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Meeker Memorial to hold open house Sunday to showcase $26.5 million expansion project

The renovation at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield includes 25 in-patient rooms. The rooms, one of which is pictured above, are private and feature ample space for visitors. More than $26 million was spent to update the hospital, constructed in 1951, and create a state-of-the-art, modern facility. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

LITCHFIELD -- Meeker Memorial Hospital is hosting a community open house on Sunday and hospital officials want the public to come and visit the new and improved facility.

"We want to show it off," said Kyle Rasmussen, hospital CEO. "We are happy to have the public come and have a tour."

The open house marks the completion of 2½ years of renovation and $26.5 million in contruction costs at the facility. The hospital has been reorganized, with updates to the emergency room, surgical suites, rehabilitation center and birthing suites. An MRI machine was added and 25 private in-patient rooms created.

The open house is from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday with an opening welcome, invocation and dedication program at 2 p.m. in the new south lobby entrance. Tours will then be held. There will be refreshments, music and children's activities in the new conference center. Meeker County Public Health is offering free H1N1 flu shots during the entirety of the open house.

The 75,000-foot expansion includes improvements on the outside of the facility, too. The new helipad and expanded parking lots are to the west of the building.

There is now a drive-through ambulance bay next to the expanded emergency room, conveniently located near the imaging department. The new admission, medical record and billing department are nearby, with improved privacy for patients as they complete their paperwork.

The 25 private in-patient rooms are a stark contrast to the 70 rooms when the facility was constructed in 1951.

The new rooms are larger, with space for visiting family members and private bathrooms.

The birthing suites are also larger and each is equipped with a whirlpool tub.

The new rehab area is large enough to accommodate the physical and occupational therapy and speech therapy needs. The center's gym area includes a large bank of windows, which face south over the new entrance to the facility. The renovation has also accommodated improvements to the adult behavior health treatment area.

There are also non-medical improvements to the facility, such as the Open Door gift shop, Prairie Winds Café and new conference center space in the lower level of the building. Hospital Education and Marketing Coordinator Lori Rice expects that space to be used extensively by community groups and for meetings.

The hospital project also included the addition of a non-denominational chapel, with a stained glass window, a bubbling fountain, adjustable lighting and a CD player for music. Rice said the chapel is large enough for families to gather.

Hospital staff and patients moved into the new portion of the facility in June.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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