The official groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 2 of Rooks County Health Center’s (RCH) expansion project was held on Tuesday, July 17. Construction of a dedicated rehabilitation center is a nearly 11,000 square foot addition and is expected to take 16 months to complete. The addition will house all of RCH’s rehabilitation services including Physical, Occupational, Speech Therapies, and Cardiac Rehab.
Phase one was completed February 2017 and included the on-site MRI/Nuclear Medicine addition.
Bill Stahl, RCH Chief Operating Officer, began the event by thanking the numerous individuals and businesses involved in the endeavor. Stahl noted that the project was a team effort that included the RCH board of directors, medical providers, Rooks County Health Care Foundation, USDA, Miller Architects, Commercial Builders of Hays and the entire staff at Rooks County Health Center.
Stahl also thanked the Dane G. Hansen Foundation for providing a grant that enabled the project to move forward at a critical juncture. Also noted were area community foundations and charitable trusts that provided financial support such as the William H. Andreson Charitable Trust, Pat Berkley Taylor Community Fund, Heartland Community Foundation and the Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary.
Stahl closed his remarks by acknowledging the hundreds of private donors who contributed to the project, saying “As with any worthwhile project the heart and soul is the individual donors and businesses, supporters of quality healthcare in Rooks County, too numerous to mention. This expansion truly could not be accomplished without the citizens and supporters of Rooks County stepping up, digging deep and investing to help our community and the entire region for generations to come”.
AJ Thomas, CEO of RCH, is also the former Director of Rehabilitation Services at RCH and admitted his excitement about the commencement of construction. “The new rehabilitation center will provide patients and the community access to state-of-the art care with unique features like a zero-entry therapy pool with an adjustable floor with variable water depth and an indoor walking tracking. With this addition, we improve our ability to serve the growing demand for therapy services which allows patients to stay close to home for their needs and save on travel and lodging expenses.”
Thomas went on to say “RCH is extremely fortunate to be able to continually progress and expand on the number of health services and initiatives available to patients,”
In addition to the new MRI and Nuclear Medicine suite, RCH created Doctors Without Delay, the first walk-in clinic in the region in addition to a number of proactive and preventative health screening initiatives offered monthly such as discounted lab screenings held on the first Friday of every month and after hours mammogram screenings on the second Tuesday of each month.
Summing up the strides that RCH has taken over the last few years, Thomas said “While we are very fortunate to have a visionary board that confronts the challenges facing rural health care with foresight and determination, our success would not be possible without the dedicated culture of caring created by RCH’s employees and the generous support of the community”.
Driven by the staff’s dedication and compassion for quality health care, RCH has received state and national recognition for work ranging from enhanced positive outcomes for stroke and heart attack events, low re-admission rates among discharged patients and sepsis education and treatment protocols. This fall, RCH will be honored in New York for its work in preventing sepsis and promoting sepsis awareness in the region. RCH is the only critical access hospital in the nation to be so honored.
You can follow the construction progress of RCH’s new rehabilitation center on Facebook or visit www.RooksCountyHealthCenter.com.