Huge healthcare growth on the horizon

The beginning of an exciting chapter has started in Marshalltown – a chapter about growth.

Three medical facilities are under construction – a $36 million hospital expansion at the UnityPoint South Campus, an $18 million McFarland clinic behind Walmart and a new UnityPoint Urgent Care by Jimmy Johns.

Scheduled to open in the spring of 2022, the construction of the hospital has stayed on track, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the August 2020 derecho. Administrator Shari King said an important aspect of that is working with Graham Construction and INVISION Architecture on the project.

“Graham Construction has been terrific to work with, and we’ve been rather fortunate when it comes to weather delays,” she said. “There have been no real setbacks, and we’re still anticipating opening the new facility next spring, as we had originally planned.”

Now that the project is fully enclosed with all of the structuring in place and walls and roof intact, there will be less of a chance of delays due to weather events.

One of the major benefits Marshalltown residents will gain with the new facility is having all of the UnityPoint services under one roof. While King was unable to share details about the modern features of the hospital, she could mention a few:

• The inpatient area will have state-of-the-art rooms that are about double in size. The rooms will have walk-in showers for every patient plus independent temperature control.

• The emergency department will also have generously sized rooms that will not be shared with other patients. The larger rooms will allow specialty equipment and tests to be performed inside the patient’s room, while providing enough room for family and visitors.

• There will be greater energy efficiency and reliability with a new HVAC system, pumps, chillers and cooling towers, as well as two generators that will cool the hospital if there’s a loss of power. A state-of-the-art nurse call system and building controls will closely monitor all critical equipment, temperatures and humidity.

• The hospital will feature more security. The consolidation from two campuses to one is key, as well as a new integrated security system that allows for better response times, trackable ID badges and security cameras with technology like artificial intelligence and license plate recognition.

• The separate EMS garage will help house Marshalltown’s large fleet of eight ambulances. Also, the number of sleep rooms will be doubled, and they’ll be located next to the garage, which will allow for quicker response times.

• Cardiac rehab and respiratory therapy will have a space specially designed, including a high ceiling, improved lighting and a new computer monitoring system.

“Having a modern hospital will certainly help our recruiting efforts,” King said.

Discussions about a grand opening have begun and King is expecting a series of events big and small to give Marshalltown a chance to see the new hospital.

“We’re still working out the details, but everyone in the community will have the opportunity to check out the new hospital and clinics next spring,” she said.

About one mile north, excavation for the new McFarland clinic has been completed, as well as foundation supports.

“Site utilities are in progress with foundation footing preparation beginning,” said Shelley Goecke, spokesperson for McFarland.

Breaking ground in April, there has not been a lot of challenges so far. Goecke said there has been minor ground water drainage on the west side of the property, but that has been resolved.

“Every two weeks during construction meetings we review in detail a rolling and adjustable three week schedule,” she said. “This helps show our progress and determine any delays we can respond to so we can maintain the project end date.”

The new energy-efficient clinic is expected to open in the fall of 2022 and Goecke said there will be a lot for Marshalltown residents to be excited about. Not only will services grow, but they will be improved.The clinic will be closer to the new hospital and emergency room, plus McFarland will be able to expand the oncology service.

Goecke said it will include a pharmacy with a drive-up window, better parking and easily accessible physical therapy.

“Overall it will contribute to the Chamber of Commerce’s goal of growing Marshalltown’s population by decreasing healthcare as a barrier for local businesses in their workforce recruitment,” Goecke said.

Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.


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