June 6, 2013 | Volume 118, Issue No. 23

Mercy Hospital celebrates 50 years, breaks ground for new addition

Groundbreaking for the new Moose Lake Mercy Hospital addition and remodeling project took place on May 31 on the hospital grounds. It marked the beginning of major changes at the site.

Lois Johnson
Remembering the 50 years of history of Mercy Hospital and breaking ground for the new addition and remodeling project took place on Friday, May 31, on the hospital grounds. Speakers and those wielding the shovels included CEO Jason Douglas; Kelly Goeb, chair of the Mercy Hospital Board of Directors; members of the board; Dania Kamp, the Chief of Staff; Dr. Ray Christianson, who has played in integral part in the development of Mercy Hospital; Senator Tony Lourey; Bryan Hunter, chair of the Mercy Foundation Board of Directors; Bill Zellmann, former hospital administrator; and representatives of USDA Rural Development and AgStar, who provided the financing; Oscar J. Boldt Construction and BWBR, architects.

In preparation for the changes, lots are being cleared across from the old Gateway Clinic site. The Walter’s House will be moved from its current location to a new site. A temporary garage is being set up for the ambulances; a pole type building is planned for the new ambulance garage. An employee meeting was held on May 30 to inform employees of planned changes. Temporary parking sites will be designated before construction beings. Plans are for the helipad to be operational at all times during construction.

A fence will be placed from the hospital to the ambulance garage to delineate the construction area. Cameras will be in place on the construction site.

Keith Carlson, Director of Support Services, reported on an all day building project meeting that was recently held. All essential players were involved in the meeting, including the St. Paul architects, the contractors and hospital representatives. All aspects of the construction were discussed and an extensive study was made of the expansion plans. Every detail of the plans was discussed as the group did a room by room plan inspection. The building permit for the expansion was issued on Tuesday, May 28. Gateway Clinic will make a room available for the contractor to have an office on site.

Other business

Jason Douglas, Mercy CEO, spoke to the board about Dr. Tom Nelson, a general surgeon who plans on moving to Moose Lake late in July. He has expressed an interest in setting up a practice in the Moose Lake area. A joint Executive Committee meeting was scheduled with Gateway Clinic May 30 to discuss this opportunity. One of the hospital's strategic plan goals was to look at having two full-time surgeons available in the area. Douglas also mentioned that this might be an opportunity to offer a higher level of trauma care in the area.

Douglas informed the board that Mercy Hospital is canceling their relationship with Fairview Premier Purchasing Network. Mercy Hospital has become a member of the Rural Health Alliance, a regional group purchasing organization (GPO) located in Alexandria. Med Assets and Rural Health Alliance are Mercy’s new GPOs. Gregg Chartrand, Chief Financial Officer, stated in a letter to Fairview Purchasing Network that Med Assets had greater construction discounts as well as other construction monitoring tools that would assist Mercy Hospital with it’s expansion.

Judy Molis, Director of Home Cafre, presented information regarding the palliative care program at Mercy Hospital. The program works in conjunction with other hospital departments such as home health, social workers, physicians, pharmacists, spiritual counselors, and grief support services. Palliative care is the comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The program works together with the primary treatment received, with the goal to ease suffering and improve quality of life.

For more information about the program, call (218) 485-5506 or (800) 760-4808, or ask your physician for a referral.

The next Mercy Hospital Board of Directors meeting will be held on Monday, June 24, at 5 p.m. in the hospital conference room.

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