Our History


Residents of Hot Springs, South Dakota and the surrounding communities have had access to health care since 1917 when Dr. Perry Nichols built a cancer center on the hills overlooking the town. Over time, the cancer center was transitioned into an acute-care hospital and was eventually sold to Lutheran Health Services which opened Southern Hills General Hospital in 1967. In 1998, Lutheran Health Services (now Banner Health) elected to close the Southern Hills General Hospital leaving the community and surrounding area with no emergency or other hospital services within a 45-mile radius. For the next year, the community maintained a 24-hour emergency clinic at the State Veterans home in Hot Springs. Later, when Banner Health announced plans to discontinue the remaining outpatient services and the assisted living and nursing home facilities, the community rallied to save the facility. A newly reorganized 501(c)(3) not-for profit corporation was used to conduct fund raisers within the community and purchase the Southern Hills General Hospital.

In the spring of 2001, the facility was able to secure the necessary documentation to become a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and, on June 21, 2001, Fall River Hospital opened. The facility's designation as a CAH was significant in its ability to reopen its hospital services and continues to be significant for its long-term future. The facility currently operates as Fall River Health Services.

Due to the age and physical condition of the building that FRHS was originally operating out of, FRHS' Board and management determined a replacement facility was necessary. Construction of the replacement facility began during calendar year 2008 and FRHS moved its operations, excluding nursing home services, into the replacement facility on March 29, 2010. FRHS is now housed in a 47,000 square foot building that includes 25 acute care beds, a physicianS outpatient clinic, and various other ancillary departments. The existing nursing home services, along with the old building and other nursing home assets, were transferred into another not-for-profit corporation, Community Health and Development Inc. (CHAD) D/B/A Castle Manor, which now provides these services independent of FRHS. The financing to build the hospital replaccmcnt facility was provided under the HUD 242 and 241 loan insurance programs. In 2012, an additional 20 acres of land was donated adjacent to FRHS' campus by William Cox, the same individual responsible for donating the original 11 85 acres the facility now resides on.
Fall River Health Services is a non-profit corporation of professional team members committed to excellent, quality and patient focused healthcare for the whole person. We provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the individual, family, and significant others. We are committed to our patients, employees and our public.