WARREN, Minn., Jul 26, 2012 -- Ground breaking for the North Valley Health Center facility in Warren will be held 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 26 at the building site east of the Good Samaritan Center. Everyone is invited to attend the event and enjoy a time of fellowship following the ceremony. Attendees should use McKinley Street to access the building site and for parking. There will be seating available under a large canopy erected on grass along the east side of the Warren Good Samaritan Center. Dignitaries ranging from legislators to builders and those instrumental in the planning and funding of the project will be in attendance.
The current Health Center building was built in 1958 as a solely acute care facility. In the early 1990s the Warren Medical Clinic practice owned by Dr. LaBlanc was purchased and merged with the Warren Community Hospital. With the change, a new name was chosen for the facility and the North Valley Health Center included a family practice medical clinic along with hospital care.
Through the years the clinic practice has grown from one medical staff person to four.Many out-patient services have also been added. One of the growth services has been in radiology with that department going from offering x-rays only to now including ultra-sound and CT scans.
With the growth in clinic patient numbers and many changes in how health care services are used, the present facility reached its capacity. In 2006, the governing board and administration realized steps would need to be taken to either remodel or build a new facility. After much thought and consultation it was decided to build new and if possible, connect with the Good Samaritan Center. This plan would allow patient transfers to be done by wheelchair instead of ambulance and avoid taking ill patients out in inclement weather.
Funding from USDA Rural Development became available and was applied for, and a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation gave the project momentum. The cost of the project is $14.7 million with the USDA loan covering $13.5 million. A fund raising project has raised approximately $800,000 in gifts and pledges in addition to the Bremer Foundation providing a $400,000 matching grant.
The new facility will have many features the current facility lacks. Among the changes will be a larger consolidated area for the physical therapy department, handicapped accessible bathrooms in hospital patient rooms and throughout the facility, and covered entrances. The days of unloading a patient in the parking lot are coming to an end.
The ground breaking ceremony is to be a celebration of years of planning and area residents working together to provide the additional funds needed for a modern up-to-date medical facility.