The idea that was to become St. Cloud Hospital was first conceived in 1949 by Theresa Budinger. She and her husband, Manny, deposited all donations made to their Clock Museum in an account, earmarking it as the "Hospital Fund." The grass roots efforts continued to grow until 1957 when the City of St. Cloud deeded a 10-acre parcel of land to the Hospital Foundation. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in October 1957, but funding ran short and the project was put on hold. As the pledges fell, Carl Kiekhaefer, founder of Kiekhaefer Corporation (now Mercury-Marine) constructed the building at cost through a company-owned construction facility. He contributed a great deal of his personal time and money to the project which was completed in 1962.
After another two years of community support and fundraising, the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine agreed to operate the hospital and administered it through the Sisters of the Order of St. Joseph. Finally, on Thursday, March 19, 1964, at 2:30 in the afternoon, St. Cloud Hospital held its dedication and was officially opened with 25 beds.
At 9:00 a.m., March 20, 1964, 86-year-old Frank Hinkhouse was admitted as the very first patient. Mr. Hinkhouse and his wife, natives of Kansas, had wintered in St. Cloud for nearly 40 years.
In 1980, Bishop Thomas J. Grady of the Orlando Diocese, transferred ownership to St. Cloud Hospital, Inc., a private not-for-profit corporation. A community Board of Trustees was selected to oversee the direction of the hospital for the good of the community.
In December 1981, St. Cloud Hospital completed a major expansion and two-story addition with 38,000 square feet of space. The expansion added 41 beds. In September 1983, St. Cloud Hospital opened a new surgical suite, including a new urological room, expanded recovery room and a state-of-the-art central supply system.
St. Cloud Hospital completed another $6.5 million expansion program in 1988, opening a new outpatient wing with 16 beds for pre- and post-operative care. The new wing featured private rooms.
In February 2006, St. Cloud Hospital became St. Cloud Regional Medical Center. Since that time, the facility has embarked on over $13 million of capital improvements including two brand new smart Operating Room suites, exhaustive renovations and the upgrade/replacement of key patient care equipment.
Today, St. Cloud Regional Medical Center is a modern, state-of-the-art acute care facility that is focused on meeting the needs of St. Cloud and growing along with the community.