History of Hazen Memorial Hospital Association

Caring for our community is a long-standing tradition at Sakakawea Medical Center. Since our founding, we have strived to care for all who need us and to bring health, healing, and a better quality of life to our neighbors. SMC serves Dunn, Mercer and Oliver counties, and is located in the heart of rural Mercer County and housed in the City of Hazen.

SMC consists of a critical access hospital (licensed for 13 beds) and a 34-bed licensed basic care facility. The medical center is a community-owned, not-for-profit organization and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Any money remaining after expenses have been paid is reinvested back into the community to support local healthcare and education.



The original hospital began as a private undertaking by a Beulah woman until plans for a new, modern facility were underway.

Sakakawea Medical Center in 1941


Construction began on the new proposed hospital after the approval of an agreement with Lutheran Hospital and Homes Society to operate the new facility.


The new hospital was opened and operational, consisting of 23 beds.


It became apparent that major remodeling or a new facility was needed. Construction began on a new 39-bed, 8-bassinet hospital on the east edge of Hazen.


The new facility was opened in its new location, where SMC currently resides.

Sakakawea Medical Center in the 1970's


Construction began on a $1.2 million expansion and renovation of the hospital.


The name of the hospital was changed to Sakakawea Medical Center. SMC is a community owned and operated hospital under the Hazen Memorial Hospital Association.

Entrance to Senior Suites


Senior Suites at Sakakawea was added to the hospital campus as a 34-bed licensed basic care facility.


After conducting a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment, local health leaders concluded that the area was in need of additional technology, services, and accessibility the current facility could not provide.


Construction began on a $30.5 million replacement hospital to address the needs that were uncovered in the Community Health Needs Assessment. The new hospital would be located directly south of the previous facility.


In April, the retiring facility was closed and the new one opened. The new medical center houses a health clinic, expanded ER and surgical area, handicap-accessible patient rooms, centralized registration area and nurse’s station, and other needed changes and technology updates.

Sakakawea Medical Center Galleria