Public to benefit from MRH&C project

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The shell of the building is up and as the cooler weather sets in, phase one of the expansion project at Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics (MRH&C) moves to interior work.

The nearly $6 million expansion project at the hospital site includes renovation of part of the current building as well as the addition. The project allows for expansion the rehabilitation services (cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy), consolidation of the functions of the hospital and clinic, separates the blood draw station from the lab and creates a much easier access to the both the hospital and the rehabilitation area.

MRH&C CEO Angelia Svihovec said, as with any construction project, there have been a few slips and the progress on the project is a few weeks later than was expected at this time, but the completion date of the fall 2014 is still expected.

“It has really gone very, very smoothly,” she said. “We have been very pleased with our contractor and site manager. Both are working well with our architects.”

The architects are from the CPI Group of Denver Colo., and the contractor on the project is JDH Construction of Aberdeen.

The project will be done in three phases with the completion of the new building in March as phase one. In the second phase, according to Svihovec, the new main entrance, is scheduled to be done by August and the new entry will be in use. Phase three is scheduled to begin in August, 2014. The current entrance will close down and remodel of the interior will continue.

“Right now it has been easy on the public,” she said. “Phase two will be challenging, but the reward at the end will be a delight.”

In March, the administration offices will move back to the main building (currently they are housed in the former  Avera Clinic building, which also houses Vision Care.) Family Pharmacy will then be moved and customers will need to use the north entrance to access the pharmacy until the project is completed.

The biggest changes in the facility will be made between March and August of 2014. Svihovec said the public will need to be patient during this time of construction and there will be additional signage to help navigate the changes.

When the project is completed, the facility will be more – friendly and easier to access and navigate, she said.

“The biggest thing is that we will improve the navigation of the facility and have a single point of registration,” said Svihovec. “We rebuilt the inside of our organization last year with the electronic records system. Now we will have an outside that reflects that change.”

Svihovec said she is the most excited about the creation of the new entrance for the facility as will better represent what MRH&C means to the community and the area.

“The entrance we have now doesn’t represent what is behind those doors,” she said. “We are creating the new front entry that matches what is inside, a quality health care facility.”

There will be some outside work completed before it gets too cold, according to Svihovec. The brickwork on the exterior of the building is scheduled to be completed yet this fall. She said the new bricks will not quite match the older part of the facility, but that was deliberate. The brickwork will be the same color scheme, just varying shades of that scheme.

This project has been in the works for nearly 10 years, according to Svihovec, and finally the stars aligned (a combination of low interest loans from the United States Department of Agriculture and a South Dakota Community Development Block Grant) to allow the project to move forward.

Progress of the project can be tracked on the MRH&C website at www.mobridgehospital.org or on the monitor in the lobby at the clinic.

“We want the community to be a part of this exciting time,” said Svihovec.

The Mobridge Regional Healthcare Foundation is currently conducting a fundraising raffle in which participants can purchase a chance at a 2013 Ford F-150 Lariat super cab pickup. All proceeds of the raffle will go to the building project.

Tickets for the raffle are available at MRH&C, Dady Drug or at Great Western Bank. The drawing for the pickup will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Mobridge Moose Lodge.

MRH&C employs more than 170 people and is the largest employer in Mobridge and Walworth County. It is a 25-bed critical access hospital that serves a five-county area with a population of 17,000 residents. The staff of the facility provides medical, surgical, obstetrical, intensive care/coronary care, emergency room, ambulance service, assisted living and swing bed services.

- Katie Zerr -

 
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