Since the day the initial planning for the expansion project at Clarinda Regional Health Center started, the primary goal was finding ways to expand services while still maintaining exceptional care.
Those plans started to become reality April 2 as the hospital hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new physical therapy facility that will be located on the southeast corner of the hospital complex. This marked the official start of the expansion project that is expected to take two years to complete.
"This is a great project. I know many of us have been working on it, what feels like forever, but at least a couple of years just to get this project to today. That's what makes me most excited. It took a great team effort. Everybody's been involved - the managers, the front line staff - everybody had ideas that came up to make this project better to help our community," CRHC Chief Nursing Officer Tyler Hill said during the ceremony.
Hill said the physical therapy department had 500-square feet of space in the original hospital building. When the new hospital opened its doors in 2012, the department was expanded.
However, as the need for physical therapy and related services continued to grow, it became clear a dedicated building was needed to meet the rising demand for care. Along with physical and occupational therapy services, sports training therapy and hydrotherapy will also be provided. The building will also house the cardiac rehabilitation program.
"That just shows how much faith the community has had in us as a hospital and facility to take care of you. We really appreciate the staff, community and everybody doing their part to make this the best hospital we can," Hill said.
Also included in the expansion project will be a new surgery suite along with larger pre- and post-surgical areas; a new oncology clinic and infusing center; a new specialty clinic; a new expanded pharmacy; and a remodeled and expanded medical clinic area. Additional office and education space, as well as new parking, will also be included in the project.
"We have been able achieve great things over the last few years. We have expanded jobs, increased services and now expanding the physical plant will allow us to continue down this path for years to come," CRHC Board of Trustees President Kathy Boysen said.
Along with the vision of the Board of Trustees, CRHC Chief Executive Officer Chuck Nordyke said there have been several partners that helped the hospital reach the point of breaking ground on the expansion project. Those partners included the architectural firm of ACI Boland; Murray Company, which will serve as the construction managers of the project; the city of Clarinda; and the United States Department of Agriculture, which assisted with the funding for the project.
"All these folks made this happen without using public dollars. That is something we are very, very proud of," Nordyke said.
"We look forward to providing care in this new, more comfortable environment with new and expanded services. On behalf of the medical staff I want to thank the Board of Trustees, the city, the USDA and all the other partners on the project. But I particularly would like to thank all the people that have worked hard at the facility over the years to make this possible," CRHC Chief of Staff Dr. William Shelton said.
A fifth-generation resident of Page County, Clarinda Mayor Lisa Hull said she, as well as her father and her children, were all born at the Clarinda hospital. Since originally opening in 1939, the hospital has enjoyed a historic past and Hull said the current expansion project will help ensure the future longevity of the facility.
"So, on behalf of the citizens of Clarinda, I would like to congratulate the Clarinda Regional Health Center on this expansion project. Our hospital has seen unprecedented growth over the past few years making this expansion project necessary. Through forward thinking and careful consideration of the needs of our community, this strategic design, expansion and new build will advance exceptional care here in Clarinda for many years to come," Hull said.
Sam Beckman of ACI Boland also attended the ceremony Friday. Beckman said the firm has worked in Clarinda for more than 13 years and he served as the architect for the current hospital that opened in 2012.
"I can say it's the building I'm most proud of in my career. Not just because it's a beautiful, well-functioning building that serves your community's families, but because of the lifetime of friendships I have built here in Clarinda," Beckman said.
Ken McCormick of Murray Company said the firm was honored to be selected as the construction manager for the expansion project. McCormick said he was impressed with the fiscal responsibility the hospital leaders have shown as they prepared for the project.
"We do this all over the Midwest with healthcare facilities and every staff member and every leader in this hospital has taken so much ownership. It's almost like their spending their own money. You should be proud of that as residents of this community," McCormick said.