|Oct 01, 2013 --
Outline of Need: The Tioga Medical Center campus includes one of the 52 rural clinics in North Dakota. The clinic sits at the bottom of a 100 plus foot grade from the hospital. This has caused water damage to facility and makes it very difficult to transfer patients to the hospital. Built in 1953 and added to in 1985, the clinic has several structural issues and cannot be updated to accept modern diagnostic equipment. These factors have been amplified as the area is experiencing a population boom. There is an influx of workers in the oil industry, which has steadily increased patient numbers from about 6,000 in 2010 to over 24,000 today. This has put a strain on staff and the facility.
How Rural Development Helped: Through the Community Facilities program, USDA Rural Development provided a $6.5 million direct loan and a $1.5 million loan guarantee through The Bank of Tioga. The financing will be used to construct and attach a new clinic to the existing hospital.
The Results: The clinic serves a population of more than 6,700 people including sections of four counties in North Dakota (Divide, Williams, Burke, Mountrail). The new 15,000 square foot clinic will more than double the clinic’s capacity from the current 7,300 square foot building to meet the demands of the region’s growing and aging population. The clinic will include 16 exam rooms, 6 provider offices, space for outpatient education and adequate storage for medical records. The project also consolidates outpatient services and provides easy access to the radiology and laboratory departments located in the hospital. By connecting the clinic to the hospital, staff will not need to travel between two buildings, which took critical time during emergency situations.
The steel frame of the new facility will be sized to allow for a second floor to be added in the future if additional space is needed. The Tioga Medical Center is the fourth largest employer in the area only coming in behind three oil field companies. The expansion will allow for six additional jobs. There are plans to remodel the existing clinic into a daycare center to serve staff and the community.