The first hospital at Fort Missoula consisted of two tents and a shanty set up by the 3rd Infantry in 1877. The following year and L-shaped frame building with a capacity of 12 patients was completed. Dr. Robert Mills Whitefoot, a Civil War veteran, was in charge.
As the Fort continued to grow, it was clear the hospital also needs to be updated. In 1911, this Mission-style building was completed. Following the Surgeon General's recommendations for a regimental post, it included two patient wings, each with a capacity of 30 patients. The annex also included quarters in the rear of the building for hospital corps privates and non-commissioned officers.
The hospital staff witnessed many outbreaks of disease, including the Spanish influenza in 1918, an epidemic of polio in 1934 and 1935, and the mumps in early 1936.
For the Alien Detention Camps, the INS required specific buildings to be accessible before detainees arrived at the Fort. When Nick Collaer arrived in 1941, re-building and updating the post hospital that recently had been damaged by fire, was one of his priorities. Surrounded by a 10 foot fence, the post hospital became the medical and dental center for the camp.
On a daily basis the hospital saw its share of routine medical calls. Many doctor's noticed an increase in sick calls the longer detainees
were held and as the men became less content with their lives behind the fences of the Fort. Many of the detainees were diagnosed with simple boredom or homesickness.
Today, the post hospital is home to the Western Montana Mental Health Centre.