Bethesda has a rich history of serving the community of Willmar and surrounding areas and was founded in 1897 as an orphanage in Lamberton, Minnesota. In 1905, the orphanage was moved to a site six miles north of Willmar, where children were joined by older citizens at what was called the “country home.” In 1939, Bethesda began serving exclusively elderly persons.
In 1953, a new nursing home, Bethesda Heritage Center, opened its doors in the city of Willmar. The “country home” was closed in 1979 when the Pleasant View nursing home was constructed. In 1983, the Bethesda Foundation was organized with the purpose of supporting the efforts of Bethesda.
Responding to the needs of the community, Terrace Homes, three duplex units, were constructed in 1986 and Sunrise Village Independent and Assisted Living in 1992. In 1993, Bethesda’s Home Health program began providing medical and personal support to assist people in the comfort of their homes.
In 1996, Day Break, an adult day care program designed to provide extra support for individuals who need assistance to maintain their independence in the community began.
Centennial Square, an income based independent living apartment was built in 1997 and in 2002, Bethesda expanded its services to Olivia, Minnesota when Park View Village, a 20-unit assisted living facility open its doors.
2010 saw the development and opening of Bethesda’s Wellness Center, which is home to Club Bethesda. Club Bethesda is a fitness facility for those over age 50 with state-of-the-art equipment designed for the older adult. The Pleasant View Short-Term Care Therapy Department is also located in the Wellness Center. In 2011, the warm-water therapy pool opened which is available to members of Club Bethesda and is also used for physical therapy.
Today, Bethesda is at an important crossroads – a defining moment that will shape and allow us to take a leadership role of more responsive and flexible programs for older adults for decades to come. Building plans, scheduled for completion by the spring of 2016, include relocating 125 skilled nursing care beds from Heritage Center onto the Pleasant View Campus into distinct neighborhoods that will enhance quality of life and sense of purpose by creating familiar spaces for resident use. Plans also include the construction of a new 36-bed short-stay therapy center building that will reflect an environment of wellness and healing for post-acute recovery.
This expansion will introduce a new kind of enhanced continuing care retirement community that encourages active lifestyles and community relationships – all on one campus! Please check back for progress as we develop and grow to better serve our family, friends and neighbors.