Mary Tomlinson Lanning had a bright future ahead of her.
The 21-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Lanning of Hastings returned home from college to visit her parents. This family reunion, however, was to end in tragedy. Mary contracted pneumonia during her visit and, because there was limited healthcare in Hastings, the young girl died in January 1910.
A student at Smith College in Northhampton, Massachussetts, Mary was planning to pursue social service work.
The Lannings were devastated by her death and wanted to use their resources to serve others in honor of their daughter.
In Mary’s memory the Lannings decided to establish a hospital and a school of nursing in memory of their daughter. For the next several years, the couple visited hospitals throughout the country and Europe.
On January 15, 1915, five years after Mary’s death, the hospital built to memorialize her goal of service to others was dedicated. The original hospital contained 50 beds and, within a few months, included a training school for nurses.
Mrs. Lanning died in 1918, never fully recovering from the loss of her daughter.
Mr. Lanning died on January 9, 1919, at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital due to complications following surgery.
A family’s legacy
The endowment left by Mr. Lanning provided for construction and furnishing of a maternity wing. In 1926, the Alice T. Lanning Obstetrical Wing, named in honor of Mrs. Lanning, was added to the hospital. The endowment also provided for construction of a hotel (which later became a dorm) for young women, and was called Maryland, also in honor of Mary.
Today, Mary Lanning Healthcare serves patients throughout central Nebraska. It is licensed for 183 beds and employs a staff of nearly 1,000. Mary Lanning Healthcare is the largest employer in Adams County, with an annual payroll of more than $35 million.
Physicians practice in medical specialties from cardiology to pulmonology and nephrology to obstetrics and oncology.
Major expansion projects over the years has enabled Mary Lanning Healthcare to continually offer state-of-the-art technology while introducing advanced medical treatments to meet the changing healthcare needs of the region.
The Medical Services Building was completed in 1994, located just north of the hospital tower. It contains the Creighton University School of Nursing--Mary Lanning campus, the Mary Lanning School of Radiologic Technology and the Nebraska Methodist School of Respiratory Therapy. The Mary Lanning Healthcare Rehabilitation Department is also located in the Medical Services Building, along with several physicians who offer a variety of services.
In 2000, The Millenium Construction Project was completed, tripling the size of the Emergency Department and expanding the size of the Mary Lanning Healthcare Surgery Center.
Then in 2008, Mary Lanning Healthcare embarked on The Century Project, which included a large addition on the north spanning seven stories and the transformation of several patient floors.
Highlights of the project included all-private patient rooms, state-of-the-art technologies and beautiful, up-to-date environments. Everything — from the new Outpatient Admission area in the North Entrance to new surgical suites in the Surgery Center — was done with patients and families in mind.
The project was completed in 2011. Over the years, Mary Lanning Healthcare has grown and expanded its facilities to continuously keep pace with the latest in medical technology. One thing that always remains constant, however, is a commitment made nearly a century ago — a commitment to providing a new standard of world-class healthcare, one relationship at a time.