Community sees hospital drawings
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
By early 2015, Madison area residents will be using a new hospital. Madison Community Hospital officials unveiled the drawings for its new facility in a public press conference Thursday afternoon. Construction of the 104,000-sq.-ft. facility could begin as soon as May. Hospital CEO Tammy Miller said the start to the project is contingent on approval from USDA Rural Development, which is financing a significant part of the $33.6 million project.|
"It's been quite a journey," Miller said. "We've reached a major milestone in the fact that we're able to reveal what we've accomplished thus far."
Miller said planning for the hospital project started three years ago with discussion about completing some significant remodeling to the current building.
"Most of it came down to how we could best deliver care for the next 50 to 60 years," she said. "It also came down to cost. The ability to remodel our facility was going to cost as much as a replacement facility, so we began to look at where we could build."
Miller said the final plans for the project involved numerous discussions with those working in every aspect of the hospital, as well as a tour of five newly constructed hospitals in three states.
"It has not been a project or a journey that has gone without a significant amount of input from them and from the community as well," Miller said. "It will have a huge impact on the health and wellness of the community and have an economic impact that is probably the largest this community has seen."
Miller said the current hospital has about a $25 million annual impact on the local economy.
The new hospital will include space for not only the physicians at both clinics as well as Dr. Richard Summerer but also Sanford Dialysis, Avera Home Medical and Dr. David Meyer, a Brookings orthodontist. The hospital will have a main reception area where patients will be directed to their appointments.
"I'm very excited," Summerer said. "It's exciting to think about the expanded services we'll have."
Summerer said the new plans provide a fully contained space for an operating room that can be used for outpatient procedures and recovery.
"It's all self-contained," he said. "It makes it nice for patients, and there's less exposure to public areas. It really is in tune with how Madison is going with more outpatient procedures."
Miller said the new operating room will be significantly larger, increasing from its present size of about 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
The hospital is also set up with flexibility in mind so that if certain departments are busy, patients can overflow into another space.
Miller said the hospital will have 22 licensed beds, which is three fewer than the current facility, but it is designed so that if there's a need for additional beds, expansion is possible.
All rooms are private but have the ability to be semi-private with their own designated bathrooms.
The hospital also plans to acquire an MRI machine. Current MRIs are completed on a mobile unit that comes from Avera Health in Sioux Falls.
"It's in the plans to add a unit," Miller said. "We believe it is warranted. The mobile unit does a lot of procedures." Miller said some physicians prefer MRIs from a fixed unit as opposed to a mobile one.
The new hospital will also feature an expanded radiology department in response to the increased demand for X-rays.
Once started, construction of the hospital will take 18-20 months to complete.
The design for the new hospital was created by a team of architects from TSP in Sioux Falls who worked with RPA Design in North Carolina. Construction manager will be Sioux Falls Construction.
Miller specifically credited the Schultz family for allowing the hospital to acquire the property. Miller said the hospital purchased some of the property from Terry and Ray Schultz, but part of the 22 acres were also donated by the family.
"We appreciate beyond words how benevolent they were," she said.
Madison Community Hospital is a private non-profit corporation with no shareholders. It is one of fewer than 10 independent hospitals in the state.
"It is the board's desire to remain independent," Miller said, adding that the Madison hospital has good working relationships with Avera and Sanford, both of which provide services locally.
Miller said discussion has been taking place with Dakota State University on acquiring the existing hospital property, but no final agreements have been signed.
"We're believing that will happen," she said. "It would be very nice for both our organizations for them to acquire that property."