1956-1979 — Major Changes
In 1956, Kadlec was the first hospital to be removed from the control of the Atomic Energy Commission and turned over to citizens to be self-governing. Richland voters selected the Methodist Board of Hospitals and Homes to own and operate the hospital. It was renamed Kadlec Methodist Hospital. The hospital was opened to all area residents regardless of whether they worked in Richland or were employed at Hanford.
At the time, Kadlec was the only hospital in the state of Washington, and only one of few in the country, which began as a government medical facility and was turned back to the citizens to be operated as a not-for-profit institution.
A second major transition for the hospital happened in 1969. Kadlec had outgrown its original facility. Government funds were available to go toward the construction of a new building, but they could not be used for a religious-affiliated organization. The Board of Trustees of Kadlec Methodist Hospital turned the hospital over to a new non-profit corporation. A community-wide fund raising drive was mounted, which raised $1 million. Mrs. Harry Kadlec, widow of Lt. Col. Harry Kadlec, returned to Richland to help with the fund raising.
Construction of the new building (the current 4-story section of Kadlec) was finished in 1971 with "Moving Day" on April 7, 1971 -- all patients and employees were transferred to the new 136-bed Kadlec Hospital.