For more than 100 years, Rogers Memorial Hospital has anchored itself in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, evolving with the times, growing with the needs of the community. Known as the Oconomowoc Health Resort when it opened in 1907, it was led by Dr. Arthur Rogers who was committed to increasing the accessibility of mental health care and providing innovative mental health care treatment options.
From the very beginning, Dr. Rogers served as leader in the mental health care field, providing innovative therapies, such as the Baruch Hydrotherapeutic Plant for individualized bathing in spring water. The treatment of mental illness has come a long way since then, but the core of our existence remains true: mental illness is real, and there is treatment.
Dr. Rogers understood early on that funding for effective treatment of mental health care can be difficult for patients and families. This is evidenced by his decision to convert the hospital to a nonprofit charitable institution in honor of his late wife, Theresa, in 1930, thus providing cost-effective treatment to all walks of life.
Looking at early growth of the hospital, we can see the demand for mental health services from the very beginning. Shortly after the hospital’s opening, the building burned down. However, instead of simply re-building the same structure, Dr. Rogers sold stock to finance reconstruction and in the process added several outbuildings to house therapeutic services.
After his wife’s death in 1930, Dr. Rogers renamed the institution Rogers Memorial Sanitarium Corporation. In 1955, Dr. Owen Otto became chief of staff, and the facility was renamed Rogers Memorial Hospital. In 1958, a wing was added to the main building and treatment of a higher acuity patients began.
The hospital’s initial vision continued to thrive under the careful watch of David L. Moulthrop, PhD, past president and CEO of Rogers Behavioral Health System. In danger of losing money and closing its doors in the early 1990s, the hospital had few patients and one location. During Dave’s tenure, Rogers grew to two major hospital campuses in Oconomowoc and Milwaukee and three satellite locations in Madison, Kenosha and Brown Deer. Dave took Rogers Memorial Hospital from a small, regional hospital to a much larger power as a mental health organization. In 2012, Patrick Hammer was named CEO of the growing system.
From humble beginnings, to near closure, Rogers Memorial Hospital and its parent, Rogers Behavioral Health System, look to the future with confidence building from an incredible story of perseverance, growth and, importantly, focus on patients in need of the very best psychiatric and addiction treatment services.