RC Hospital and Clinics dedicates new facility
OLIVIA -- It's possible to deliver the very best and most modern of health care services in a rural setting and do it as an independent, locally owned entity.
OLIVIA - It’s possible to deliver the very best and most modern of health care services in a rural setting and do it as an independent, locally owned entity.
Renville County celebrated the accomplishment Monday as it dedicated its new $25 million RC Hospital and Clinics facility along U.S. Highway 212 on the eastern edge of Olivia.
“This hospital will be a place of great innovation, medical advancement and above all else, excellence in patient care,’’ said Dr. Jared Slater, general surgeon and chief of the medical staff. Several hundred people joined tours and attended a ceremonial ribbon cutting offered throughout the day in the new 65,000-square-foot facility. It will admit its first patients Monday of next week.
The facility includes 16 private patient rooms with two obstetric suites, a medical center with 18 examination rooms, two surgical suites, and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging and CT scan equipment. A helipad waits outside: It puts the state’s best trauma care in the Twin Cities no more than 32 minutes away.
Nathan Blad, RC Hospital and Clinics CEO, said he couldn’t help but compare the new facility built in a cornfield to the well-known “Field of Dreams’’ story.
“It certainly rings true if you build it they will come, and come they have,’’ said Blad.
Since its inception, the new project has made it possible for the health care facility to add new family practitioners, mid-level and support providers to its staff.
Blad called the project a “springboard” for expanded health care services for the rural county. The hospital has expanded the on-site specialty care that can be offered in the county, from dialysis and orthopedic surgeries to partnerships making possible mental health care services.
Those touring the facility learned of the changes taking place thanks to the project and providers it has helped attract. In the obstetrics department, lead staff member Naomi Freyholtz told her guests that the hospital assisted with 12 births two years ago, 35 last year, and were counting 72 births as of earlier this year. Three physicians will be doing deliveries by year’s end.
“This is just way better than anything we’ve had so far,’’ Dr. Paul Buhr told the Tribune as he joined a tour of the facility. Buhr began his medical practice in 1975 when the first major renovations began in the original, 1941-vintage building that served as the county’s hospital until now.
“High-tech and state-of-the-art’’ were the frequent buzzwords during tours of the facility. “This is a world class OR,’’ said Jason Vega, of Stryker, a Michigan-based company that provided the equipment for the surgical suites.
The fact that there are two surgical suites in the facility is a result of community support for the county-owned facility, according to Dr. Kathryn Kelly. She chaired a capital campaign on behalf of the facility. The capital campaign raised the funds needed to make possible the hospital’s wide-bore MRI, the second surgical suite, and a long list of modern equipment for examination rooms.
“That was a game changer for us,’’ said Blad of the capital campaign. He noted that the hospital’s “dream’’ list far exceeded its budget.
Donations from community residents and the surviving families of people with ties to the health care system also made possible much of the outdoors landscaping, including a garden with outdoor fountain and one-half mile walking trail.
The new facility also includes an on-site café, the Healthy Way.
Hospital board chairman John Stahl credited the Renville County community for making it all possible. Stahl, who is a member of the Renville County Board of Commissioners, said he’s often been asked about the project at meetings and event across the state. He said people always ask him: “Who’s building it for you? Who are you affiliated with?””
“We are doing it ourselves folks. We are independent,’’ said Stahl to applause from the hundreds of people who joined under a large tent for the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
He also cited the importance of federal legislation that makes possible the reimbursement rates that rural, critical access facilities need. U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, D-Minn., emphasized that point as well during a brief address at the start of the day’s events.
The afternoon dedication ceremony also honored the county’s oldest living resident, who arrived by limousine. Rose Osman was age 41 when the Renville County Hospital opened, and celebrated her 105th birthday last month as the new facility was readied for its opening.