McCook, Nebraska, Jan 09, 2011 -- A ribbon cutting and grand opening in celebration of the completion of Phase 1 for the Community Hospital Association were held today in McCook. Participating in the ceremonies was United States Senator Ben Nelson; the Community Hospital Association staff and board members; and community residents in McCook and the hospital’s service area.
“When industry and business consider location, health services are often one of the most important quality of life factors that influence their choice. This investment in McCook, which includes 17 million dollars in low interest loans from Recovery Act funds, means much needed physical expansion of the Community Hospital while ensuring healthy citizens and a healthy community far into the future,” said Nelson.
“With the completion of Phase 1 and the future completion of Phase 2 of our Facility Master Plan, we will further enhance our ability to provide quality, efficient and patient-centered care now and well into the future. Over the years we have been blessed with a wonderful working relationship with USDA Rural Development. Through this relationship, in essence a partnership in healthcare, we have received financing for various building projects that has enabled our organization to live by our motto: ‘Advanced Care, Always There’,” said Jim Ulrich, Community Hospital president and CEO.
Funding for Phases 1 and 2 of the project is provided through a $17 million Rural Development loan, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additionally, a $15 million Rural Development community facility guaranteed loan was financed through Thayer County Bank of Hebron, Neb., representing a group of Independent Community Banks in Nebraska, including West Gate Bank-Lincoln, Bank of Lewellen, Pathway Bank-Cairo, McCook National Bank, Plattsmouth State Bank, State Bank of Bartley, Bruning State Bank, First Central Bank of McCook, Farmers State Bank of Wallace, Home State Bank-Louisville, American National Bank of Sidney, AmFirst-McCook, Farmers State Bank-Maywood, Bankers’ Bank of the West-Lincoln and Thayer County Bank-Hebron. The hospital has contributed the remaining $2,730,000 needed. Community Hospital Association has secured $35 million in funding with the project costs expected at approximately $30 million.
Phase One was a 14-month project that constructed a new 25-bed acute patient wing with five nursing support areas, two labor-delivery-recovery rooms, a waiting area and nursery on the west side of Community Hospital, and two isolation/hospice respite rooms and a healing garden on the southern end. A temporary corridor linking the current hospital to the new patient wing was also constructed.
Following a two-month transition to demolish the patient pods, Phase Two, an additional 14-month project, begins. It includes construction of a new surgery wing as well as outpatient spaces for observation rooms and patients receiving pain medications and chemotherapy. Also included are a new pharmacy area and a large community and staff meeting room for wellness programs such as diabetic education and 55PLUS.
The expansion has already created more than 300 construction jobs and is expected to create additional jobs throughout the course of the remaining construction.
Hospital improvements totaling $13.4 million have been completed over the last 20 years to accommodate the health care needs of the area. Rural Development has participated in several of these hospital projects through a combined total of $5 million in loan assistance.
Community Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital, located in McCook, Neb., that provides acute inpatient and outpatient care, skilled nursing, emergency medicine, surgery, obstetrics and delivery, diagnostic facilities, a pharmacy and rehabilitation services. The Hospital offers two rural health clinics, an outpatient services center, home health and hospice programs, visiting specialists, sleep study and orthopedic clinics. Community Hospital serves the 11,500 residents of Red Willow County along with residents of Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, and Hitchcock counties in Nebraska; and Cheyenne, Decatur, and Rawlins counties of Kansas.