by Steve Peterson
Hawarden Regional Healthcare (HRH) officials gave Hawarden councilors a report on what the future of the hospital will look like with an expansion and renovation project that will serve the hospital and community needs for decades.
Councilors took no action at the Jan. 9 meeting but will be asked to support the project’s financing plan as the hospital will present more details through its work with R.W. Baird Inc.
The total project cost will be $10 million, and the square footage will stay about the same, 30,000 square feet at 1111 11th St. in Hawarden.
Hawarden Regional Health Care CEO Jayson Pullman with Kristopher Marwin and Melissa Springer of Samuels Group of Des Moines, which has been working with the hospital expansion/renovation project for about a year, made the presentation. Hoefer & Wysocki Architecture are the architects.
“We feel it is necessary for the hospital. We have been looking at the project with Samuels Group for a project that makes sense for the community and hospital’s needs for 20 to 30 years,” said Pullman, adding the plan calls for demolition of the original 1936 wing of the hospital due to its cost of upgrading. “The building is sound but there are significant flaws such as ceiling to floor problems, water leaks in the kitchen and there are tuck pointing problems.”
According to documents presented to the city by hospital officials, Phase I floor plans include an ambulance/emergency department entrance with expansion to 2,250 square feet; a radiology area for 2,280 square feet; a surgery area for the first phase of 3,050 square feet and another 2,400 square feet in Phase II; a 1,555 square feet clinic, a business office; waiting area of 1,000 square feet, a medical/surgery expansion area with eight private patient rooms and 12 semi-private patient rooms; separation of public and staff circulation; an upgraded and efficient mechanical system; and expanded hospital services department.
Revenues generated from the project will be a positive Medicare reimbursement from an annual loss to a positive annual gain, according to the first plan.
“We’re a Critical Access Hospital and we feel we fit the description of that the best,” said Pullman.
Critical Access Hospitals are small, rural facilities which provide 24-hour emergency care; a maximum of 25 acute beds; an average length of stay 96 hours; and both inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital currently has 10 acute and 15 “swing” beds.
In-patient room will be eight private patient rooms within the renovation area with an area for patients’ families and care givers, too. The renovated area will include Phase I and Phase II surgery expansions and definition of zones giving a sense of hospitality with warm and inviting colors.
A new surgery suite will be included with a state-of-the-art operating room; three surgery prep and recovery rooms; and renovated physicians’ lockers and lounge. Benefits include expansion of services and procedures; increased physician recruitment and ease of expansion and growth.
Springer told councilors through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan process, the city’s risk will be limited liability. The USDA process is the same as Akron Care Center’s successful garnering of funds for its new project.
The hospital Board of Trustees recommended the funding be a combination of intermediate-term fixed rate tax-exempt (bank placement) and long-term fixed rate working with the staff at Baird Inc.
“We addressed it through financial tests that this will stand on its own and be a sustainable project. We want the project to stand completely on its own with no General Obligation bond from the city for the right-sized project,” said Springer.
Pullman said there will be an opportunity for residents to contribute financially. A consultant has been hired to do interviews with community leaders in the next two months before a capital campaign is started.
“I liked the presentation given by the representatives of the Samuels Group and Pullman. I believe that they have worked very closely at the Phase I of the project, and I hope there will be a lot of community support. I am thankful they are giving the council and the staff some time to bring forth questions and to get their answers,” said Hawarden Mayor Ric Porter.
More factors regarding Hawarden Regional Health Care’s project to expand and renovate its current hospital (formerly known as Hawarden Community Hospital):
The first community hospital was opened in 1936 and remains today.
As the local population grew, a new wing was added in 1965.
Increase in outpatient visits and services led to a renovation project in 1999.
Hawarden Community Hospital officially became a Critical Access Hospital in 2000.
In June 2012, the hospital’s name was changed to Hawarden Regional Healthcare.
Due to continued growth, the current facility does not meet current and anticipated needs, according to a report presented at the Jan. 9 councilors’ meeting.
Facility needs that were addressed in the report given by Hawarden Regional Healthcare CEO Jayson Pullman and Samuel Group representatives:
• Address hospital’s infrastructure, update mechanical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
• Review department and operational challenges: confusing main entrance; new entrance for emergency medical services and patient care services.
• Outreach clinic space and patient rooms do not meet current patient expectations or current Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and operational requirements.
• Better access to wide range specialized care and outpatient services based on current patient visits and volume.
• Provide for a safer and better work environment for providers and staff.
Jan. 23 Meeting
Pullman was scheduled to be at the 5:30 p.m., Jan. 23 Hawarden Council meeting at City Offices.
“I will be there to answer the councilors’ questions,” Pullman told The Akron Hometowner. “At some point, we will ask for action to support the application process with the United States Department of Agriculture.”