Multi-Million Dollar RHSHC Expansion/Remodel Underway

CRESCO - A multi-million dollar expansion/remodel is underway at Regional Health Services of Howard County (RHSHC). The facility has architectural plans approved and will be taking construction bids soon to meet an early spring 2023 start date for construction.
“The hospital’s Board of Trustees has been looking at the fact that the clinic has not been remodeled in quite some time,” RHSHC CEO Robin Schluter said. “The functionality of a clinic changes over time – how groups work together.” 
The new clinic space has been designed and old clinic space re-designed, with these changes in mind. A pod, or healthcare provider’s work area, will include the provider’s office, three exam rooms, a procedure room and a nurses’ station. Sometimes there will be a team pod for providers who work together closely on patient care.
“Using an EHR (electronic health record) in our clinic setting also changes the layout and flow of patients,” Schluter noted. “So that’s been factored into the new space.”
New clinician space is being added as an expansion for additional healthcare providers – there have been three new providers added to RHSHC staff just this year – as well as to create efficiency of operation. The existing clinic is approximately 12,000 square feet. The new expansion will increase the size by 4,700 square feet.
One of the bigger challenges in this expansion/remodel is how to accomplish it without interrupting patient care. But that challenge has been addressed and met. 
“We will stay fully operational during the project,” Schluter said. “We will build the clinic addition first on the north side of the facility. Get that all done. Then we will open that, move operations into the new side, and remodel the existing clinic, then expand into both areas.”
A new clinic entrance will be built early on. Like the ER/main entrance, this entrance will face East and include a covered walkway. “The interior is designed to mimic the main entrance,” Schluter said. “We’re keeping the interior look similar throughout the whole hospital to create a cohesive look for the facility.”
The parking areas will also be an early portion of the project. The existing clinic parking area will go away to accommodate the expansion, but a whole new section of parking will be added on the East side of the facility, between existing parking areas. This will not only increase parking space overall, it will also mean that all parking on the campus will be connected.
“We’ll make sure that we’re communicating to the patients during the phasing of the project because prior to some of the construction, we will change the path into the clinic to the east,” Schluter said. 
Once the entrance is finished, what is currently the Laura Rose Education Center will become registration for the clinic. There will be private areas for financial counseling or if someone needs to have a conversation not out in the open area.
In addition to the changes for aesthetic and efficiency’s sake, an exciting feature of the new addition has to do with the air handling system. “The new addition will be completely separate from an HVAC, or air handling system, standpoint,” Schluter explained. “So if we have a pandemic, or people with respiratory issues that need to be isolated like our respiratory clinic, it will now be onsite and a part of our existing operations.”
“It will operate on a regular day basis as an additional clinic space, and provide services on a regular basis,” she went on. “It’s just that we can modify our operation if we need to, if there’s an up-coming clinical need to separate patients.”
“If something is going on, we can make this whole addition have separate air flow. Also, there will be two exam rooms that are negative pressure rooms, so we can isolate individual patients if we need to.
“This part of the project received a million dollar grant from USDA to insure that we are able to operate a respiratory care clinic if there’s a need to do so,” Schluter said.
Besides the one million dollar grant from USDA, other fund-raising includes the hospital auxiliary, which has pledged $75,000 over three years. There is also an internal employee campaign. “The organization is offering incentives and opportunities for employees to be a part of the fund-raising campaign,” Schluter said. “And the RHS Auxiliary will match every employee donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000.”
Other fund-raising efforts are anticipated to add another half million toward the projected cost of six million, with the remainder of the funding coming from hospital revenue bonds.
It’s an exciting time for the clinic. Looking to the future, things are very busy and will only get busier as RHSHC prepares for a major overhaul that will increase provider efficiency and improve the overall presentation of the facility as a whole

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed