Richardton Builds New Health Facility - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Richardton Builds New Health Facility

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People in rural communities often have to travel to larger cities to get medical help. For the elderly, it can be difficult to get there, and even harder if they need to move away from home.

Richardton Health Center's nursing home and clinic are in two separate buildings which hasn't been the most efficient for patient care. But now, it's moving forward with plans for a new facility that will not only improve services, but patient well-being.

Richardton Health Center is breaking new ground in rural healthcare for the elderly.

"It's remarkable to see, and this is another example of that, people stepping in to join together to do important projects for some of our most important citizens. And it's heartwarming. It's not that warm out here, but it's really heartwarming to be here," says LT. Gov. Drew Wrigley.

On a cold Monday, representatives from the center and community broke ground on a new 22,000-square-foot clinic and nursing home facility.

"My mother is a resident up here, she's been a resident since July. The facility is old but very well taken car of and the staff is excellent. The new facility is going to allow the staff to be more effective, more efficient," says Mayor Frank Kirschenheiter.

"The nice thing about the new facility is it's all going to be on one level. As of right now we have three different levels, so the efficiency isn't really there," says Richardton Health Center Administrator Magan Pritzl.

And it's not just about improving patient care, but helping the elderly stay where they were born and raised.

"It's very important to them. This is their home, and for a lot of them it's their home for a generation. It means a lot for them to be able to stay here and be with their family," says Pritzl.

The new facility will have four more beds than the old nursing home, plus three exam rooms and one procedure room in the clinic. It's not just a benefit for the patients, but for the whole city.

"It's going to allow this to be a long-time commitment to the community. They, for a long time, have been the largest employer in the community and keeping that in the community and keeping that in town and alive is very, very critical to our economy and our housing market," says Kirschenheiter.

Administrators say they're hoping to start construction this summer and have it finished by next year.

A $5.5 million loan from the U.S.D.A. plus $700,000 of private funding will pay for the project.

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