From the beginning, The Cody Medical Foundation has played an essential role in Cody's medical history. In the early days, the growing town's medical needs were tended to by physicians and their privately-operated hospitals. By 1936, however, the town's citizens wanted a public hospital.
Led by several Cody women's organizations, a fund-raising campaign began and the Cody Memorial Hospital Association was founded. By 1919, the new group's membership had grown to 430 and the money and offers of donated land and services began to pour in. On July 24, 1940, the new Cody Hospital was dedicated.
When the hospital was operated at a loss, the shortfall was made up by philanthropist W. R. Coe and his family. A friend of Buffalo Bill Cody, W. R. Coe first came to Cody in 1908 and his family has continued a tradition of support for Cody's medical community for 80 years.
W.R. Coe took an active role in the foundation until his death in 1955. In that year, the hospital received word of the establishment of the W. R. Coe Medical Trust fund, a generous sum that would be the source for many improvements in Cody's medical community. The medical trust specified that it was to be managed by a medical foundation led by Cody residents. The Coe Medical Foundation was born.
|The foundation's first major building project was the construction of the Coe Medical Center, a medical office building near the Cody hospital, which the foundation operated until it was sold to the hospital. The tradition of giving has grown and the foundation's presence is now felt everywhere services are provided.
In 1965, the Cody hospital was organized as a tax-supported institution, to better address the growing financial requirements of a modern medical center. The new hospital held its first board election in 1967. The Coe Trust Fund continued, under the direction of the Coe Medical Foundation board. In 1967, the name of the foundation was changed to The Cody Medical Foundation.