deaconess Hospital changed its name to Deaconess Medical Center.
The Billings Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center Merge
In 1993, the Billings Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center merged to become an integrated health care organization named Deaconess Billings Clinic. In 2001, The Family Birth Center was opened, offering a 12-suite LDRP unit, a new concept in birthing for the area. It has since been expanded to 20-suites.
In 2004, Digital radiology was implemented systemwide; and one electronic medical record was implemented at all Billings Clinic locations.
In 2005, Deaconess Billings Clinic changed its name to Billings Clinic. In 2007, The Emergency & Trauma Center opened, offering expanded state-of-the-art emergency and Intensive Care services. February 2009, construction was completed on our free-standing outpatient Surgery Center, the same month that our new Inpatient Cancer Care Unit was completed. In August 2009, the Cancer Center opened and brought all our cancer care services under one roof.
Today, Billings Clinic, provides inpatient and outpatient care serving people in a four-state region.