Success Story
Release No.STELPRD4010951
, Apr 30, 2011 --

White Community Hospital and Nursing Home has provided quality care for community members of Aurora, Minn. for over 50 years. To strengthen and stabilize its healthcare services, White Hospital joined Essentia Health in 2010. Funds provided by USDA Rural Development will help combine Essentia Health’s Aurora Clinic with the White Community Hospital and Nursing Home facilities to offer a wide variety of services all in one convenient location known as Essentia Health – Northern Pines.

Rural Development funding includes a $7.5 million guaranteed community facilities loan through Agstar Rural Capital Network and a $2.5 million community facilities direct loan.

“We are very pleased and appreciative of the funding provided by Rural Development, which made it much easier to go forward with this project,” said Laura Ackman of Essentia Health – Northern Pines. “This funding also ensures our success, because the interest rates are low and easy to manage.”

The current facility houses a 16-bed critical access center with an attached 55-bed nursing home. It also includes an emergency response unit that recently earned a Level IV trauma designation from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Trauma System. This accreditation is given to hospitals that provide additional staff training to evaluate and stabilize trauma patients before transferring them to a larger trauma center. The hospital and nursing home also received Minnesota’s Hospital Safe Sight and Safe From Falls awards in 2009 and 2010.

As a result of increased recognition by the state, along with increased outreach to community members, it was decided that the current facilities needed to expand. Included in the 13,000-square-foot project is a new laboratory, radiology suite, lobby, and registration area. The new Essentia Health – Northern Pines facility is also able to consolidate some of its departments and enhance economic efficiency.

“By consolidating some of our smaller departments and implementing new ones, we can provide everything a patient needs in one facility, while also reducing costs,” Ackman said.

While consolidation sometimes corresponds with decreased employment opportunities, the expansion of Essentia Health – Northern Pines is an exception. Ackman expressed that the approximate staff of 150 presently employed will be cross-trained in all programs offered, in order to adequately prepare them for the expansion and maintain employment opportunities.

For more information on the project, visit

CAPTION: Rural Development is financing the expansion of Essentia Health – Northern Pines in Aurora, Minn. with $10 million direct and guaranteed loans.