60 Years of Barton Health

Submitted to the Tribune
Gregory Bergner, MD checks a newborn with participants of the technician assistant program for aspiring medical students.
Provided / Barton Health

60 years ago, the community’s dream of a local, Tahoe-based hospital became reality. Barton Health has assembled a collection of articles to commemorate 60 years of quality and compassionate health care for our community and its visitors. Beginning with the 1950s, an article outlining the events of each decade will be published monthly, culminating with the 2020s on Barton’s official 60th anniversary in November. Follow along this historical journey each month and learn more at

1990’s: Expanding to Meet the Needs of the Community

The 1990s were a time of change in the healthcare industry — in the early 90s, hospitals across the U.S. faced economical changes and while some closed, others found ways to expand and meet the country’s growing health needs.

After almost thirty years, Barton had grown beyond a small community hospital and on May 27, 1993 the organization broke ground on a 60,000 square foot expansion project. The $15 million expansion project, completed in 1995, more than doubled the facility’s size, increasing space in the emergency department, adding two additional surgical suites, and growing the labor and delivery unit to include five private rooms.

During the expansion, improvements were also made to physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, gastroenterology, and EKG/ECG, and as services moved from the existing hospital to the expansion, 48 patient rooms were renovated for Barton’s Skilling Nursing Facility — the first long-term care facility in the area.

With expansion, came additional growth in outpatient services, physician recruitment, and advancements in medical technology. While computer technology and the world wide web dominated the headlines in the 90s, medical advancements were made in surgery, medical imaging, and bone density testing — especially valuable for Lake Tahoe’s active population.

Surgical procedures welcomed laser technology that allowed more efficient surgical procedures, resulting in less blood loss, scarring, and pain, and reduced recovery time for patients. And a $2.3 million investment in medical imaging introduced computerized tomography (CT) scanning, a gamma camera, and an angiogram suite for more precise patient diagnoses.

In the thirty years since the expansion, Barton has continued to grow. Since the 1990s, Barton’s services have expanded to include urology, infusion, neurology, and more, as well as emergency service’s Level III Trauma Center accreditation. Its facilities have grown to include the Robert Maloff Center, which houses Barton’s renowned orthopedics, rehabilitation, and performance programs, along with Barton Urgent Care, Barton Quick Care, Lake Tahoe Surgery Center, and many other properties in California and Nevada serving outpatient medical needs.

As the landscape of healthcare continues to evolve, Barton is committed to making purposeful shifts to meet the unique demands and remain a viable and sustainable partner in health for Lake Tahoe residents and visitors. Be it through expansion of services or of facilities, the health of our community remains at the core of our focus.

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