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RC Hospital and Clinics in west central Minnesota launching outreach campaign

OLIVIA — Renville County Hospital board members, staff and supporters of a proposed project to build a new hospital facility will be hosting a series of meetings and open houses in communities in upcoming weeks.

Nathan Blad, interim administrator for the RC Hospital and Clinics, outlined an outreach campaign that includes the meetings, distribution of printed materials, media advertising; even a telephone “hot line,’’ all to get word about the need for the project.

Blad and Jan Dixon, director of nursing, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners that the project enjoys strong support from staff at the hospital and clinics, and that they would be assisting in the local outreach campaigns.

The RC Hospital and Clinics are also progressing with the site selection process, and working on arranging financing through the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development.

The hospital is proposing to build a new facility at a site yet to be determined in Olivia, which is central to its service area. Clinics are located in Olivia, Hector and Renville.

Construction of a new hospital is estimated at $17 million, with an overall project cost of $24 million when land acquisition, financing and professional services are included.

Blad and Dixon said the hospital is also continuing to work hard on provider retention and recruitment.

A “grow your own’’ campaign to support medical students who could return to practice in the county is going well, said Dixon.

The hospital offers a very competitive financial package to recruit physicians. It also offers an appealing contract that focuses on quality of care, rather than the quantity of patients served, according to Blad.

The interim administrator said the main challenge in physician recruitment is the rural setting. “You have to sell them on living in a rural community,’’ he said.

The hospital has utilized what he termed a “full court press’’ by involving current providers, community members and others in explaining the benefits of the rural practice to those being recruited.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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