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Heart of America Medical Center planning for new flagship facility

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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RUGBY, N.D. – The Heart of America Medical Center is looking at building a new home. The hospital was last expanded in 1991, and needs have changed.

The Rugby facility has gone through several expansions since it was first built in the early 1900′s and is in serious need of an update.

Multiple colors of brick for multiple decades of construction. Heart of America has added on to the building many times over its history with the most recent in 1991.

“Our building is so dated and old. We have big long hallways that nurses are on opposite ends of as providers and we just end up spending a lot of time running back and forth around in the clinic,” said Dr. Josalynne Hoff Rue, Family Practice Physician.

The new building is planned to be about half the size of the current one, while providing more services and increased access to specialists.

“This facility was built for an in-patient hospital setting. A 1970′s hospital workflow. That time has passed,” said Erik Christenson, CEO.

“I think we’ll be able to offer more patient care. We’ll hopefully be able to attract new professionals, be able to recruit better like for primary care, and maybe get some outside specialties that we don’t have now,” said Dr. Hoff Rue.

Christenson says the cost of a new hospital is typically around $40 million. They plan to fund privately, rather than draw on local tax dollars.

“As we stand right now we’re looking at all private funding, and so that kind of creates some assurance to the public that we’re not going to increase your tax burden. There’s always, we do have a foundation and free will giving,” said Christenson.

The planning is in early stages, but they are discussing options for using the current building as a community center or low-income housing after the hospital moves out.

Christenson says they’ve narrowed it down to five possible locations for the new center.

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