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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Finley residence. Photo courtesy:Kara Murphy and the Finley Health Foundation
The Finley Hospital was named for one of Dubuque's most respected physicians, Dr. John Finley.


FINLEY HOSPITAL (THE) A major locally owned health care provider, Finley Hospital was a dream of Dr. John FINLEY but nothing had been started on the project at the time of his death. (1) By his will, Dr. Finley left a life estate for his wife and then gave his property worth an estimated $80,000 towards the founding of a hospital. The facility was to be conducted by Dubuque physicians. (2) Articles of incorporation were written on February 21, 1890.

A meeting chaired by Edward LANGWORTHY was held on June 11, 1885, to discuss the founding of a hospital under the guidelines of the will of Mrs. Finley. An additional gift of $100,000 had been received from the estate of Dr. Lull to assist in the project. To raise the money for the anticipated cost, the Finley home and estate, which had been constructed for $30,000, were put up for sale.

When it was discovered the Finley homestead could be purchased, it was decided to buy the land and convert the home into a temporary forty-bed hospital. A committee including George BURDEN was organized to raise funds. James Huff STOUT and F. A. Rumpf each donated one thousand dollars and led the fund-raising campaign. (3) Of the funds raised, ten thousand dollars were planned for the purchase of seventeen lots surrounding the Finley estate. The remaining $5,000 was to be used for remodeling and the purchase of equipment.


The purchase was completed on May 1, 1890, with the property passing into the control of the Finley Hospital Company. The first hospital board of directors included twenty men and fourteen women. All served life-long terms of office. William Harrison DAY, Sr. served as president of the Finley Hospital Board of Trustees.

The first patients arrived in April 1890. (4) Unlike other hospitals of the time, Finley sent the aged, insane or chronically ill to other area hospitals. Although the mansion was large enough to accommodate forty patients, conditions were far from the best. Surgeries had to be done in a glass-walled cupola, the only place offering sufficient light.

Photo: Dubuque Herald, February 6, 1897

In 1896 Mr. Abraham SLIMMER from Waverly, Iowa, visited The Finley Hospital and immediately offered to the trustees a donation of $50,000 provided an equal amount was raised in Dubuque. The trustees met and then signed a contract with Slimmer that stated the $50,000 locally had to be collected by March 1, 1897. (5) A donation of $25,000 was quickly received from Henry L. STOUT. (6) A committee appointed to raise the additional funds, however, abandoned their efforts "because the people who could well afford to make up the comparatively small sum required do not respond as promptly as it was hoped." (7)

This situation led to nearly daily articles in the Dubuque Herald pointing to the need for local funds. By February, 1897 the number of donors had begun to grow. (8) Daily lists of contributors included Dubuque physicians ($1,225.00), barbers ($83.25), DUBUQUE MALTING COMPANY ($100.00), Peter KIENE, Sr. ($200.00), public school teachers ($70.00). (9) The deadline approached, however, with the fund drive still short the day before the offer was to be withdrawn. At the last minute, Dubuque residents contributed more than was necessary. On the last day, subscriptions of $2,502.36 were received. (10) The total amount of money subscribed locally came to $52,239.36. (11) In 2014 the Slimmer donation plus the local donations ($102,239.36) would be equivalent to just over $408,956. (12)

The trustees took no time in acting. The plan as agreed to with Mr. Slimmer and others who donated money was to use $25,000 for the construction of a new building and to invest the rest to insure the institution of a perpetual income. (13) There was some brief consideration for choosing a new site, but this was quickly rejected. When the new structure was completed, the old building was to be used as a home for the nurses. (14) Since the new hospital would be much larger, a training school for nurses was considered. This would provide less expensive nursing staff and a means by which young women could enter a profitable profession. (15)

A committee was appointed to arrange the building preliminaries including advertising for plans and estimates. The members included F. A. Rumpf, chairman and William L. BRADLEY, Sr., John Vincent RIDER, T. W. Ruete, and Peter KIENE. (16)

In 1898 the Pavilion addition was constructed with funds raised through the sale of real estate left to the hospital through the Finley bequest. The hospital was opened for public inspection on June 25, 1898. "Opening Day" activities were managed by the Dorothea Dix Circle--some of whom came dressed as street car conductors. People who rode the 8th Street line during the afternoon or evening paid their fare to these ladies who "were in charge of cars and ran things to suit themselves." Sometimes change for a fare was returned to the rider--and sometimes not. Funds raised in this way purchased the couch used by the poor visiting the hospital. (17)

Opened for public inspection on September 24, 1898, a throng estimated at six thousand toured the premises which allowed the hospital to accommodate seventy patients. (18) The addition boasted several innovative ideas. The hospital had Dubuque's first patient transfer system using elevators. To reduce infection, the use of wood was limited and steam heat (believed cleaner) was employed. The kitchen was placed on the third floor so that cooking odors would not be spread through the rooms.

Generosity played a significant role in reducing costs. Rooms were furnished by the Dorothea Dix Society and Mrs. A. W. Daugherty. Perhaps the single greatest gift came from Mrs. Fred O'Donnell who furnished a room, the entire electric lighting plant, all the furnishings of the operating room, the furnishings for both the large wards on the first floor, and many other articles. (19)

A nurses' training program was founded in 1898. The nearest similar program at that time was in Chicago. Applicants were required to be graduates of high school and demonstrate the stamina needed for the work. For three months, students were given regular instruction and lectures by the faculty. Two years were then spent in hospital work. The first class of four nurses graduated in 1900. (20) The quality of the program led within two years to a graduating class of twenty. The original hospital building became the nurses' home when the new hospital opened.

In April 1898 a new ambulance was presented to the hospital by Henry L. Stout. It featured curtained plate glass windows on each side ornamented with "Red Cross' over which were ventilators. Inside was a stretcher-cot, held by straps and suspended by springs. Beside the stretcher were three folding seats for physicians and nurses. The heated ambulance rode on rubber wheels with ball bearings. While "having the appearance of a heavy vehicle it could easily be drawn by a single horse." The name "Finley Hospital" appeared on each side.

The ambulance was stored at BYRNE BROTHERS at 9th and Iowa and could be called for at any time. Byrne Brothers agreed to furnish a driver and team at about the usual livery cost. The article in the Evening-Globe Journal suggested that the city council should establish the right-of-way for the ambulance as had been done in other cities. (21)

It became almost immediately clear that additional hospital space would be needed. In July 1910 the hospital board had already taken under consideration a building program although no time schedule or amount of funding needed was discussed. It was disclosed that any new construction would occur on the grounds of the present institution and that the new building would be as large or larger than the present facilities. (22)

On May 25, 1910 the public was admitted to some of Dubuque's hospitals as part of National Hospital Day activities. (23) Visitors to Finley were able to see the new Lull Memorial Home for nurses located southeast of the hospital and fronting on Alpine. (24)

Demolition of the old hospital. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Hospital construction. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Finley was one of only thirteen accredited Iowa hospitals with one hundred beds or more in the 1920s.

A great deal of charity work was undertaken by the hospital. In 1920 the cost of the free service to charity patients totaled $17,020.50. This was offset $4,168.46 by the Slimmer charity fund, but the net was a loss to the hospital of $12,852.64. (25) This figure did not include the loss on accounts of patients who were unable to pay and who failed to declare themselves as charity patients. The Slimmer fund did not allow the hospital to collect anything unless the patient stated they were a charity case. In such cases, doctors had to agree to offer their service free of charge. (26)

The role of the Women's Auxiliary to the hospital was crucial. For many years, the Auxiliary hosted an annual "fruit shower" at which thousands of glasses of fruit and jelly were presented to the patients of the hospital. The Auxiliary's financial support made possible much the hospital's charity work as well as needed repairs and improvements to the building. (27)

The medical community in Dubuque anticipated the arrival of Dr. F. P. McNamara in 1921. A former assistant instructor at the Brady Memorial Laboratory of Bacteriology and Pathology at Yale University and assistant resident pathologist of the New Haven Hospital, Dr. McNamara was hired to be in charge of the Pathological Laboratory at The Finley Hospital. Prior to Dr. McNamara's arrival, it had been necessary to send tissue and other specimens to other cities for examination. This caused delay in the diagnosis of disease and led physicians to take their patients out of Dubuque for treatment. The Dubuque County Medical Society announced frequent clinics to promote a better understanding between physicians and pathologists. (28)

In 1925 the SUNSHINE CIRCLE of Finley Hospital held its second Better Baby Health Conference. Parents or relatives of children who were born in Finley were entitled to enter them in this conference. With two hundred and thirty-four children possible entrants, no child younger than one year or older than four years on May 16, 1924 was admitted. The conference was held according to the instructions in Pamphlet No. 5 prepared by the Committee on Women and Children's Welfare, Council of Health and Public Instruction of the American Medical Society. Nine doctors were to be in attendance from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to examine the children. Members of the Circle aided in caring for the children and helping the examiners. (29)

A baby's footprint of a famous Dubuque resident. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

A 1950 expansion of the hospital increased the bed capacity by twenty-nine and added four operating rooms, a maternity floor and nursery, and lobby. Eleven years later Finley installed a cobalt therapy unit for cancer treatments. Groundbreaking ceremonies on August 19, 1971, began a $2.875 million expansion. On October 20, 1973, the addition was formally opened with Governor Robert Ray as the featured speaker.

In 1970 the Dubuque County Medical Society purchased for $8,142.72 a multi-media instructional system of films, filmstrips and audiotapes for the continuing education of physicians and nurses working in coronary care units. Benefiting from the purchase were Finley Hospital, MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, and XAVIER HOSPITAL which would share the materials. Each hospital purchased its own projection equipment. (30)

In 1984 the hospital announced that it would be phasing out its School of Nursing program. The nursing school, established in 1897, cost the hospital an estimated $270000 annually. The hospital administration cited as reasons the enrollment decline of incoming freshmen by 26% from 1983 to 1984 and a 41% decline from 1982 to 1984. Officials also pointed to federal and private-sector pressures on the health-care industry to hold down costs resulting in fewer nurses being needed at most hospitals as patient levels declined. The approximately one hundred enrolled students would be able to complete the registered nurse diploma program, but no new students would be enrolled. (31)

In 1987 Finley announced that it would receive one million dollars from the estate of Lester WENDT. The money, believed to be the largest health care gift in Dubuque history, was to be used to establish a regional cancer center. The name Wendt Regional Cancer Center recognized the Wendt family's long history of financial aid to the hospital including a donation of $220,000 in 1981 following Wendt's death. The Wendt Regional Cancer Care Center was formally opened on November 13, 1987. Breaking a tradition of building such a center underground, Dr. Thomas Lally was instrumental in constructing the center above ground despite the need to make walls at least seven feet thick. (32) A $3 million, 10,000 square foot addition to Finley, the Center allowed the hospital to treat up to sixty patients daily, twice the number that could be treated at the old center.

Family Birthing Suites, allowing a woman to experience delivery and recovery in one room, were introduced in 1989.

In 1990 with an estimated six hundred employees, Finley Hospital had an approximate economic impact of $100 million on the local economy. Salaries and benefits paid to employees were approximately $14 million with an equal amount spent on utilities, insurance, and food supplies. The Finley Hospital also provided students of area colleges and technical schools with a valuable training environment as part of their degree programs.

A new policy at Finley in 1991 allowed acute care patients to be visited by their pets. The practice had been in effect in Dubuque area residence homes and residential care facilities. Visits by pets had been recognized for relieving stress and providing comfort. Often a pet was the patient's only "significant other." (33)

The growth of services at Finley especially in outpatient services such as radiology, physical therapy and surgery led to the need for more parking by 1991. The addition of a new level of parking and needed repairs to the parking ramp was the focus of a $1 million project scheduled to start in May and be finished by November. (34)

Hospital administration announced in March 1992 plans to develop an outpatient care center, remodel the emergency and trauma center, expand the intensive care unit, and increase the health education center at the hospital. The $11.3 million program was needed due to a shift of 57% in ten years to outpatient surgery and a tripling of patients seeking emergency room care in ten years. (35) The Babka Outpatient Care Unit was named in honor of Edward and Shirley BABKA who were financial contributors. (36)

Festivities associated with the centennial celebration of The Finley Hospital were co-chaired by Margaret Hendry and William G. KRUSE.

In August, 1993 the formation of the Dubuque Regional Health System was announced. The alliance between Finley and MERCY HEALTH CENTER was created to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and prepare the two hospitals to compete in a regional health care market. The official agreement was signed in February 1994. Months later, the federal Justice Department filed an antitrust suit to block the organization. The case went to District Court in the fall of 1994 with a ruling in favor of the hospitals. The Justice Department appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was heard in October 1996 with no ruling announced. In January 1997 Finley withdrew from the alliance citing delays caused by the litigation. (37) The court decided in February that the case was moot, based on the fact that the hospitals were not continuing to seek a merger--to the surprise of the government and the displeasure of Finley and Mercy which had hoped for a ruling. The decision also dismissed the earlier court's ruling in favor of the hospitals. (38)

In 1994 the hospital expanded again with the construction of the intensive-care unit, Babka Outpatient Surgery Wing, and a new entrance. The Delhi Medical Center was completed in 2002 and the Kehl Diabetes Center in 2006. In 2008 the hospital began construction of a west wing addition which resulted in all-private rooms. On October 31, 1994 the hospital installed a state-of-the-art General Electric Spiral CT Scanner--the first in the city. (39)

The hospital offered Kids Count Too, a program sponsored in 1994 by the American Cancer Society, as a supportive program for children with a family member fighting cancer. (40)

Efforts to unionize the seven hundred workers at The Finley Hospital began in March, 1995. The National Labor Relations Board divided hospital employees into different bargaining units including Registered nurses, all other professionals, technical, service, general maintenance, skilled maintenance, receptionists (non-clerical), and medical records/clerical. Doctors were also eligible, but no requests had been made from this group. (41)

In 1996 HEARTLAND AIRMED, a service of Heartland Regional Paramedic Services, announced it would be able to transport patients in and out of Dubuque at the start of the new year. Three nurses from The Finley Hospital completed training to accompany these patients. (42) On December 6, 1996 the Finley/Mercy Diabetes Center opened at 3505 Stoneman Road. The Center provided comprehensive diabetes education including classes, self-glucose monitoring, family counseling and exercise opportunities. (43)

In early January 1997 Finley, MEDICAL ASSOCIATES CLINIC PC (THE), and the Tri-States Physicians Association submitted an application to the Iowa Department of Public Health to bring a permanent hospital-based magnetic resonance imaging center (MRI) to Dubuque. The application suggested that the center would be the fourth busiest in Iowa and would lower the cost of each MRI by 23%. Finley and MERCY MEDICAL CENTER were at the time using a mobile MRI on a part-time basis as a contracted service. The proposed Finley MRI was to be housed in an attached hospital addition and could provide MRI services 24-hours daily. The cost of purchasing the equipment, construction, and installation was estimated at $2.3 million. (44) In April, 1997 both Finley and Mercy were denied state approval to establish the site. The State Health Facilities Council recognized that Dubuque was the largest city in Iowa without an MRI, but suggested the two hospitals work together. (45)

On January 2, 1997 after six months of study and negotiation, The Finley Hospital announced it would become a partner in Iowa Health System. The affiliation offered the hospital statewide medical expertise and economic advantages from being able to obtain price breaks on purchases. Iowa Health System was the largest affiliation of independently owned hospitals in Iowa. (46) The agreement, signed August 7, 1997, stated that Finley Tri-State Health Group, Inc. would continue to own the 158-bed hospital. (47) The Finley Hospital offered a new pain management and intervention program in December, 1997 with Dr. Thomas D. Hanson of Anesthesia and Analgesia P.C. Davenport at Finley's Babka Outpatient Care Center. The same month, Finley was designated a Level II hospital by the Iowa Department of Public Health for its family birthing suites. Level II hospitals have the equipment and staff to manage some high-risk pregnancies, care for pre-term newborns and care for mildly ill newborns. (48)

Recognizing that minor health concerns do not always occur during regular doctor's office hours, in July 1997, The Finley Hospital announced the opening of an after-hours medical care clinic. Called "Convenient Care," the clinic was open from 5:00-11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Patients needing more attention could be transferred to the Finley emergency/trauma department. The hospital's pharmacy would also be open to provide service. (49)

In August 1997 the issue of ownership of an MRI seemed settled. Beginning in July 1997 the Iowa Department of Public Health's responsibility for approving significant medical projects jumped from $400,000 to $1.5 million. This opened the way for both Finley and Mercy to have their own fixed-based units. (50)

The Wendt Regional Cancer Center was ten years old in 1997. One of the biggest changes was the renovation of a treatment room to house a new $2 million, high-energy accelerator which was compatible with modern computer software. The Center continued to participate in clinical trials of the Radiation Therapy Group, an affiliate of the Mayo Clinic. The Center continued to serve patients within a sixty-mile radius of Dubuque. (51)

Finley and Comprehensive Rehab, P. C. merged in February 1998 expanding the hospital's therapy base and giving it more than one-third of the rehabilitation services market share in the area. Comprehensive Rehab. at 3365 Hillcrest was a Medicare-certified agency offering physical, speech and occupational therapy as out-patient and in-home services. The agency also provided therapy in long-term facilities. Prior to the merger, Finley had contracted out-patient therapy with Comprehensive Rehab. for several years. (52)

In response to hospice patients' interest in becoming tissue donors, Finley joined in 1998 with Hospice of Dubuque to offer tissue donation opportunities to the terminally ill. While some donations would not prove transplantable, they would be valuable for research. (53)

Hospital officials announced in October, 1998 that the hospital in January would open its Summit Health Center for Older Adults. A nine-bed geropsychiatric treat unit, the facility was designed to meet the mental and physical health needs of those 55 and older suffering from psychiatric disorders, cognitive impairments and age-related physiological disorders. The Center would have inpatient, outpatient, and home care. (54)

The potential of the hospital's weekly wound clinic was announced in March, 1999. Open Thursdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. the clinic was designed to treat chronic, or non-healing wounds--wounds open six weeks or longer that do not heal by normal methods. These are caused by pressure and include bed sores, circulatory problems, or diabetic complications. Although the goal was to heal the wound, the patient might find this was impossible and was then helped with methods of keeping the wounds free of infection and manageable. (55)

In July, 2004 John Deere Company, based in Moline, Illinois announced it would end its 22-year health care program with MEDICAL ASSOCIATES CLINIC PC (THE). The company had created its own insurance plans--"Premier" and "Premier" Senior Care. Under the new arrangements, Medical Associates Clinic and Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque were replaced by Finley and over 150 other providers in The Tri-State Independent Physicians Association of Dubuque. (56)

In 2005 both of Dubuque's hospitals acknowledged that combined they absorbed an estimated $4.5 million in annual charity-care costs while struggling with federal and state reimbursements. Hospital officials admitted providing this care because their missions prohibited them from turning away poor patients. Charity-care and Medicare and Medicaid-related expenses, however, limited the amount of money that could be spent on medical technology. (57)

Finley announced in September, 2006 that patients and visitors with laptop computers with wireless interfaces could access the Internet for free. The first hospital in the city offering the option, Finley and other Iowa Health System affiliates were named among the nation's "most wired" and "most wireless" health system in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. (58)

In January 2008 Finley submitted a grant to fund "Lighten Up Iowa" in Dubuque and was selected among thirty-six winners, all in Iowa communities. The one thousand dollar grant was awarded by the Iowa Sports Foundation. Lighten Up Iowa was a statewide, Web-based program to help participants make positive and lasting changes during a 100 Day Challenge to lead a healthier lifestyle. (59)

Finley Hospital purchased the Siegert-Casper Colonial Funeral Home property at 390 N. Grandview for $2.2 million in February, 2008. The building along with the Finley Grandview Outpatient Rehab Services at 444 North Grandview were slated for demolition to construct a two-story, 70,000-square foot addition that would replace the existing emergency and surgical departments. The $42 million addition would also incorporate the hospital's heart center. (60)

In 2010 Finley Hospital for the second time was named to the '100 Top Hospitals' list by Thomson Reuters. The list was compiled by comparing hospitals of like-size across the country based on results for complications, patient safety, quality related to heart failure, pneumonia and other areas, cost per case adjusted for the severity of the cases and other measures. Finley was the only tri-state area hospital included on the list.

In May, 2012 Finley's bid to establish a cardiac catheterization laboratory was unanimously approved by the State Health Facilities Council. (61) The laboratory enabled the hospital to provide diagnostic and minimally invasive procedures to address cardiovascular disease. The same year a da Vinci robot was first used for urological, gynecological, and gall-bladder surgery. (62)

A 1949 bill for the hospital charges related to the birth of a child.

In 2014 with construction well underway on the projects outlined in 2008, The Finley Hospital announced on November 14th that it would begin offering 3-D mammography. The first medical center in the community to offer the service, Finley found in the first month that 75% of the patients who had undergone mammograms chose the new option. (63)

On May 11, 2015 Edward Babka and Shirley Babka announced a $1 million gift to support the Grandview Expansion Project. With this donation, the Finley Health Foundation's Currents of Care capital campaign had raised $3 million of its overall $5 million goal. (64)

UnityPoint Health, known as Iowa Health System until 2013, is a network of hospitals, clinics and home care services in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. The system began in 1993, when Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines merged, forming the state’s largest provider of hospital and related health services. The organization grew to include eight metropolitan areas. (65) Its name was changed in 2013 when it was no longer exclusive to Iowa. In June 2015, UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital Wound and Hyperbaric Center earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Wound Care Management Certification. Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, the Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluated clinical programs and addressed three core areas: (66)

      • Compliance with consensus-based 
        national standards;
      • Effective use of evidence-based 
        clinical practice guidelines to 
        manage and optimize care; and
      • An organized approach to performance 
        measurement and improvement activities.

In July 2015 UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital was awarded a $105,200 grant from the American Heart Association to help improve their heart attack care. Annually hundreds of thousands of Americans had the most serious type of heart attack known--a ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient’s life is at serious risk. (67) Finley was part of a network of hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline, a program made possible by $6.1 million in funding, including a $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Mission: Lifeline system ensured STEMI patients get the right care while improving care for all heart attack patients in Iowa. (68)

In November 2015 officials of Finley announced it would offer genetics counseling, an in-depth process in which an expert nurse would evaluate family medical histories and genetic markers to determine cancer risks. Patients would be referred by their physicians based on recent cancer diagnoses or extensive family histories of cancers. Counseling would be provided at no charge. The program was supported by proceeds from the Pink Ribbon Open, an annual, women-only golf outing that benefited local cancer centers. (69)

The families of Mary Riegler and Beth Hoefer, two former Finley nurses, provided in 2016 a new training tool at the UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital. Noelle--a birthing simulator at the hospital, nicknamed "MaryBeth" in honor of the two nurses, provided nearly a full range of birthing scenarios. The simulator also came with a larger baby, which helped simulate complications that could arise after the baby was born. The hospital announced it would host area nursing students and give them the opportunity to learn and train with this tool. (70)

In February 2016, hospital officials announced the addition of two new urgent care clinics in Dubuque at an estimated cost of $2 million. Unity-Point Health Clinic Urgent Care-West was scheduled to open at 2255 Kennedy Road on August 1, 2016. Urgent Care-East was to open in October at 1550 University Avenue currently the site of Finley's Babka Wellness Center. Each clinic would have radiology and laboratory facilities and be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week including holidays. Once Urgent Care-West opened and the hospital's emergency department was relocated as part of the expansion project, the Convenient Care facility within Finley would close. (71)

Emergency room services in the Grandview Expansion project opened at 6:00 a.m. on August 17, 2016. The 17,000-square-foot emergency room occupied the first floor and featured sixteen treatment rooms including two trauma rooms, a gynecology room and two dedicated behavioral health rooms. The old facility saw an estimated 25,000 patients in 2015 far beyond its capacity. The work on the Grandview Expansion project began in May 2014 and ended in April 2016 with a cost of $42 million. (72)

Finley opened Urgent Care-East on December 5, 2016. Urgent care offered an option to either a trip to a primary care physician or the emergency room. Appointments were unnecessary and services were "more appropriately priced" than emergency rooms. Between August and the end of October, an estimated 3,700 patients visited Urgent-Care West. (73)

In May 2017 UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital received an “A” rating for safety based on a report by The LeapFrog Group which rates hospitals on an “A” through “F” scale on their ability to prevent errors, injuries and infections. Categories in the report included safety problems with surgery, staff follows steps to make surgery safer, infections and safety problems, and practices to prevent safety problems. The Hospital Safety Score aims to educate and encourage people to consider safety when selecting a hospital for themselves or their families. (74)

Officials of UnityPoint and Grand River Medical Group announced in July, 2020 that Grand River's oncology clinic would relocate within Finley's Wendt Regional Cancer Center. The addition involved a $1.6 million renovation which was expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The new arrangement brought chemotherapy to Finley where radiation oncology was already offered. Among the services available to patients would be multidisciplinary care team planning, genetic counseling, cancer-based physical therapy and support groups. (75)

With the relocation in October, 2022 of Dr. Catherine Miller, formerly an assistant professor at the University of California-San Francisco, Dubuque residents would have access, missing for decades, to a local neurosurgeon. Miller's move to Dubuque filled a long-standing need for residents having brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve conditions. Her clinic would focus on spinal conditions and treatment, specifically minimally invasive spine surgery. She would also serve on-call in the emergency room. Prior to her arrival, patients needed to travel to the Quad Cities, Iowa City, or Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for medical care. (76)



1. "Open House at Finley Hospital Today," Telegraph Herald, May 15, 1921, p. 15

2. "Finley Hospital," Dubuque Herald, February 22, 1890 (no page numbers)

3. "Open House at Finley..." p. 18

4. Ibid.

5. "Slimmer Donation," Dubuque Herald, January 17, 1897, p. 4

6. Ibid.

7. "Finley Hospital," Dubuque Herald, January 26, 1897, p. 4

8. "The Finley Boom," Dubuque Herald, February 5, 1897, p. 8

9. "Slimmer is Ready," Dubuque Herald, February 21, 1897, p. 8

10. "Finley's Fortune," Dubuque Herald, February 28, 1897, p. 5

11. "Triumph for Finley," Dubuque Herald, March 10, 1897, p. 8

12. "Historical Value of U. S. Dollar," Online: http://mykindred.com/cloud/TX/Documents/dollar/

13. "Disposition of the Fund," Dubuque Herald, March 10, 1897, p. 8

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. "Finley Opened," Evening Globe-Journal, June 25, 1898, p. 7

18. "The New Finley Hospital," Telegraph Herald, September 25, 1898, p. 8

19. Ibid.

20. "John W. Finley," Linwood Legacies, Online:http://www.linwoodlegacies.org/john-w-finley.html

21. "Has Arrived," Evening Globe-Journal, April 21, 1898, p. 12

22. "Finley Hospital to Build Addition," Telegraph Herald, July 22, 1910, p. 7

23. "Public Admitted to Some Dubuque Hospitals Today," Telegraph Herald, Part II, May 25, 1910, p. 1

24. "Nurses' Home to Be Opened Today," Telegraph Herald, Part II,, May 25, 1910, p. 9

25. "Open House at Finley Hospital Today,"

26. Ibid.

27. Ibid.

28. "Dr. McNamara Begins Duties as Pathologist," Times-Journal, July 10, 1921, p. 13

29. "Annual Baby Show at Finley Soon," Telegraph Herald, Part II, May 10, 1925, p.7

30. "Lessons in Coronary Care Techniques," Telegraph Herald, July 5, 1970, p. 5

31. "Nursing Program to Phase Out," Telegraph Herald, October 29, 1984, p. 2

32. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Wendt Center Adds to Its Vision of Healing," Telegraph Herald, December 22, 1997, p. 3A

33. Lamphlier-Hoffert, Denise. "Hospitals Use Four-Legged Therapists," Telegraph Herald, October 16, 1991, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19911016&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

34. Lamphlier-Hoffert, Denise. "Finley to Make Parking Repairs," Telegraph Herald, March 26, 1991, p. 3A

35. Lamphlier-Hoffert, Denise. "Finley Plans $11.3 Million Project," Telegraph Herald, March 10, 1992, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19920310&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

36. Japsen, Bruce. "Finley Expansion Begins," Telegraph Herald, April 24, 1993, p. 1

37. Gwisda, Susan B. "Finley Withdraws from Health Alliance," Telegraph Herald, January 16, 1997, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970116&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

38. Gwisda, Susan B. "Appeals Court Rules Antitrust Case Moot," Telegraph Herald, February 28, 1997, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970228&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

39. "Finley First with CT Scanner," Telegraph Herald Letters to the Editor, February 15, 1995, p. 4A

40. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Finley's Cancer Program Helps Kids Cope," Telegraph Herald, March 9, 1994, p. 1

41. Bergstrom, Kathy. "Unionizing Work Starts at Finley," Telegraph Herald, March 25, 1995, p. 1A

42. "Heartland to Use Planes for Patient Transfers," Telegraph Herald, December 21, 1996, p. 3A

43. Gwiasda, Susan B. "New Center Helps Combat Diabetes," Telegraph Herald, November 21, 1996, p. 3A

44. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Prognosis: Finley's MRI Busy, Fee Lower," Telegraph Herald, January 22, 1997, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970122&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

45. Gwiasda, Susan B. "State Denies Both Mercy, Finley A Fixed-Site MRI Unit," Telegraph Herald, April 11, 1997, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970411&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

46. "Bragg, Mary Rae. "Finley Joins Iowa Alliance," Telegraph Herald, May 28, 1997, p. 1A

47. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Finley Hospital Board Signs Agreement with Iowa Health System," Telegraph Herald, August 8, 1997, p. 3A

48. "Finley Family Birthing Suites Designated Level II," Telegraph Herald, December 22, 1997, p. 3A

49. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Finley Hospital Opens After-Hours Medical-Care Clinic," Telegraph Herald, July 21, 1997, p. 3A

50. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Hospitals Seek Separate MRI Units," Telegraph Herald, August 5, 1997, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970805&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

51. Gwiasda, "Wendt Center..."

52. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Finley, Rehabilitation Firm Merge," Telegraph Herald, February 3, 1998, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980203&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

53. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Finley Hospital, Hospice Join Forces in Organ Donor Program," Telegraph Herald, June 11, 1998, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980611&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

54. Hogstrom, Erik, "New Center at Finley for Adults 55 and Up," Telegraph Herald, October 18, 1998, p. 2

55. Hogstrom, Erik,"Finley Clinic Treats Patients with Non-Healing Wounds," Telegraph Herald, March 13, 1999, p. 2

56. Kittle, M. D. "Finley: Hospital Ready for Deere Beneficiaries," Telegraph Herald, December 5, 2004, p. 15A

57. Hogstrom, Erik,"Charity Care Squeezes Hospitals," Telegraph Herald, February 18, 2005, p. 1

58. Hogstrom, Erik, "Finley Offers Wireless Web Access," Telegraph Herald, September 30, 2006, p. 5

59. "Finley Receives Lighten Up Iowa Grant," Julien's Journal, January, 2008, p. 33

60. Hogstrom, Erik. "Plan in Action: Finley Buys Funeral Home," Telegraph Herald, February 8, 2013, p. 5A

61. Mandel, Eric. "Finley Cath Lab Approved," Telegraph Herald, May 24, 2012, p. 1

62. "Mercy Expands Robotic-Assisted Surgery Options," Telegraph Herald, March 11, 2017, p. 3A

63. Montgomery, Jeff. "3-D Mammography Comes to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, December 20, 2014, p. 3A

64. Montgomery, Jeff. "Finley Project Gaining Ground," Telegraph Herald, May 12, 2015, p. 1

65. Bourgeois, Jake. "Iowa Health System changes name to Unity Point Health". Journal-Eureka. Anamosa, Iowa. April 25, 2013

66. Hanson, Brad. "Finley Dubuque's Wound Center Receives Gold Seal of Approval," KWWL.com June 9, 2015, Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/29280393/2015/06/09/finley-dubuques-wound-center-receives-gold-seal-of-approval

67. Hanson, Brad. "Finley Awarded Grant to Improve Heat Attack Care," KWWL.com, July 16, 2015, Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/29563050/2015/07/16/finley-awarded-grant-to-improve-heart-attack-care

68. Ibid.

69. Jacobson, Ben. "UnityPoint Health-Finley Offers Genetic Counseling," Telegraph Herald, November 7, 2015, p. 3A

70. Hanson, Brad. "A New Training Tool Born at Dubuque's Finley Hospital," KWWL.com February 11, 2016

71. Yager, Alicia. "Finley Plans for 2 Urgent Care Clinics," Telegraph Herald, February 17, 2016, p. 1

72. Goldstein, Bennett. "Finley Opens New Emergency Department," Telegraph Herald, August 17, 2016, p. 3A

73. Montgomery, Jeff. "Finley to Expand Urgent-Care Options," Telegraph Herald, December 3, 2016, p. 1

74. Descorbeth, Shirley. "Finley Hospital Earns “A” for Safety," KWWL.com May 22, 2017. Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/35490928/2017/5/22/finley-hospital-earns-a-for-safety

75. Goldstein, Bennet, "New Cancer Center on Horizon," Telegraph Herald, July 17, 2020, p. 1A

76. Irvine, Joshua, "UnityPoint Adds Neurosurgery to Dubuque Medical Services," Telegraph Herald, October 27, 2022, p. 1A