|Sep 15, 2010 --
Outline of Need: Chadron Community Hospital serves Dawes, Sheridan, and Sioux counties in northwest Nebraska; Fall River, Shannon and Bennett counties in southwestern South Dakota; and the 2,500 students enrolled at Chadron State College. Built in 1929, with additions in 1963, 1965, 1967, 1977, and 1987, the existing building of 48,000 square feet was landlocked with no options for expansion. Rooms in the hospital were too small for today's equipment and there were multiple patients in one room making it difficult to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) confidentiality requirements. Specialty clinics were required to share space that was also used for emergency treatments, making it hard to attract visiting physicians. The hospital had outgrown its existing facility. Current building codes and regulations for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility and the Nebraska Department of Health standards also influenced the decision to build a new facility at an easily accessible location.
How Rural Development Helped: The total project cost was nearly $21 million. Rural Development provided a $8.9 million loan note guarantee to First National Bank of Omaha and a $8.9 million USDA Rural Development Direct loan. The Chadron citizens showed their support for a replacement hospital with 86 percent of the voters passing a tax revenue proposal. The funding was completed with a donation from the Chicoine Trust and the hospital's contribution.
The Results: The 25 bed replacement Critical Access Hospital was built on a sloped site which allows for two levels, each with ADA accessible on-grade entrances. The 94,000 square foot hospital has all private rooms and an expanded outpatient area designed to meet current healthcare trends. Specialty clinics, which include Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Urology, Nuclear Medicine, Ears, Nose and Throat, Nephrology, Audiology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Obstetrics-Gynocology, have their own space in the facility. The Family Practice Physician Clinic, which is home to six Family Practice Physicians, four Physician Assistants and 20 support staff, was relocated to the facility as well. The new Physicians' Clinic meets all patient privacy and accessibility requirements.
In addition to the Physicians' Clinic, Chadron Community Hospital employs 187 professional and support staff. With expanded services after the construction, the hospital added 18 additional support positions. The construction, which took just over two years, employed more than 50 construction workers. The hospital is an asset to the community and adjoining states, in providing quality medical services for all.
“The new facility is out performing all of our expectations. With the addition of the Chadron Medical Clinic into the space of the acute care facility we have seen drastic reductions in the amount of time our emergency room patients are waiting for physician services. Having all private rooms is also a major benefit for our patients, no room mates and plenty of space for our professional staff to do their jobs, and large spacious rooms for our patients' family and loved ones when visiting. Our biggest shock was the large increase in the number of babies delivered in the first week of operations; the moms, dads and newborns enjoyed the new birthing rooms. We look forward to serving our large family of friends and patients for many years into the future.” stated Harold Krueger, CEO, Chadron Community Hospital.