Thrive by IU Health

March 08, 2024

Women history-makers, close to home

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Women history-makers, close to home

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, and Women’s History Month, please help recognize a group near and dear to the foundations of IU Health Bloomington: The Local Council of Women.

The Council started in 1897 with a call to Bloomington women’s clubs to help promote items of community interest.

Moving forward to the early 1900s, the group took up the discussion of a new city hospital the day after a young man died after being struck by a train.

They worked with local leaders to find a location, eventually settling on a 4.5-acre parcel with a 10-room red brick house belonging to Isaac Hopewell. Through fundraising efforts including rummage sales, recitals, lectures, a theater benefit, bake sales and selling refreshments at the county fair and baseball games, the Council purchased the site and through extensive remodeling projects, converted the building into the much-anticipated hospital. On November 29, 1905, the doors opened, welcoming a new era of care for the community.

Five members of the Council were named to Bloomington Hospital’s first board of directors the following year, showing the continued importance of the group’s leadership.

Since then, the facility has undergone tremendous change with expansions, new buildings, medical advancements and even a move to the current IU Health Bloomington site on the North side of town.

What has remained unchanged is the Council’s dedication to this hospital and its mission to be a voice for community health and advocate for solutions to accessibility and delivery of health care.

Thank you to the past, present and future Council members for your dedication to doing good in the lives of others.