PMC Board Unveils Hospital Expansion Plans


The Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors will vote on a resolution to approve funding for a $10 million expansion and renovation project at the Lamar hospital.  Initial plans were presented to the public during a board meeting at the Cultural Events Center this past Monday, May 19.

Seven areas at the hospital will be improved as well as the HVAC system, estimated at $4 million alone.  Board member, Ron Farmer, explained to the audience that the type of bonds being used will not require a tax on residents in the hospital district, nor a vote from the public.  Essentially, the hospital is seeking a loan from a lender which it intends to repay over ten years for the 12,000 square foot expansion.

The departments which will see improvements include:  registration, nurses station, physical therapy, operation room, emergency room, patient bay, operation pre-op and recovery room.  In almost every case, the expansion will be an enlarging of current rooms for patient and staff space and for equipment upgrades in the emergency and operation rooms.  The public viewed the architect’s rendition of the expanded facilities and staff members offered explanations of how they would be improved.  CEO, Craig Loveless, explained that the firm handling the project, CPI, had worked directly from suggestions from hospital staff.  Board member, Candy Ruedeman, said, “What you’re viewing are realistic improvements taken from staff input.  There are no frills or 500 seat auditoriums involved,” referring to some concepts for renovations that were rejected by hospital district voters several years ago.  The current hospital board has been working on the new plans for about two years.

Staff members said the changes will allow for more space for patients, such as an expanded gym for physical therapy, privacy for patients as those coming from an operation will no longer share a room with someone who is being prepped for surgery and the overall expansion would allow the Critical Access Hospital to expand the number of patients that could be treated at the 25 bed facility.

Questions from the audience provided statistics on how the scope of treatment has increased over the past year, to what the board members expect to see once the 18 month construction project has concluded.  Loveless explained how surgeries have increased.  “We can only do one operation at a time and we’re currently at 3 to 5 a day now, including about five eye surgeries a month.  That comes out to around 25 to 30 a month over a year ago and we’re now up to 60 a month.  We could conduct from 90 to 100 a month with our expanded operating room.”  Loveless said the recovery period or rehab for a patient can also be conducted locally instead of having a patient travel to the Front Range for aftercare.  The CEO said he felt more surgeons would consider PMC with their expanded care and facilities.  He added, “Approximately 60% of a hospital’s revenue traditionally comes from surgical procedures.”

Both the ER and the physical therapy department would be able to accommodate more patients, while increasing space.  Leslie Day, Emergency Room Manager explained that the five bed facility will increase to offer two large trauma rooms, a two bay ambulance garage to transfer patients out of bad weather and allow for quicker and indoor hazmat response for patients and EMTs.  She said a consulting room will be offered, a private registration desk, better security for patients and staff, a new triage room and a designated OB or psych room as needed.  “The ER sees about 6,000 cases a year and of that, we transfer out 25 to 30 patients or 5% a month,” as she responded to a question.

The $10 million price tag is a pretty specific figure, but is flexible depending on the amount of upgrades that will be required in some sections of the hospital.  Items, such as the boiler, are 40 years old and are mandated to be replaced along with the HVAC.  Ron Farmer said a DOLA grant of $350,000 will be added to the revenue, and the hospital’s Foundation Group is also seeking grants to defray expenses.  “We’re using revenue bonds instead of general obligation bonds which would be extended to district residents,” he explained.  Farmer said the revenue bonds will literally put more pressure on the hospital to be profitable for the payoffs.  He said an earlier GLIC bond for past hospital improvements is being rolled into the new annual premiums and the board believes the return on investment will provide the cash flow needed to make the payments.

Local contractors will be considered, according to CPI representative, Brent Morrison, who explained a portion of the expansion project.  “We’ve been working with PMC on this for the past two and a half years, so we’re pretty certain we have the details worked out,” he stated.  Morrison said that because more stringent building codes come into play for hospital construction, some outside contractors will be required when local contractors cannot be used for the project.  He said the construction will be done in five phases over 18 to 24 months and the hospital will still need to be operational while the project is underway.  The PMC board will meet on May 28 at their regular monthly meeting for a review and action on the bond resolution.

By Russ Baldwin

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedGranadaHealthHollyHot TopicsLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyThe Journal AlertUtilitiesWiley


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.