Local News

March 1, 2010

Mahaska Health Partnership plan $22 million addition

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska Health Partnership wants to continue to keep their patients well cared for.

In order to do this, a new addition is needed, said MHP CEO Jay Christensen.

This isn’t any small undertaking.

Including equipment, the project is expected to cost $22 million, encompass 52,000 square feet and will connect to the northeast side of the hospital.

The project will include a 25-bed acute care area and birthing center on one level and a new surgery department on the lower level.

In the hospital’s existing surgery area, the height of the ceilings prevents the use of certain equipment, said Christensen. This was one motivation for the new project, he said.

“It’s an expansion of what we have,” explained Christensen. “It gives us the ability to do things in a much more customer-friendly environment. It gives us the ability to implement some technology that we really don’t have the capability of doing right now.”

Another customer-friendly element to the new wing will be its layout, said Christensen.

“You can kind of get in and get out without being in the middle of the entire hospital,” said Christensen. “We recognize people can travel to Des Moines for the same services. We think we can deliver a comparable service right here locally in with this design.”

Christensen said there is the possibility of adding new doctors because of the addition project. He added, the hospital would like to also deliver more babies than they do now with the new wing.

Over the past two or three years, renovation and more small-scale additions to the hospital’s campus were discussed before deciding on a larger project, said Christensen. With a 10 percent difference in the overall cost compared to the combined cost of smaller projects, Christensen said the choice to go with a bigger project was clear.

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