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New Hedrick Medical Center Opens February 13, 2014, in Chillicothe MO

News After the Move


HMC Opening Video

JE Dunn Construction | Adams Management Services Corporation

The open house of the new Hedrick Medical Center was held Thursday, January 23, 2014.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by an open house until 7 p.m.
The ceremony was open to the public. The hospital held its grand opening Thursday, February 13.

EASY ACCESS INFORMATION

  • The new Hedrick Medical Center is located at 2799 N. Washington Street in Chillicothe, Missouri. Enter the parking lot off Highway 65/Washington Street and turn left to park. If you need to park near the Emergency Department, enter from Mohawk Road and turn right.
  • The main number for the hospital is 660-646-1480. To reach the Scheduling Department, call 660-646-5522.
  • Hedrick's main lobby is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., the lobby is closed. You will need to enter the hospital through the Emergency Department entrance.
  • The new Hedrick Medical Plaza is located at 2791 N. Washington Street, Chillicothe. You may enter the parking lot off Highway 65/Washington Street and turn right to park.
  • The main number for the Medical Group is 660-646-2682.
  • Caregivers include:
    Primary Care - Krista M. Clark, D.O.; Christopher E. Hulett, D.O.; Gregory A. Miller, M.D.; James P. Suchsland, D.O.; Dean R. Adkins, FNP-C; Darla Kay Cope, R.N., FNP
    Surgical Services - Jason E. Gault, D.O.
    Women's Center - D.J. Clow, D.O., FACOOG; Yulia Peniston, D.O., FACOG
    To contact any of these caregivers, call the Hedrick Medical Plaza at 660-646-2682 and follow the prompts.
  • Hedrick Medical Center Auxiliary

The New HMC Now Open
February 13, 2014
ARTICLE BY CATHERINE STORTZ-RIPLEY

In the darkness of the early morning hours, 16 patients of Hedrick Medical Center became a part of history as they were transported about 1 1/2 miles from the former Hedrick Medical Center at 100 Central Street to the new Hedrick Medical Center, located at 2799 North Washington in north Chillicothe.

The opening of the new $41 million facility came at 6 a.m. today (Thursday), with brief comments made by hospital CEO Matt Wenzel, followed by the arrival of the hospital's first patient. "This is a historical day for Chillicothe, Hedrick Medical Center, our employees, and ultimately, the patients that we will serve," Wenzel told the group of HMC employees who had gathered in the lobby. "First off, I want to say how proud I am of this facility," Wenzel said. "But, it is not the facility that I am most proud - it's all of you - the employees. We worked so hard for so many years to get here today." Wenzel also expressed appreciation to those who came before. "All the thousands of employees that came before us; all the thousands of patients that we introduced into this world, that we've cared for during their life, and seen them go on in our facility, we need to honor them," Wenzel said.

Immediately following his remarks, those who were gathered in the lobby walked to the emergency department where they greeted the hospital's first arrival: Lila Hudgins. Hudgins, 88, is a retired optometrist's assistant who is passionate about gardening. During the next 90 minutes, the remaining 15 patients were transferred from the former hospital to the new facility. The last patient to leave the former Hedrick Medical Center was Bonnie Noah, 71. After her transfer, the remaining hospital employees gathered for a closing ceremony.

Photo by Courtnie Cranmer
Lila Hudgins is greeted by Matt Wenzel, CEO of Hedrick Medical Center, as the first patient in the new facility.
Photo by Courtnie Cranmer
Bonnie Noah was the last patient to leave the former Hedrick Medical Center.

The ceremony opened with a prayer given by the Rev. Denise Vaughn, priest of Grace Episcopal Church in Chillicothe. She said that although some people may feel sadness and suffer a sense of loss with the closure of the facility, she asked God to comfort them by the knowledge that those memories can never be dimmed. Dr. Donald Metry also addressed the staff. "Some of you started your careers here and will end your careers in the next volume," he said. "Some of you just recently started your careers. Some of you were born here. Some were born in the old building. All of us have had friends or family who have been treated here, and of course, many of us have treated those people." He noted how memories of the building are founded on the staff's efforts. He expressed appreciation to all who were a part of the planning, construction and transition to the new hospital.


Fourteen Local Artists Art is on Display

Wenzel, just as he formally opened the new facility, reflected briefly on the former facility and announced its closing. "This facility has brought life, it's brought death, and it's brought a lot of memories in between," he said. "And so, with that, and on behalf of the thousands of people who have come before us, this facility is officially closed."

First Arrivals at the New HMC
February 13, 2014

An ambulance exits the enclosed bay at the new hospital this morning after transporting one of 16 patients from the former Hedrick Medical Center to the new Hedrick Medical Center around 6:30 a.m. The new hospital officially opened at 6 a.m.

Hospital Gift Shop Opens
02 14 14


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The hospital officially opened early Thursday just moments before the old facility was formally closed. Today (Friday) was the first day of operation for the hospital gift shop. It was staffed by Ruby Moss, a hospital auxiliary volunteer.

HMC Mock Patient Move
Calli Price, CT, 01 15 14

CAPTION: With the transfer from the old hospital to the new facility less than a month away, hospital staff will conduct a mock patient move on Thursday.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Prior to moving patients from the old Hedrick Medical Center to the new facility, members of the Hedrick Medical staff will hold a mock patient move beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16. Catherine Hamilton, chief nursing officer at Hedrick Medical Center, said the purpose of practicing the transport is to see if there are any things that need to be fixed before the staff actually moves the patients to the new facility. "What we're trying to do is work out any bugs for the real move," Hamilton explained. "It's just a practice."

There will be six people, including staff members, members of the community and board members, assigned to play the role of a patient. Each patient will have different diagnoses and problems unknown to the staff members running the practice. Hamilton said the purpose of this is to allow the staff to think on their feet when handling potential problems that they could run into with the real patient move. The practice is slated to last an hour and a half in order to leave time for the practice patients to give feedback and tips from a patient's perspective. "We're really trying to put ourselves in their shoes, in their position, so we're empathetic to what they're going through," Hamilton said.

The real patients at Hedrick Medical Center will be moved at 6 a.m. Thursday, February 13. Hamilton said the length will depend on how many patients are at the hospital. If the hospital is at full capacity, the move can be expected to be complete around 7:30 a.m. Hamilton added that the goal is to effectively move a patient every three minutes. On the day of the move, there will be four ambulances running in a circular rotation. There will be cleaning and transfer stations set up at each facility. A patient will be taken down to the transfer station, where they will be placed on a gurney with warm blankets and moved to the new facility. Their bed will be stripped of linens, washed down and receive new linens. When the patient arrives at the new Hedrick Medical Center, he/she will be placed on their new bed and taken up to their new room. The gurney will be disinfected and washed before traveling back to the old facility to retrieve another patient. "We're excited, it really is fun," Hamilton said. "You get all that hard work done up front and then the patient move day ends up being a real celebration."


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley / January 14, 2014
Hedrick Medical Center employees tour the new hospital.

In addition to the patient move, there is the physical move and the employee and staff orientation and move. Chief Financial Officer Janet Buckman is in charge of the physical move, which is made up of transferring all equipment to the new facility, ensuring the new facility is ready and in working order, checking that all equipment is in place and closing down the old facility. Director of Human Resources Lisa Hecker is in charge of employee and staff orientation, which is broken up into three categories; general orientation, departmental orientation and equipment orientation. All employees and staff members will go through these sessions.


Photo by Butch Shaffer 09/11/13


Photo by BK Web Works 08/19/13


Photo by BK Web Works 08/19/13

HMC Project in Final Weeks
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
Nov. 20, 2013

A two-story wall of windows graces the entrance area of the new Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe. Work continues throughout the facility as the project enters its final months. Members of the hospital's Community Advisory Board conducted their quarterly meeting Tuesday afternoon which included a tour of the facility. A formal open house is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2014.

Saint Luke's Health System Construction Progress - Hedrick Medical Center
JE Dunn Construction Photos
(Updated 10/02/13)


 Lobby Area 09/13/13

Main Entrance Canopy 09/13/13

Grading and Paving 09/13/13

Patient Restroom 09/27/13

MOB Main Entrance 09/27/13

East Elevation 09/27/13

Trauma Room 09/27/13

Paving 09/27/13

Hospital Nears Completion
City Council toured facility during Monday night 10 14 13 workshop
10 15 13 CT


C-T Photo / Calli Price

CAPTION: Marvin Griffin (center), superintendent of J.E. Dunn, shows city council members the atrium from the second floor of the Hedrick Medical Center site at the council's workshop Monday. The hospital project is about 80 percent complete.

Chillicothe City Council members met at the new Hedrick Medical Center Monday evening to view construction progress and later assembled for a workshop meeting and regular semimonthly council meeting at City Hall. Many of the rooms are near completion with flooring, painting and trimwork. The tour included viewing patient rooms, the pharmacy area, an operating room, preparation rooms, ICU rooms and triage, and examination rooms.

Once the walk-through was complete, council members and hospital representatives gathered at the City Hall Conference Room to discuss details of the hospital project. Marvin Griffin, superintendent of project contractor J.E. Dunn, said the hospital is about 80 percent completed. In his report, he said that in the next two weeks the exterior and landscaping work will wrap up, which includes moving black dirt, seasonal seeding and finishing sidewalks and pathways. There will be one more area of concrete poured to connect the hospital to Mohawk Road. Final "punch lists" will also be created which dictate the order in which certain sections of the hospital will be completed. Griffin said people will be able to see more final results in the next few weeks.

The project is estimated to finish in mid-December, with a February 2014 open date still planned. In regard to the budget, about 70 percent of the billings for the project have been processed. New equipment still needs to be ordered, and a meeting will be coming up soon to discuss future costs for the hospital.

The workshop dismissed in order to move into the City Council's regular meeting. Another workshop will be held next month.

Facade Work Begins
Workers from JE Dunn Construction Company continue work on the facade of the new Hedrick Medical Center
Austin Buckner / Updated Jun. 19, 2013


C-T Photo / Austin Buckner

Workers from JE Dunn Construction Company continue work on the facade of the new Hedrick Medical Center. Portions of the exterior, with stonework accent, are finished. Sheet rock is also going up inside the building. Construction is on schedule to be completed by the February 2014.

Construction Continues on the New Hedrick Medical Center
May 17 2013


C-T Photo / Austin Buckner

Construction crews continue work on the exterior of the new Hedrick Medical Center on the north side of Chillicothe. The new hospital is scheduled to open next year. Hedrick Medical Center is part of Saint Lukes Health System which operates five hospitals in the Kansas City metro, as well as locations in Trenton, Mo., and Garnett, Kansas.

Council Approves HMC Building
Updated Apr. 24, 2013

Chillicothe City Council members, during a special meeting at noon Tuesday, gave permission for Saint Luke's to construct a 3,000 square-foot metal building on the new hospital site. The building will be located at the northeast corner of the hospital property and be used as a maintenance/storage facility. The city's authorization of that project was discussed a couple of weeks ago but had been delayed pending research as to whether the project could be built without prevailing wage. It was determined that prevailing wage is not required for several reasons, including the fact that no city funds would be used for construction of the building. The council was unanimous in their decision.

Council Tours Construction Site; Winter Weather Slowed Progress
April 9, 2013


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: Construction is progressing at the new Hedrick Medical Center. This photograph, taken from the second floor, shows framing for the front area and entrance of the building. City official joined hospital representatives and others involved in the construction process and toured the facility Monday evening. The hospital is expected to be completed by early 2014.

Chillicothe City Council members on Monday evening toured the new Hedrick Medical Center now under construction and received an update of the project's progress. Crews are continuing to work on the exterior wall framing and will soon install flashing and windows. Roof work continues as well as interior wall framing. Council members also saw a sample mock-up wall of the exterior material that will be placed on the hospital.

Winter weather caused about two weeks in delays, according to representatives with project contractor JE Dunn. "Weather has been very hard on us," said Marvin Griffin, with JE Dunn. "We missed some days, but we stayed productive."

After touring the facility, the council gathered for a workshop meeting, at which time, HMC CEO Matt Wenzel presented information about the hospital's request to the city to place a 3,000 square-foot metal building at the northeast corner of the property to be used as a maintenance/storage facility. It would be used to store outdoor equipment, parts and supplies, hospital records and other equipment/supplies used by the hospital. Saint Luke's Health System is providing funding for the project. Since it will be on city-owned property, the project will be carried on the books as a leasehold improvement.

Wenzel explained that Case Contracting was selected as the successful bidder among three bids submitted. Discussion regarding the building was tabled during the council's regular meeting that followed the workshop because the project was not bid with prevailing wage. Although Saint Luke's will be paying for construction of the building, it will be a city facility. City Attorney Robert Cowherd stated that it was his belief that the project bid should have included prevailing wage.

The council will further discuss the request during a special meeting at noon tomorrow (Wednesday).


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: Chillicothe City Council members joined hospital personnel and key individuals involved with construction of the new Hedrick Medical Center to view progress of the facility Monday evening. They are shown here in the spacious main entrance lobby area. The hospital is expected to be completed in early 2014.

Making Progress
03/15/13


CT PHOTO

Construction of Chillicothe's new Hedrick Medical Center continues to progress with many activities taking place on site. Crews are now doing detail work on steel, interior and exterior wall framing, duct work, and mechanical rough-in. Temporary lighting has also been placed within the structure for job safety. Just last week, the final steel beam for the structure was put in place during a topping out ceremony (see below).

Last Steel Beam Put in Place at HMC
Construction of Hedrick Medical Center and Hedrick Medical Plaza reached a milestone Thursday when the final beam for the entire project was set in place.
By Catherine Stortz Ripley / Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune
March 8, 2013

CAPTION: Skylar Ahnefeld and Danny Zullig, of LICO Steel, guide the final beam into place for the Hedrick Medical Center complex during a top-out ceremony Thursday morning. The beam was signed by hospital workers, city officials, and others who have been involved with the construction project. Thursday's event was to observe a milestone in the construction process and give recognition to the workers who have played an essential part in the construction project. This beam is part of the entry to the lobby of the medical office building.

Construction of Hedrick Medical Center and Hedrick Medical Plaza reached a milestone Thursday when the final beam for the entire project was set in place. The beam had been signed by employees of Hedrick Medical Center, as well as medical staff, hospital board members, city representatives and construction workers, and was placed in the area that will become part of the lobby entrance of the medical office building. Work crews paused for a moment and joined a small group of people gathered on the west side of the site for a brief "Topping Out" ceremony and to witness placement of the final beam.

"Today is an opportunity to recognize all the workers who have played an essential part in the construction project and reaching this great milestone," said Hedrick Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Matt Wenzel. "I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all the workers on the construction site and say 'thank you' for your diligence and dedication to building this beautiful new facility that will serve those in need of health care services for many years to come." "The temperature has changed drastically today than when we broke ground on this project on Aug. 1, 2012," Wenzel said. "But, the excitement for this project has not changed. This project continues to receive notice from those across the Saint Luke's Health System, the city of Chillicothe, as well as the state of Missouri. Today, we are here to hold a ceremony in honor of the men and women who are making these facilities a reality."

Wenzel also recognized the foundations that have provided funding for this hospital complex: Joe and Lenore Lambert Foundation, Minnie B. Hedrick Trust, James Lawson Trust, Mervyn W. Jenkins Foundation.


By Catherine Stortz Ripley / Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune

CAPTION: Janet Buckman, HMC's chief financial officer,
takes a moment before the ceremony to sign her name on the final beam to be placed for the new hospital.

In building construction, a topping out ceremony is one of the industry's oldest customs, explained Greg Euston, of JE Dunn. "It is a celebration of the last beam being placed at the top of a building," Euston stated. The exact origins of the ceremony are somewhat obscure, but written accounts have been traced to ancient times, as well as to both European and Native American customs. The celebration usually includes the placement of an evergreen tree and an American flag upon the structure. The evergreen has come to symbolize a safe build, growth and good luck for the future occupants, Euston said. The tradition of elevating an American flag a the Topping Out ceremony dates back to more than a century ago, when steel framing became popular. Tradesmen began draping their work in American flags to show patriotism, to represent the American dream, to thank American soldiers, and to acknowledge a foundational product made in USA.

In addressing the crowd Thursday morning, Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney contrasted the day's 32-degree temperature to that of the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on a 103-degree August day. "It was more than three years ago that we really started on this project in earnest, looking for a new location and coming up with a new plan," Haney stated, adding that "good things come to those who wait." "Good things came because we waited... better interest rates, better location, and on and on," he said. The mayor complimented the construction crews building the new hospital complex. "I tip my hat to you guys," he said. "You have done a fantastic job under very bad adverse conditions. You came in under 21 inches of snow and continue a project like nothing happened." "To all the employees, all the people involved, and to you guys out here working in these conditions, we salute you, we thank you, and we are going to be very proud come 2014."

Wenzel also recognized the workers for practicing safety first. "Since the start of the project on August first, there has been no lost time accidents by any trade," Wenzel said. "That's a big accomplishment and we want to recognize all for practicing safety first."

Thursday's event included the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Wenzel, and an invocation by John Cook. At conclusion of the comments, the actual beam was hoisted from the ground and set into place. Following the ceremony, a meal was offered for all of those attending. Not only did Thursday mark the day for the final beam to be put into place for the hospital complex, it was also the day when the final concrete for the facility was poured. Around 210 yards of concrete were poured for the patient wing on the second floor.

Contractors who have worked on the facility are: Ambassador Steel Fabrication, Barts Electric Company, Benton and Associates, Chillicothe Iron and Steel, LICO Steel, and D&M Plumbing. Groups recognized included JE Dunn Construction Company, K Building Specialties, KAT Excavation, Kissick Construction Company, Lawrence Pest Control Company, Nebel Construction Services, P1 Group, Rebar, Inc., S&W Waterproofing, Shaw Electric Company, Waterhout Construction Company.

New HMC Building Taking Shape
February 12, 2013

CAPTION: Metal decking of Hedrick Medical Center's second floor extends toward the southwest where patient rooms will be located. The windows of the patient rooms will overlook Green Hills Golf Course to the east. Concrete for this remaining area of the building is expected to be poured Wednesday, Feb. 20. Concrete for the single-story medical office building (visible in the background) took place Monday. Chillicothe City Council members toured the facility Monday afternoon. Shown here, standing on the second floor, are Matt Wenzel, HMC's chief executive officer; Councilman-at-Large David Moore, and Marvin Griffin, with JE Dunn, general contractor on the project.

The new Hedrick Medical Center building is starting to take shape, with the concrete and steel framing nearing completion. "We've certainly had some cold days and a few snowy days, but the contractors have been working hard and we've been able to stay right on schedule," said Matt Wenzel, chief executive officer of Hedrick Medical Center.

Chillicothe City Council members had their monthly hospital workshop meeting on site Monday afternoon and toured the facility, both physically and virtually via computer programming.

The final concrete pour for the complex's buildings is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20, and will take place toward the south end of the second floor. On Monday, the slab on grade was poured for the single-story medical office building. "I think we are all starting to sense the reality that a year from now, we will be preparing to open the doors to a brand new, state-of-the-art healthcare facility," Wenzel said.

Council members on Monday were given a construction update of the hospital project.

The overhead rough-in has started and physical duct work will start going up next week. Fireproofing is taking place this week. Exterior studs and sheeting will soon be erected and, within a month, there will be a lot of the exterior skin activities taking place. "As quick as we can get our exterior framing up past the roof line on an area, we will start doing our roof blocking and our roofing to get ourselves in the dry," said Marvin Griffin, of JE Dunn, which is the project's contractor.

Structural steel work has been ongoing since November and should be completed early next month. The exterior framing and enclosure began this month and will continue for the next few months. During that time, other interior work will begin, including mechanical duct work, electrical, plumbing, fireproofing and interior framing.

"It is great to see the excitement building around the community and from patients and employees," Wenzel said. "Our hospital employees are finalizing interior furniture and equipment layouts and have been coordinating that information with the contractor."

Coordination meetings with the city, the contractors, the engineers, and the architects are still taking place on a monthly basis to ensure each project stays on schedule.

JE Dunn Continues Hospital Work
February 6, 2013

Workers with JE Dunn moved metal construction lattice into place on February 6 at the site of the new Hedrick Medical Center. The hospital is expected to be fully completed by February, 2014.

Cold Day At Hospital Site
January 31, 2013

Despite snow and temperatures in the teens, construction continues on the new Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe. Here, crews are shown as they detail structural iron for the project. Work taking place this week involves exterior skin studs, exterior framing, and the start of inside mechanical work. Weather allowed for the pouring of some concrete on Monday, and plans call for more concrete to be poured next week, weather permitting.

Progress on Horizon: Last Slab-on-Grade Poured for Hospital
by Catherine Stortz Ripley January 16, 2013

CAPTION: The mercury may have reflected temperatures in the teens and 20s, but that did little to deter workers from pouring 180 yards of concrete in a major section of the new Hedrick Medical Center on Tuesday. Protected from the elements by a tarp enclosing the entire area, propane furnaces were used to keep the temperature at around 50 degrees. Thermal blankets will be used to keep the concrete warm during a seven-day curing period.


Catherine Stortz Ripley PHOTO

The skyline of north Chillicothe is changing as the new Hedrick Medical Center takes shape.

Despite winter's freezing conditions, progress continues at the site, with the most recent major step having been the pouring of 180 yards of concrete Tuesday in the area that will house mechanical and electrical rooms, as well as the hospital kitchen and cafeteria. A tarp enclosing the entire section, combined with the use of two 1 million Btu propane furnaces, kept the temperature within the tent at around 50 degrees - a stark contrast to the outdoor temperature.

Marvin Griffin, project superintendent with JE Dunn, stated that the concrete plant uses a mixture that allows for the pouring of concrete during cold weather, while staying within the required temperature parameters. A long hose was inserted through the wall of the warmed tent, transporting concrete to where it was needed. Inside, a small army of workers - some in T-shirts - maneuvered the hose and worked the concrete. Heat was kept on the concrete throughout Tuesday night and then insulated tarps were being used to create proper drying conditions. The tarps will remain in place for a seven-day curing period.

Tuesday's pour was the last slab to be poured on grade for the hospital. Two slab-on-grade pours are needed for the medical office building and will be completed within the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

The job site will continue changing throughout the next 30 days, as exterior framing will be put in place and most of the steel for the hospital will be erected and detailed. Also, by this time next month, steel on the medical office building should be erected, weather permitting. The MOB steel is expected to arrive toward the end of January or early February.

Around 30 workers are on site daily.

Weather toward the end of December delayed some construction activity; however, officials told the Chillicothe City Council Monday evening that it is expected that the lost time will be recovered. The major activity during December was the erection of structural steel, as well as the placement of concrete in key areas.

To date, approximately $6.3 million has been spent on the hospital and $595,000 spend on the medical office building.

In January, major activities include: erecting columns and beams in Area B; pull feeders, terminate, and energize the transformers; begin under slab rough-in for the medical office building; reinforce and pour transformer pads; prepare for electrical rough-in for site lighting; and complete topsoil seeding and mulch in key areas for erosion control. 

The hospital project is expected to be substantially completed by November 2013, with full completion by February 2014.

Work Continues at New Hedrick Medical Center Despite Cold
CT 12 28 12


CT 12/28/12

Work continued on the new Hedrick Medical Center on Friday morning (December 28, 2012) despite continued cold conditions brought about by the most recent winter storms. High temperatures have reached above freezing (32-plus degrees Fahrenheit) in Chillicothe only once since Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) - yesterday (32 degrees). Lows have remained in the teens since Dec. 20. JE Dunn is constructing the new hospital.

Framework Going Up, and Up
Dec. 13, 2012 11:18 a.m.


CT Photo


CAPTION: The steel framework for the new Hedrick Medical Center is being erected, and the project remains on schedule. The last of the steel is expected to arrive on site after Jan. 1. The exterior skin is expected to start going up in January and continue for several months.

The steel framework of the new Hedrick Medical Center is taking shape and construction remains on schedule at this time. Project representatives provided an activity summary to Chillicothe City Council members during their workshop meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Progress reports are given monthly.

It was noted that Hedrick Medical Center reached a small milestone in November with the start of the structural steel being erected. The last of the steel is expected to arrive on site after Jan. 1, and its placement should be completed in late February or early March. The exterior skin is expected to start going up in January and will continue for several months. More contractors are expected to arrive after the first of the year. 

Representatives stated that crews have been pushing hard to avoid doing a lot of concrete work in cold weather, noting that it can get too cold to pour concrete. They said they watch the weather daily and plan accordingly. Crews will be working every day, except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. 

The erection of the structural steel for the medical office building will follow the hospital. JE Dunn provided a guaranteed maximum price letter for the medical office building and the amount is within the budget originally anticipated for the MOB.

The signage consultant has also been selected. APCO Graphics, Inc., has been selected, and will begin concept drawings of the various signs across the site, hospital, and MOB.

HWA, the project architect, continues to review and approve submittals.

The sanitary and storm sewer work has been completed

To date, approximately $5 million has been spent on the hospital and $480,000 spent on the medical office building. The hospital project is slated for completion by early 2014, at a cost of $41 million.

New Hedrick Medical Center Update

November 26, 2012


CT Photo

Work continues in several facets for the new Hedrick Medical Center and medical office building in north Chillicothe. There are about 20 workers on site daily; however, it is expected that throughout the winter, once the exterior of the building is completed, there will be more than 70 workers on site. The project's completion is estimated for early 2014.

November 8, 2012

CAPTION: A vacant piece of land is taking on a new look with construction of a hospital and medical office building in north Chillicothe. Footings for the new Hedrick Medical Center have been completed, and structural steel is expected to start going up next week.


Macon News Photo 11/08/12
Footings for the new Hedrick Medical Center have been completed,
and structural steel is expected to start going up next week.

Construction for the new Hedrick Medical Center complex in north Chillicothe is progressing as planned. The hospital footings are completed, and footings for the medical office building are nearing completion. Project contractor JE Dunn has completed the majority of the preliminary site work and site utilities, as well as the turn lane from U.S. Highway 65.

Chillicothe City Council members visited the site Wednesday afternoon prior to their regular council workshop and meeting. Structural steel, which arrived throughout October, is expected to start going up next week. To date, approximately $3,269,000 has been spent on the hospital, and about $387,000 has been spent on the medical office building.

During October, JE Dunn completed the preliminary site utility and dirt work, as well as completed the storm and sewer piping in the MOB area. Concrete for the dock walls at the hospital were placed and work began for the plumbing, water main for the hospital, and the primary power feed conduit.

There are about 20 workers on site daily; however, it is expected that through the winter after the exterior of the building is completed, there will be more than 70 workers on site.

The city council Wednesday evening was presented with a list of subcontractors for the hospital project. The lone local company on the list was Chillicothe Iron and Steel, providing structural steel in a bid amount of $1,417,241. Local contractors received an invitation to bid on various aspects of the project, and the invitation was also advertised in the newspaper and on the radio.

City Attorney Robert Cowherd suggested that an eliminating factor for local contractors may have been the perceived requirement that contractors would need audited financials available in order to be considered. Project representatives stated that audited financials were listed, but not required to be considered for the project.

The council was told that they would soon have the guaranteed maximum price for the medical office building.

The hospital project is slated for completion by early 2014, at a cost of $41 million.

Preparing for New Hospital
10 10 12

While dirt work is taking place across the highway and to the north in preparation for the new Hedrick Medical Center, electrical work is taking place on the west side of U.S. Highway 65, near the Chillicothe Country Club Golf Course. Chillicothe Municipal Utilities is upgrading its electrical distribution system to meet the demands of the new hospital. The process also includes replacing a 1964 utility pole. Work started at this site about a week ago and is expected to be completed within the next few days, according to Matt Hopper, CMU electric superintendent. CMU anticipates installing upgrades throughout winter and into spring to prepare for the new hospital, which is scheduled to be opened by early 2014.

New HMC Foundation Work Begins
10 09 12

CAPTION: Part of the work taking place Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the site of the new Hedrick Medical Center, involved the main tap for the main water line in the northeast area of the property. Foundation work for the hospital and medical office building is slated to be completed this month, with the steel framework expected to go up in November.

Work is progressing on schedule for the new Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe. Crews started pouring foundation for the new hospital recently and that work is expected to continue through October. The steel framework is expected to go up next month. Chillicothe City Council members received a project update during a workshop meeting Monday evening, October 8, 2012, at City Hall.

New Hospital Work Continues on Site
09 21 12


CT Photo

Work continued Friday, September 21, 2012, at the site of the new Saint Lukes' Hospital in Chillicothe at the corner of Washington and Mohawk. Here, we see an overview of the intersection at the hospital's northwestern-most point with the Chillicothe High School announcement sign just barely visible on the far right. The new hospital is a $41 million project, which requires no taxpayer funds. It is expected to be completed almost one year from now.

A New Era in Health Care
Ground broken for $41M complex
August 2, 2012 CT

Click here to view CT video on groundbreaking.

CAPTION: City and hospital dignitaries, along with others closely associated with the new Hedrick Medical Center, gather for the ceremonial turning of dirt for a $41 million hospital complex. Construction is expected to be completed within 18 months.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

"Today is the celebration of the beginning of a new era of health care in Chillicothe... the new Hedrick Medical Center," announced Matt Wenzel, HMC's chief executive officer, as he welcomed guests to the ground-breaking ceremony at the future home of the new Hedrick Medical Center Wednesday afternoon. Around 300 people gathered for the celebration in 100-degree temperatures to witness what Mayor Chuck Haney defined as "the biggest moment in the history of this city."

The day marked the start of a new venture between the city and Saint Luke's Health System, which has leased the city-owned Hedrick Medical Center since 2003. The partnership will result in a $41 million hospital and medical office building being built solely through trust funds and foundation donations, as well as past and future lease payments made to the city by Saint Luke's Health System. No tax dollars are being used for this project.


Architect's rendering of the new Hedrick Medical Center

"This day, nine years ago, Saint Luke's Health System started managing Hedrick Medical Center, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the ninth anniversary than what we are doing here today," Wenzel said. "The building of the new Hedrick Medical Center ensures our partnership and superior health care services will be provided to our community for years to come."

The ceremony, taking place in the open field southeast of the Highway 65 and Mohawk Road intersection, included comments from city and hospital officials, including Dr. Melinda Estes, president and CEO of Saint Luke's Health System. "We talk a lot in health care about team work. Team work and cooperation is really key to delivering superior health care to all communities that we serve," Estes said. "I think this project is a great example of teamwork and that cooperation between Saint Luke's and the City of Chillicothe, on all the planning; between the citizens of Chillicothe to help provide meaningful input and feedback into the future of this facility; and to the HMC employees who were, and continue to be, involved with this project." She noted Saint Luke's commitment to excellence in the communities that her organization serves. "When we say that Saint Luke's is called to excellence, that extends through all of our systems and why we make such tangible commitments and significant investments in the communities that we serve," she stated. "The level of care that we can now bring communities, like yours, through facilities and modern medical technologies is amazing compared to many years ago, and amazing compared to just a few years ago. It's important, because we know that patients want to receive the best care, and they want it near where they live."

Ike Holland, who came on board as city administrator about a year ago, said he was proud to be part of Chillicothe and mentioned others involved in the hospital project, including Saint Luke's, JE Dunn, Hoefer Wysocki Architects, Stern Brothers, Gilmore and Bell, GSA, Adams Management Company, and Great Western Bank. "This didn't happen over the last year," he said. "It has been months, years." He thanked the members of the council for their support of the hospital project, and also recognized the contributions making the project possible. "We wouldn't be standing here today if it wasn't for some of the forefathers of Chillicothe," he said. "It was through their kindness, their vision, and their generosity that is making this happen. They can't see this happen, but their spirit, I feel, is with us today."

Contributions were made by the Mervyn W. Jenkins Foundation, Joe and Lenore Lambert Foundation, Minnie B. Hedrick Foundation, Joe H. Lambert Trust, Eugene Mansfield Trust, and Buel S. Williams Trust. "It is very unique for a municipality to build a project of this kind," Holland stated.

In addressing the crowd, Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney introduced City Council members David Moore (councilman-at-large, finance chairman, and mayor pro-tem), Wayne Cunningham, Reed Dupy, Tom Douglas and Pam Jarding. "Nearly every decision that has gone on in regard to this hospital, their interest has been key, their suggestions have been outstanding, and their comments have been excellent," Haney said, of the council. "It is an exciting time," he told the crowd. "It's the biggest moment in the history of this city, and this year, we just happen to be 175 years old."

The mayor punctuated community pride of Chillicothe, mentioning not only the hospital effort, but the $4 million football stadium being constructed across the highway, also without tax dollars. "Nowhere, I don't think that you will find a community with the support that this community has," he said. "Absolutely amazing: $41 million in this project, for a hospital and an adjoining medical office building. No tax increase. "This is being done by the generosity of families, people, foundations, and the prudent people of the council and former city officials who worked so hard to preserve the money that has been put in funds over the past few years," Haney said. The mayor noted that the cooperation and the spirit of the hospital project since Day 1, which started 25 months ago, has been "outstanding", noting the efforts of Saint Luke's, the hospital board, the city council, and the administrator, as well as City Clerk Roze Frampton and Auditor Theresa Kelly. "Each of these groups has been vital in building what is going to be a fantastic health center that will bring more jobs, more people and more money to our community," he said. "It has taken teamwork. We all should be very proud of what is happening in the city of Chillicothe. This has been a great day in the history of Chillicothe."

Wenzel reflected briefly on the community support during the hospital planning process. "After the state of Missouri's approving committee unanimously approved the new Hedrick Medical Center, it was touching to see the committee applaud the more than 35 community attendees that traveled to Jefferson City to show their support," Wenzel said. "Without the support of the community, the new Hedrick Medical Center would not be possible, and continued community support will be vital for the project to succeed." Wenzel thanked the medical staff and employees of Hedrick Medical Center. "Like the community, we have asked for ongoing input from physicians and employees throughout the planning process, and their input is reflected in the design of the new Hedrick Medical Center," he said. "What has made Hedrick Medical Center successful in the past, and [what] will also usher in the new era of health care, is our medical staff and employees, who have the honor of serving our community."

Following Wenzel's comments, a select group of people closely associated with the hospital project were presented shovels and hard hats, before walking over to a plot of land for the ceremonial turning of dirt. Following the ceremony, the crowd moved to the Green Hills Golf Course clubhouse for a reception. There, hospital staff shared details about various facets of the new hospital complex.

Funding Completed
Hospital Groundbreaking Planned for Aug. 1
July 13, 2012

C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

CAPTION: Matt Wenzel speaks with the citizens of Chillicothe at a town hall meeting regarding the new Saint Luke's hospital to be built north of town.

Saint Luke's Health System and the City of Chillicothe announce that plans are progressing on the new Hedrick Medical Center facility which will be a city owned facility. Funding for the project was recently completed. A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction is planned for August 1. The event will start at 4:30 p.m. and will take place in the open field at the intersection of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road. The public is invited to attend.

"Now that the financing and contractual details are in place, we're poised to kick off construction," said Mayor Chuck Haney. "We're excited to celebrate the official start of this great new facility." "We're pleased with the continued momentum and look forward to the official launch for construction on this new state-of-the-art medical facility that will serve the community's health needs far into the future." said Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center. "The relationship between the City of Chillicothe and Saint Luke's Health System is a great partnership that will enhance healthcare in this region for years to come."

The hospital is owned by the city of Chillicothe and has been leased to Saint Luke's Health system since 2003. The replacement facility will be located adjacent to the municipal golf course southeast of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road. Financing for the hospital will be handled by Great Western Bank of Kansas City, Mo. A State of Missouri panel unanimously approved the Certificate of Need submission for the project in January. More information about the new hospital, including artist renderings and video animation, is available at http://www.healthychillicothemo.org/.


C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

CAPTION: The current location of Chillicothe's Hedrick Medical Center is shown above. The 25-bed facility will be replaced by a new $28 million facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony 16 months from now, per information gathered on Friday morning, July 13, as completed financing for the project was announced at a press conference at the Chillicothe City Hall. Mayor Chuck Haney called this "a very exciting time in the city's history" and city administrator Ike Holland said, of the new hospital "It will change us." All city council members (save for Reed Dupy) were present at the meeting and also gave their support of the project which will come at no cost to the citizens of Chillicothe. Saint Luke's staff and members of the Chillicothe Fire Department were also among those present.


C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke
Soil testing for the new hospital site.

Hospital Project Moving Ahead
July 10 2012

Chillicothe City Council members took two more steps toward the start of construction for a new hospital Monday evening, July 9, 2012. The council passed one ordinance authorizing hospital financing and related documents, and another regarding a tax-advantaged financing compliance procedure for financial obligations of the city related to the new proposed hospital.

What happens next in relation to the hospital project will be a meeting of the Industrial Development Authority at noon tomorrow (Wednesday) at City Hall to approve the issuance of $28,365,000 in bonds for the project. The meeting will include a resolution authorizing the issuance of the authority's multi-modal health facilities revenue bonds (Hedrick Medical Center) Series 2012, to provide funds to purchase and construct a new hospital, known as Hedrick Medical Center, to be operated by Saint Luke's Health Systems of Chillicothe. The IDA meeting agenda also includes a resolution adopting a tax compliance procedure for the authority.

Work at the hospital site is anticipated to start by July 30, with a formal ground-breaking ceremony being considered shortly thereafter. The hospital is expected to be completed by the end of next year with occupancy to take place in early 2014.

A meet-and-greet event is being tentatively set for early August at which time local contractors interested in bidding on parts of the project will be invited to learn more about job specifications. Subcontractors will be needed for a variety of projects, including drywall, flooring, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, ceiling, painting, carpentry, and more. Contractors have already been chosen for the steel, grading, and concrete.

The new hospital will be paid for through lease payments made by St. Luke's Health System, existing hospital trust funds and through foundations. St. Luke's will be making annual lease payments to the city in the amount of $1,630,000. The project's interest rate is a fixed 3.77 percent for 11.5 years.

The city currently pays maintenance and insurance on the existing hospital and receives lease payments from St. Luke's Health System. Under the new agreement for the new hospital, St. Luke's Health System will take care of maintenance expenses and insurance and continue to make lease payments.

Hospital Financing Almost Complete
June 12, 2012

Financing for Chillicothe's new hospital is nearing completion and could be finished as early as next week, City Administrator Ike Holland said. And, once the financing package is in place, the city can proceed with the land acquisition and actual site work.

The financing package has taken longer than anticipated, in part, because of the uniqueness of the project, according to Mayor Chuck Haney. The hospital will be owned by the city of Chillicothe, and operated by Saint Luke's Hospital of Chillicothe, a Missouri nonprofit corporation. The hospital will be paid for through grants, as well as past and future lease payments and revenues by Saint Luke's Health System, which currently operates Hedrick Medical Center. No local tax dollars will be used for this project.

The facility, expected to cost around $36 million, is to be constructed on an 18-acre tract of land near the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road.

Haney said the financing portion of the project has taken a lot of time, but that it will be a good package with a favorable interest rate.

Work is progressing on the hospital design aspect of the project. A presentation was made by the project's architect to the City Council during a workshop meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Samples of exterior and interior materials and finishes were discussed.

Bids have been received for various aspects within the overall hospital construction project, including excavating, grading, and site utilities. Officials are waiting for the financing to be completed before releasing the bids. The structural steel package, however, has been approved, with Chillicothe Iron and Steel receiving the contract.

Work is still being done to determine the cost for the medical office building which will be adjacent to the hospital. The MOB will be paid for through trust fund money. At this time, the building is estimated to cost $5 million. The city and architect, however, are working to shave about $300,000 off that total figure.

Hospital Plans Move Ahead
April 11, 2012 CT

CAPTION: Mitchell Hoefer, with Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC, discusses plans for the new hospital in Chillicothe, replacing Hedrick Medical Center, an existing 25-bed, critical access hospital, during a workshop meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The guaranteed maximum price for the facility, which will be built near the southeast corner of Mohawk Road and U.S. Highway 65, is just under $24 million.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Plans to construct a new hospital in Chillicothe, replacing Hedrick Medical Center, an existing 25-bed, critical access hospital, are moving forward. Project representatives updated city officials on the hospital's progress during a workshop meeting Monday evening at City Hall. A guaranteed maximum price of just under $24 million was identified for construction of the facility.

The council reviewed the architect's renderings, including drawings of the hospital's interior, exterior, layout, overall site floorplan, patient room design, emergency department, and operating room. The council also saw samples of the stone and glass materials that will be used for the facility.

In order to stay within the target maximum price, the building size was scaled down from about 85,000 square-feet to 80,000 square-feet. The downsizing came from non-patient care areas, including the atrium, support staff areas, and maintenance areas.

The guaranteed maximum dollar amount, at this time, does not include improvements to Mohawk Road, which city officials had desired to be part of the project. City Administrator Ike Holland stated that the Mohawk Road improvements are a top priority and will need to be made. If not part of the GMP, the improvements could be made through money in the city's permanent street fund. Mohawk Road will border the hospital property on the north and provide one of two access points to the facility. The other access point will be from U.S. Highway 65.

The overall hospital project is expected to cost around $31 million, which also includes costs for constructing the medical office building, the land purchase, and other costs, such as those associated with the contractor and architect.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Date for New Hedrick Medical Center Changed
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. (March 27, 2012)

Saint Luke's Health System and the City of Chillicothe have announced that they will change the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the New Hedrick Medical Center. The ceremony had originally been scheduled for April 12, 2012, but the City has decided to move it and determine the date after the closure of the financing of the facility.

"Everyone is excited about starting this project and celebrating, however the City Council would like to wait until all financial and contractual agreements are in place before holding the ceremony," stated Mayor Chuck Haney. The Mayor stated that the timeline of events for the facility remains positive and he hopes to announce the new date for the Ground Breaking ceremony at the earliest possible date. "Everyone understands how important this project is to the community and we're very excited about constructing this new state-of-the-art medical facility that will serve the community's health needs far into the future," said Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center.

It will be located adjacent to the municipal golf course southeast of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road. A State of Missouri panel unanimously approved the Certificate of Need submission for the project in January. More information about the new hospital, including artist renderings and video animation, is available at www.healthychillicothemo.org.

Bond Hearing Held for Hospital Project
March 16, 2012

The city of Chillicothe conducted a public hearing regarding the issuance of $31 million in revenue bonds for construction of a new hospital, planned to be built at the southeast corner of Mohawk Road and U.S. Highway 65. The hearing was conducted on behalf of the Industrial Development Authority of Chillicothe, for construction of a hospital in a principal amount not expected to exceed $31 million.

The project will be owned by the city of Chillicothe and operated initially by Saint Luke's Hospital of Chillicothe, a Missouri nonprofit corporation. The overall hospital project is expected to cost $36 million, with past hospital revenues and foundation donations accounting for the $5 million difference.

Representatives from Gilmore & Bell, as well as Stern Brothers, who are involved in the bond counsel and financing processes, were present to answer questions.

Guarantors of the project are St. Luke's of Chillicothe and St. Luke's Health System. The city's debt service will be guaranteed through payments by the operator.

City Approves Preliminary Plat for New Hospital
March 12, 2012

Work is advancing on construction plans for the new Hedrick Medical Center, and Chillicothe City Council members on Monday approved the hospital's preliminary plat. The plat was presented to the city's planning and zoning board, and was unanimously approved. City Engineer Ron Urton said that the developer had met with all the department managers in the city, and they had approved the plat, as well.

The hospital's main entrance aligns across from Timber Villa on Highway 65. Therefore, a deceleration lane will be added on Highway 65, to allow for a right-turn into the hospital. Parking spaces are all 10 feet wide, with the exception of staff parking, which is 9 feet, as approved by the board of adjustments.

Mohawk will be widened to 28 feet from the highway up to the apartment building. Also on Mohawk, all entrances to the offices and apartments will be widened. An exaggerated right turn will be allowed off Mohawk to allow for vehicles pulling trailers. Utilities will either be buried or moved as needed, and street lights will line the highway. Signage, sidewalks and a fire truck lane around the building are also part of the plan, Urton stated.

HMC Bids Sought
March 5, 2012

Work is progressing toward the ground-breaking for, and construction of, the new $36 million Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe. Project manager JE Dunn Construction has advertised for subcontractor/supplier bids for the project. The bid scopes include earthwork, site utilities and paving. Bids are due by 2 p.m., this Thursday, March 8.

The project manager, in the coming weeks, will also be advertising for structural steel and concrete, as well as for the rest of the building project. It is hoped that the building will be enclosed before the end of this year, so that interior work can continue through the 2012-13 winter.

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 12.

The ceremony will take place in the open field at the intersection of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road. A reception will follow at the Green Hills Golf Course clubhouse.

Groundbreaking For New Hospital in April
CT 02 14 12

The date has been set for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new $36 million hospital being built in north Chillicothe. The event will be at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 12. The announcement was made during the monthly hospital update workshop with Chillicothe City Council members Monday evening in the conference room at City Hall. Project representatives briefly discussed plans for the ceremony and presented a project update to council members.

Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel said that the ceremony will be at 4:30 p.m. and will include comments from key personnel, the ceremonial turning of dirt, and will be followed by a reception at the Green Hills Golf Course clubhouse.

The new hospital is a project of St. Luke's Health System, and the new facility will be built at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road, in north Chillicothe. Project representatives stated that the main hospital entrance would be just off of U.S. Highway 65, and there will be a right turning lane added in the northbound highway lanes. Another entrance into the facility just off of Mohawk Road would be used primarily by ambulances, service vehicles, and staff members.

Currently, Mohawk is a narrow two-lane road, measuring between 20 and 22 feet wide. Preliminary plans call for retaining the two lanes, but making them wider (so that the road width is around 28 feet wide), to better accommodate the vehicles. Plans call for widening Mohawk to the north, rather than needing to significantly disturb existing utilities on the south side of the road.

Studies showed that Mohawk carries around 600 vehicles per day, well below the amount that would require the road to have additional lanes. Highway 65 traffic in this area carries around 10,000 vehicles per day.

Main advertisements for bids are expected to be taken in the coming months, with the first to be a site package for grading and utilities work. Another will be for structural steel and concrete, and another for the rest of the building. It is hoped that the building will be enclosed before the end of this year, so that interior work can continue through the 2012-13 winter.

Gregory Euston, vice president of JE Dunn, which serves as the construction manager, told council members that the company plans to advertise in local publications and on local websites to solicit local subcontractors and materials suppliers for bid opportunities. The company also plans to advertise local hires with a job site sign, and host a job fair for office and field positions. This would include individual laborers who are skilled, but who may not own their own business. "We encourage subcontractors to hire labor through job fairs as well," Euston said.

Sampling Hospital Ground
01 25 2012


C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke / 01 25 12

Preliminary work advances at the future home of Hedrick Medical Center, with soil samples being taken this week by Kaw Valley Engineering of Lenexa, Kansas. CVE is contracted with the city to provide geo-tech services for the $36 million hospital which Saint Luke's Health Systems is building. The soil testing will help determine several factors for the structural makeup of the facility, including its foundation. Work for the project continues without delays and a groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated in April, according to Matt Wenzel, Hedrick Medical Center's chief executive officer. The hospital will be built at the southeast corner of U.S Highway 65 and Missouri Route 190, just west of Green Hills Golf Course.

City Gets Hospital Update
Groundbreaking may come in April, target completion is fall 2013
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Work on Chillicothe's new hospital continues at a "full-speed-ahead" pace, with groundbreaking hoped for around mid-April. The city's representative on the project, Travis Pigott, with Adams Services Corp., met with Chillicothe City Council members during their monthly hospital workshop meeting Tuesday evening at City Hall. He presented a progress report and a general timeline of how he expects work to proceed as Saint Luke's Health System builds a new hospital to replace the existing Hedrick Medical Center. Adams Services Corp. has been hired to work on Chillicothe's behalf to ensure that the city's new hospital is a quality facility, completed on time and within the specified budget.

The city and St. Luke's Health System's Certificate of Need application was approved by the necessary state panel on Monday; but, even before the nod of approval was given for the $36 million project to proceed, the main players were in place. This includes the owner's representative, architect, engineers, construction manager, equipment planner, surveyor, geotech, and structural engineer. The Design I development phase is due to be completed by the end of next month. The estimated overall completion is expected in the fall of 2013.

The hospital will be built at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road in north Chillicothe, and one of the immediate priorities is determining access to the facility. It has yet to be decided where the entrance will be located, what needs to be done to get that access, and how much it will cost.

Council members noted at Tuesday's meeting that Mohawk Road is narrow and that widening it could be costly because utilities would need to be relocated. "We don't know the answer right now," Pigott told the group. "We are aware of it and we are working on it." An answer regarding this issue is expected at next month's workshop meeting with Pigott.

Panel OKs New Hospital Plan
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CAPTION: Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel explains the need to replace the existing Hedrick Medical Center building during a presentation to the Certificate of Need panel at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. Three dozen people from Chillicothe as well as Hedrick Medical Center and St. Luke's Health System attended the presentation to show support of the project.


HMC Photo / Jordan Ferguson

JEFFERSON CITY - "It's a great day for Chillicothe," exclaimed Mayor Chuck Haney, after a state panel in Jefferson City announced its unanimous support for construction of a new hospital in Chillicothe Monday. Applause and cheers from three dozen people representing Chillicothe, as well as St. Luke's Health System/Hedrick Medical Center, erupted in the state capitol room, where the panel members approved the city's Certificate of Need - a necessary step for the project to move forward. "This was the biggest step of the whole process," Haney said. "We wouldn't go anywhere without this."

For more than a year, St. Luke's Health System has been working on a plan to replace the existing Hedrick Medical Center. With the Certificate of Need approved, the project can now continue through the design process, finance process, land acquisition and a groundbreaking in April.

The all-inclusive project (building and equipping the facility) is estimated to cost around $36 million, and will be built at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Drive in north Chillicothe. Construction will be funded solely through past, present and future lease payments by St. Luke's Hospital, as well as through city trust funds and community foundations. Chillicothe will have ownership of the building, and will collect lease payments from Saint Luke's. "This is the single biggest project that this city has ever undertaken as a city," Haney said.

About half of the delegates traveled to Jefferson City Sunday evening, and a chartered bus carrying 16 people left at 6:30 Monday morning. The near hour-long presentation began at 11:15 a.m. Monday.

Matt Wenzel, chief executive officer of Hedrick Medical Center, led the presentation, giving an overview of the project. Others assisting with the presentation were City Administrator Ike Holland, Don Sipes (regional vice president for St. Luke's Health System), Mike Palmer (chairman of the board for Hedrick Medical Center), Dr. Greg Miller (immediate past president of the Hedrick Medical Center medical staff), and Juanita Assel (member of the Community Advisory board for Hedrick and St. Luke's). In addition to the presenters, many other people were present to show support of the hospital project. Among them were the entire city council, the mayor, city administrator, city clerk, city auditor, chamber representatives, the school district superintendent, and more. The delegation also presented 22 letters of support for the project. The state panel is comprised of eight members: four appointed by the governor, as well as four legislators (two Democrats and two Republicans). One of the panel members was not in attendance. "The committee was amazed that so many people attended," Haney said. At the end of the formal presentation, each person in attendance introduced themselves and stated why they supported construction of a new hospital.

Wenzel said that the Chillicothe presentation was among several made Monday to the panel, and, by far, had the most visible support. "Seeing the community support really touched me," Wenzel said.

Shortly after noon, the vote was taken, and the Certificate of Need, approved. "When they did that and said congratulations, the crowd erupted in huge applause and cheers," Haney said.

Wenzel Talks Progress Update on New St. Luke's Hospital
CT 12/27/11

One of the goals as HMC moves into the construction phase of the new Hedrick Medical Center is to keep the same level of frequent and thorough communication with all of the important friends and neighbors in the community. "To that end, you'll be receiving this brief 'quarterly report' from me on how things are progressing on this project that is so important to all of us and so vital to the continued strength of our community," said CEO Matt Wenzel. "We've been a bit like the duck sitting on water," said Wenzel, "not much activity that is visible but we're paddling and working furiously under the surface. Of course, once we break ground in the spring, you'll see a great deal of activity beginning on our new site."

A few pertinent updates on the project:

A group will travel to Jefferson City in January to formally submit the Certificate of Need to the State of Missouri for their approval of the project. "We're excited about this milestone and feel very confident that we have made a strong case for approval and swift execution thereafter," said Wenzel.

The architect, Hoefer Wysocki, has been continuing its design work and new renderings are expected soon. When the designs are available they will be open to the public at www.healthychillicothemo.org.

The City of Chillicothe has selected Adams Management Services Corporation as the owner's representative to lead this project, and JE Dunn, as the construction manager of the project.

City Picks JE Dunn for Hospital
11 29 11

JE Dunn, the company that built the $120 million Chillicothe Correctional Center five years ago, is returning to Chillicothe as construction manager of the new Hedrick Medical Center, planned for the southeast corner of the U.S. Highway 65 and Missouri Route 190 intersection.

Chillicothe City Council members unanimously approved an ordinance to enter into a contract with the company during the regular city council meeting Monday evening at City Hall. This wraps up three major contracts regarding construction of the hospital, which Saint Luke's Health System plans to build. The city is already contracted with an architect and just recently contracted with an owner's representative to work on the city's behalf during the project, since the city will own the hospital. Over the next 45 days, the city will be working with the architect, owner's representative, construction manager, and Saint Luke's Health System to start looking at where dollars can be maximized on the project, according to City Administrator Ike Holland.

On January 9, 2012, the formal application will be made for the hospital's certificate of need, a required step before actual construction of a new facility can take place. Once approved, the city will lock into the hospital's final design, start working on a timeline, put out bids and begin financing, Holland said. An April 1 groundbreaking is anticipated.

Construction of the hospital and medical office building is being funded solely by past, present and future lease payments by Saint Luke's Hospital, as well as through city trust funds and community foundations. Chillicothe will have ownership of the buildings, and will collect lease payments from Saint Luke's.

Before introducing company representatives, Holland stated that five companies were interviewed for the position and made presentations to a review panel consisting of the mayor, administrator, 1st Ward Councilman Reed Dupy, a team from Saint Luke's and the owner's representative. Each applicant was scored on their qualifications, team, service and approach, experience with building facilities, references, financial stability and cost of the work. Bids ranged from $2 million to $2.6 million.

JE Dunn was chosen from the pool of five applicants. Dunn's recent projects within the area include construction of the new Wright Memorial Hospital, in Trenton and the expansion of Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall. The company also recently completed major expansions at St. Luke's Hospital on the Plaza in Kansas City. Neal Palmer, senior vice president of JE Dunn, told council members that more than 40 percent of his company's business is in the health care field. He said that the company has already started working on Chillicothe's project and plans to move swiftly. "During the next three months, we will work as hard as we can to get the best bang for your buck," he said. He told council members that he would like to keep the community involved and "make sure they feel they are part of this project." Company representatives also stated that they would like to get local interest in the project from subcontractors.

City Selects Owner's Representative
November 14, 2011

A company has been hired to work on Chillicothe's behalf to ensure that the city's new hospital is a quality facility, completed on time and within budget.

Chillicothe City Council members voted 4-0 during their regular meeting Monday evening to approve a contract with Adams Management Services Corporation, to serve as the owner's representative as Saint Luke's Health System builds a new hospital to replace the existing Hedrick Medical Center.

The city received five applications for the owners representative position, with fees ranging from $247,000 to $696,000. Adams's bid came in at $351,000; however, with renegotiations because of work already completed, the figure was reduced to $250,000.

The city conducted applicant interviews two weeks ago and evaluated each one's experience with similar projects, cost, and professionalism with the written document, as well as with the interview process. Adams, which works exclusively in health care project management, has completed 7.1 million square feet of replacement facilities, ranging from small to large projects. Travis Pigott, senior project manager for Adams Management Services Corporation, attended Monday night's council meeting and said that his company's priorities are quality control, getting the project done on time, and getting it done within budget. "Our goal is to make sure it is a good, quality project," he told the council. The company has been in business for 24 years, and Pigott has been involved in the business for 16 years. The company is based in Georgia.

Obtaining the owner's representative is one of several major steps taking place as part of Saint Luke's plan to replace the city's current hospital. The next step is to meet with applicants for the construction manager position. Five companies have submitted applications, and interviews are scheduled to take place this week.

Council Approves Lease Agreements
Extracted from City Council Meeting 10/24/11

Chillicothe City Council members unanimously approved four matters related to plans for a new hospital in Chillicothe. The action was taken during the council's regular meeting in the council chambers at City Hall Monday evening. With 5-0 votes on each issue, the council approved operating lease agreements for the proposed hospital and medical office building with Saint Luke's Hospital, approved the option to buy real estate for the hospital, and approved an architect agreement for the new hospital and medical office building.

Most of the discussion about these issues had taken place during a workshop last week. Chillicothe City Attorney Robert Cowherd on Monday further explained the agreements, and addressed questions from council members and the public. Representatives from Saint Luke's Hospital, Hedrick Medical Center and the architect for the project were also present to answer questions.

The operating lease agreements explain that the city of Chillicothe will own the buildings, and Saint Luke's Hospital (Hedrick Medical Center) will lease the facilities and be responsible for maintenance and building repairs. The documents also detail the terms of the lease, which will be for a 12-year term, with another 12-year renewable term available, followed by five-year renewable terms. The lease payments will be made by St. Luke's to the city over a 30-year period or less. The specific amount will be determined based on the cost of the buildings.

Construction of the hospital and medical office building is being funded solely by past, present and future lease payments by Saint Luke's Hospital, as well as through city trust funds and community foundations, according to Cowherd. Chillicothe will have ownership of the buildings and will collect lease payments from Saint Luke's. St. Luke's will sublet space in the medical office building for doctors, with pricing to be determined by fair market value.

The land option which council members approved in the amount of $100 is for around 18 acres of land near the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road. According to the contract, the city has until Nov. 1, 2012, to exercise its option to purchase the land from Rex and Mary Ellen Marshall for $1.5 million.

The land is anticipated to be split into three tracts according to Cowherd. A small tract would be for the medical office building, a second one for the hospital proper, and the third tract would be retained by the city for possible future development.

The fourth hospital-related matter approved Monday was an architect agreement with Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC, for the new hospital and medical office building. Company representative Mitch Hoefer said that his firm provides architectural services throughout the country and largely handles health care projects. He noted that his company has completed several critical access hospital projects over the last three to five years.

The next process for the city will be the selection of a construction manager and an owner's representative. Four applications were received for the owner's representative, who will serve as an advocate for the city. Interviews are expected to take place this week. Construction manager applications for the project are due this week. At the end of the month, the certificate of need is expected to be filed with the state, which is required for the project to proceed. It is anticipated that the state will approve the certificate of need shortly after the first of the year.

City Looks Ahead to Hospital
October 11, 2011

Chillicothe City Council members have a lengthy to-do list in front of them relating to construction of a new hospital. City Administrator Ike Holland on Monday evening, October 10, 2011, presented city officials with a timeline draft of what is expected to take place now through the anticipated April 2012 groundbreaking. The draft was presented during a city council workshop in the conference room at City Hall, with Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel, and Renee R. Jacobs, vice president of facilities and construction with Saint Luke's Health System, present.

Holland stated that the timeline is a fluid document and that the dates may change; but, nonetheless, provided a general outline of how things are expected to progress.

Monday's workshop was one of many anticipated throughout the hospital construction process. The facilities, although not being paid for by the city, will be owned by the city.

The next workshop will be Thursday, October 20, at which time the council plans to discuss an operating agreement for the hospital and medical office building. On Monday, October 24, the council is expected to vote on the hospital and medical office building operating agreement, as well as the transfer of land option to the city and the architect agreement. The land option is for 18 acres of land near the southeast intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road.

During the next three weeks, the schematic construction design is expected to be finalized, followed by the design development toward the last two months of the year.

The city has already advertised for a construction manager and a owner's representative for the project, which is being funded solely by payments from Saint Luke's Health System as well as local donations. Proposals for the owner's representative, which will serve as an advocate for the city, are due next week. Construction manager applications are due October 25. The council anticipates conducting interviews for the owner's representative on October 26. At the end of the month, the certificate of need is expected to be filed with the state, which is required for the project to proceed.

The council is expected to approve the owner's representative's agreement in November, conduct construction manager interviews, and vote on the construction manager's agreement.

City Advances Hospital Plan
September 27, 2011 CT

The city of Chillicothe took steps Monday evening, advancing plans for a new hospital. During the regular city council meeting at City Hall, officials unanimously passed an ordinance approving certain actions in connection with the funding and construction of a new hospital and medical office building to replace Hedrick Medical Center. That ordinance confirmed the naming of the investment firm of Stern Brothers and Co. to serve as the bond underwriter for the bonds which will be issued for the project, and the naming of the law firm of Gilmore and Bell, P.C., to serve as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of the bonds.

The city intends to obtain funds to pay a portion of the costs of constructing the new hospital and medical office building and to acquire the site through the issuance of revenue bonds by the Industrial Development Authority of the city, in a principal amount not to exceed $32 million. The bonds, according to the ordinance, are to be repaid solely from amounts previously paid or to be paid by Saint Luke's Hospital of Chillicothe or Saint Luke's Health System, pursuant to the existing lease agreement and any similar lease or operating agreement.

The ordinance approved Monday also states that a portion of the project costs will be put through grants or no interest loans of trust funds held by the city, or for the benefit of the city, and permitted to be used for the project, with the intent that any money advanced by the city be reimbursed from proceeds of the bonds. No local tax dollars will be used for this project.

Representatives of Stern Brothers & Co. as well as Gilmore & Bell, P.C., addressed council members during Monday's meeting. Tom Moriarty, principal healthcare banker and a managing director for Stern Brothers & Co., told the council that the high credit ratings (A-1 for Saint Luke's Health System and A for the city of Chillicothe) place the two entities in an enviable position for obtaining and marketing revenue bonds. "This will be very highly respected in the bond market," Moriarty said, adding that the project, itself, is an investment for the community. "A hospital is one of the best assets a community can have. It is a very long-term asset you are building."

Moriarty also stated that now is a positive time for borrowing with interest rates being low, anticipating the rates will remain low at the time the bonds are issued. He again emphasized that by blending the two favorable credit ratings, interest rates should be "extremely low." Expenses of the bond underwriter and bond counsel are built into the overall project cost.

The next step in the hospital construction project is to solicit a construction manager and owner representative of the new hospital.

Council members discussed this method of construction at length. Rather than put the construction project out for a single bid in a traditional design-bid-build project, Saint Luke's has recommended what is called a construction manager process. Through this method, the construction manager is hired through a bid process. That construction manager will then be given a not-to-exceed construction cost for the entire project and will be responsible for all subcontractors. The construction manager will present subcontractor recommendations to the council for council approval. The construction manager's responsibility is to also ensure that project costs remain in line.

Also, the council discussed the role of the owner representative for the city, who will be working on the city's behalf, overseeing every phase of the project, to ensure that the hospital is being built to meet the city's expectations. This component is added to the project because, although Saint Luke's Health Systems is building the new hospital and medical office building, the city of Chillicothe will be the owner of these facilities. Fees for both the construction manager and owner representative will be built into the overall project costs, officials said.

After nearly an hour of discussion, the council gave a 4-1 vote, allowing City Administrator Ike Holland to solicit a construction manager and owner representative for the hospital construction. Second Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham, while affirming support for a new hospital, voted against the measure, stating that he opposed the construction manager process.

In other hospital-related discussions, the council approved the architect selection, Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC, of Leawood, Kan., for the new hospital.

City Has Hearing About Hospital
September 16, 2011 CT

Several people spoke up with concerns about the new hospital proposed by Saint Luke's Health System during Thursday night's public hearing at City Hall. The concerns - mostly ones that had been raised at previous town hall meetings - were addressed by city and hospital representatives. The hearing was part of Chillicothe City Council's regular semimonthly meeting.

Beverly Atkins questioned the size of the proposed facility and raised safety concerns in case of a tornado, because plans for the proposed facility do not include a basement. Matt Wenzel, chief executive officer of Hedrick Medical Center, stated that the proposed hospital will be similar in size to the existing facility but will be constructed differently to more efficiently to meet current trends and anticipated changes in health care (a focus more toward outpatient care rather than in-patient care). He also stated that preliminary plans call for a portion of the hospital to be built into the ground. It was mentioned also that the facility would have a safe room to provide shelter in case of emergencies.

Dean Peyton raised concerns about water runoff once the facility is built, stating that over the last several years and especially after the highway became four lanes in the north part of town, the flow in the ditch by his house on Woodcrest Drive has increased significantly and, sometimes, the water rises to near the bottom of the bridge near his home.

Wenzel said that engineers will construct the project so as not to increase the water flow. City Engineer Ron Urton said that the city has a storm water ordinance that requires steps to be taken to ensure that storm water is handled in such a way so that it would not adversely affect runoff.

Another individual raised concerns regarding the flight paths of air ambulances, stating that the high school - with a high concentration of people - is near the proposed site. He also stated that the hospital could be a drawback for the nearby city-owned golf course because of helicopters flying to and from the facility. City Administrator Ike Holland said that the city can work with the hospital regarding the flight path. Wenzel said that the air ambulances currently fly over the golf course and that the hospital currently is in a residential area. He said the hospital averages less than one helicopter per day.

Alvin Thompson also addressed the council and expressed concerns about the city's involvement in the project. He stated that the money used to pay the architect for project renderings was the city's money. He also questioned why the city does not put the hospital issue up for a public vote. Council members stated that the money used for the drawings came from lease payments that Saint Luke's made to the city for using the existing hospital building. City Attorney Robert Cowherd stated that a public vote took place last time because the proposal involved tax dollars and that it was his belief that the city would not be able to legally have an election for this issue. Second Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham stated that everyone he has talked to has been supportive of the project as long as it does not involve tax dollars or cost the city money.

Councilman-at-Large David Moore stated that Saint Luke's has a strong commitment to the Chillicothe community and that it plans to sign an initial 12-year lease agreement with the city to operate a hospital, and that it wants to sign five five-year leases beyond the initial 12-year lease. Moore said the agreement is a sound proposal and that through the agreement Saint Luke's would be required to fulfill the 12 years of payments to the city even if, for some reason, Saint Luke's pulls out before that time. Thompson said he didn't want to see the city bail out another business. "We are going to keep doing what we have always done... that's keep a hospital in Chillicothe."

First Ward Councilman Reed Dupy stated that if Saint Luke's would no longer serve the community, another hospital provider would come in to provide services. "It won't be like no one will want this place," he said.

Several town hall meetings regarding the proposed hospital had been conducted throughout the last several weeks, prior to Thursday's public hearing. The council is expected to vote on the hospital issue in early October.

[Excerpted from] City Council Meeting August 29, 2011

The series of town hall meetings regarding a new hospital in Chillicothe has concluded and soon the Chillicothe City Council will have a public hearing on the project being proposed by Saint Luke's Health System.

At the request made by a community member during the council's regular meeting Monday evening, city officials agreed to have a public hearing within the next few weeks so that members of the public have yet another opportunity to express concerns or offer support for the new hospital project.

If all goes as projected at this time, construction of the new hospital could start next spring at the southeast corner of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road and be completed by fall 2013.

HMC Hosts Last Town Hall Meeting
August 24, 2011 CT


C-T Photo / Amanda McKay

CAPTION: Cindy Christensen, corporate controller of Saint Luke's Health System, stood next to one of the many design boards, showing the layout options for the future hospital, to field questions following the last town hall meeting held Tuesday at the Senior Center. Community input was gathered throughout Chillicothe during a series of town hall meetings sponsored by Saint Luke's Health System, Hedrick Medical Center and the City of Chillicothe, regarding plans for a new hospital.

The three entities teamed up to develop a plan to replace the current Hedrick Medical Center, which is nearly 40 years old. The hospital itself is owned by the City of Chillicothe, and the city has been leasing the facility to Saint Luke's Health System for the last eight years. According to Matt Wenzel, hospital CEO, the existing facility is outdated and is not configured to provide the best customer service and the most advanced medical procedures to the growing volume of outpatient services.

Presenters during the last town hall meeting, which was held Tuesday at the Senior Center, included Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center; Don Sipes, vice president, Regional Services, Saint Luke's Health System; Kevin Purvis and Mitch Hoefer, Hoefer Wysocki Architects; Chuck Haney, mayor, Chillicothe; and Cindy Christensen, corporate controller, Saint Luke's Health System. "Saint Luke's is committed to this city," said Mayor Haney, "and as Mayor, I am strongly, strongly committed."

Christensen explained to the crowd just how the new facility would be financed, beginning with local foundations who have already donated $2 million towards the new hospital. The project, estimated to cost about $30 million (excluding cost for the medical office building), will be paid for by Saint Luke's Health System through funds previously paid to - and allocated by - the City for hospital improvements, and through ongoing lease payments at the new medical center. All maintenance and capital expenditures for the new facility will be Saint Luke's Health System's financial responsibility. She stressed that no new taxes would be generated for the construction of the new facility.

Now that the final town hall meeting has been held, the next step will come at the September meeting of the Chillicothe City Council, where the finalization of financial numbers for the project will be voted upon. Once that has been done, the project will require a certificate of need from Jefferson City. "Chillicothe is united on the front to build a new hospital," said Mayor Haney at the town hall meeting. He went on to say that the anticipated ground-breaking will be held in March of 2012, with an expected occupancy date for fall of 2013. The much anticipated grand opening is slated for Sept. 2013.

An abundance of questions were also asked of the speakers, including what the plans were for the current HMC once a new facility is built. Mayor Haney addressed the question by stating that money has been put aside for demolition purposes, especially for the south side of the facility, which is the oldest. He stated that if interest is shown for the north addition to rent or purchase, that option would also be considered.

Another question, answered by Wenzel, was asked regarding whether HMC would remain a general hospital or become more of a specialty hospital. Wenzel addressed the question by stating that the new hospital would basically operate much like the current hospital, with an increase in the quality of patient services. He added that the new facility would hold approximately 25 in-patient beds, with not only a shower in each room, but also a view of the golf course.

Wenzel also addressed the issue of putting money into the current hospital when plans were to build a new facility. "We have a commitment to you today," said Wenzel, who stressed that patient satisfaction was a high priority for HMC and that the need to continue that could not wait two years. "It goes back to patient satisfaction," he commented.

Many in the crowd were still concerned about what new taxes they would see for the construction. Mayor Haney once again explained that they needn't worry, because "not one red cent" of tax money would be involved in building the new hospital.

One of the bonuses that Wenzel explained of the new hospital, was that Saint Luke's would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the new facility, which currently the city is responsible for.

The Chillicothe City Council will meet September 12 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall to discuss the new hospital.

Questions about the new hospital may be directed to 660-707-4401 or e-mailed. A website with plan updates is also available.

HMC Seeks Community Input
August 12, 2011 CT


C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

CAPTION: Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel addressed a crowd of roughly 60 Chillicothe citizens at Thursday night's town hall meeting, August 11, 2011, discussing the building of a new hospital at the north end of Chillicothe. Several speakers took to the podium, addressing the crowd with a Powerpoint presentation, and then taking time to answer any and all questions asked by those present. Saint Luke's, HMC, and the Chillicothe city council agreed that they hope to possibly break ground on the new hospital building - which would be built at no expense to the Chillicothe tax-payers - in the spring of 2012, and, therefore, make it open for occupancy by the fall of 2013.

Saint Luke's Health System and Hedrick Medical Center - in collaboration with the City of Chillicothe - are teaming up to develop a plan to replace Hedrick Medical Center's nearly 40-year-old facility. The hospital is owned by the City of Chillicothe and since 2003 has been leased to Saint Luke's Health System.

Community input is considered vital to success of the plan. Saint Luke's is hosting a series of town hall meetings to provide an overview of the process involved in building a new facility, including a cost analysis and site options. The first meeting was held on August 11 at the Livingston County Library. Presenters included Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center; Don Sipes, vice president, Regional Services, Saint Luke's Health System; Kevin Purvis and Mitch Hoefer, Hoefer Wysocki Architects; David Moore, councilman at large; Chuck Haney, mayor, Chillicothe; and Cindy Christensen, corporate controller, Saint Luke's Health System.

"Saint Luke's remains committed to Chillicothe and the surrounding region," said Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel. "A new facility would provide a state-of-the-art center capable of serving the community's health needs far into the future." The existing Hedrick Medical Center is outdated, and not configured to provide the best customer service and most advanced medical procedures to the growing volume of outpatients it serves, explained Wenzel. "The current facility was constructed during a time when inpatient needs were greater than they are in today's health care environment. This shift is reflected in Hedrick Medical Center's inpatient to outpatient volumes just over the past 10 years. In 2000, 40 percent of our business was inpatient. Today our inpatient volume accounts for less than 20 percent of our business. Eighty percent is outpatient care."

Maintaining the current facility is becoming increasingly expensive for the City, which is currently responsible for maintenance. During Saint Luke's cost analysis, Hoefer Wysocki Architects conservatively projected an estimated $9.6 million over the next 10 years in facility upkeep and capital expenditures to maintain the existing Hedrick Medical Center facility. In addition, the existing facility is unable to meet the projected future demand in terms of patient volume and patient need. Building a replacement hospital provides greater functionality and is a more cost-effective option. A new hospital will allow Saint Luke's to offer the latest in medical technology, provide a better patient experience, and be better prepared to meet the community's health care needs in the future.

About the proposed new Hedrick Medical Center

  • The proposed new facility provides Chillicothe with a new hospital using no tax dollars.

  • The project, estimated to cost about $30 million (excluding medical office building), will be paid for by Saint Luke's Health System through funds previously paid to and allocated by the City for hospital improvements, and through ongoing lease payments at the new medical center. All maintenance and capital expenditures for the new facility will be Saint Luke's Health System's financial responsibility.

  • Two local foundations will provide $1 million each toward the project costs, for a $2 million total contribution.

  • After considering important criteria including appropriateness for construction, available acreage, neighborhood landscape, the proposed site option is adjacent to the municipal golf course southeast of Highway 65 and Mohawk Road.

  • Design isn't finalized, but the new facility is projected to be comparable in size to the present hospital, yet more space-efficient in design.

  • The facility will be designed by Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC, a full service architectural, planning, and interior design firm headquartered in the Kansas City area and used by Saint Luke's on other health system projects.

Two more town hall meetings are scheduled: Saturday, Aug. 20, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., United Methodist Church, 1414 Walnut, Chillicothe, Mo., 64601; Tuesday, Aug. 23, noon - 1 p.m., Livingston County Senior Center, 607 West Business Route 36, Chillicothe, Mo., 64601

Questions about the new hospital can be directed to 660-707-4401 or e-mailed. A web site with plan updates is available at http://www.healthychillicothemo.org/.

HMC Plans Forums
August 2, 2011

Saint Luke's Health System and Hedrick Medical Center, in collaboration with the city of Chillicothe, are hosting a series of community "town hall" meetings regarding plans to build a replacement hospital facility in Chillicothe.

The first open town hall meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Livingston County Library from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. Presenters will include Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center; Don Sipes, vice president, Regional Services, Saint Luke's Health System; Kevin Purvis and Mitch Hoefer, Hoefer Wysocki Architects; David Moore, councilman at large; Chuck Haney, mayor, Chillicothe; and Cindy Christensen, corporate controller, Saint Luke's Health System.

After sharing key information about the new facility, the group will facilitate a question-and-answer session. "Saint Luke's is pleased with the progress of these plans," said Sipes. "We welcome the opportunity to answer questions and receive feedback from the community as we move forward."

The proposed site of the new Hedrick Medical Center is at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road, adjacent to the west side of the Green Hills municipal golf course.

The new facility will allow Saint Luke's Health System to better leverage its clinical and technological resources to bring the community the most progressive diagnosis and treatment options. The development proposal provides Chillicothe with a new, state-of-the-art hospital using no tax dollars.

Town hall meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Livingston County Library, 450 Locust St.

  • Saturday, Aug. 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m., United Methodist Church, 1414 Walnut St.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 23, noon-1 p.m., Livingston County Senior Center, 607 West Business Route 36

Questions about the new hospital can be e-mailed to newhmc@saint-lukes.org or directed to 660-707-4401. A web site with plan updates is available at www.healthychillicothemo.org.

Hospital Gets Its Money
City approves release of Community Health funds
by Drew VanDyke July 26, 2011

At Monday night's (July 25, 2011) meeting of the Chillicothe City Council, Hedrick Medical Center CEO Matt Wenzel addressed the room via a request from St. Luke's to release the city's Community Health funds for developmental measures on a new hospital north of town.

Wenzel announced that $286,500 were needed to begin the initial stage of the hospital construction, including schematic designs and renderings of the new hospital, which would be put down as part of an effort to gain the Certificate of Need required by the state of Missouri for approval of the project. Moneys were requested from the city's Community Health fund - into which the hospital pays every month a sum based upon their net revenues - in the amount of $143,250, exactly half of the grand total announced in need. They're using us to borrow their money," Mayor Chuck Haney said, attempting to explain the request.

St. Luke's, Wenzel stated, had already backed the program and would match the other half of the $286,500 if the city approved release of the requested Community Health funds. These monetary sums would be repaid to the city and to St. Luke's per the financing of the new hospital. The Certificate of Need is a required legal document in the state of Missouri, which must be filed before proposed acquisitions, expansions, or creations of facilities are allowed.

The building of the new hospital is expected to take place at the corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk road, adjacent to the west side of the Green Hills municipal golf course. Wenzel and St. Luke's plan to submit the schematic renderings and a "host of other information" to the state by November 2011. They look for the state to approve the project in January 2012. "That's what we're shooting for," Wenzel said.

Councilman Wayne Cunningham took the floor and announced that a pamphlet of questions that had been submitted to St. Luke's from the citizens of Chillicothe and from the council (regarding the project) had recently been returned, with answers deemed "sufficient" and to the council's specifications, thus proving, in his opinion, the transparency of the ongoing process this go-around. "It looks good," Cunningham said, praising the release of the information in a timely manner. The rest of the council agreed in kind. "That's what we're trying to do," Wenzel said.

The schematic designs for the new hospital are to be done by Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC., an architecture company out of the Kansas City Metro area, with whom St. Luke's has had successful business relations in the past. Wenzel says that Hoefer Wysocki will be staying on with the new hospital project as their contracted architects.

Wenzel made a point of reiterating the fact that the new state-of-the-art hospital would come at no cost to the Chillicothe area taxpayers and that Community Health funds were paid into by the hospital, and not by the citizens. Hoping to further ease the minds of local peers, Wenzel informed the crowd and the council of three sessions of upcoming town-hall-style meetings, to take place during the second, third, and fourth weeks of August. At that time, he said, he would be able to address and answer any and all questions in regards to the project much more sufficiently, and to what he hoped to be a larger audience.

The Council put the measure to a vote. Via a 5-0 margin, release of the funds was granted.

New Hospital Location
June 17, 2011

CAPTION: The proposed site of the new Hedrick Medical Center is at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road, adjacent to the west side of the Green Hills municipal golf course.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

After a 15-month review of the current Hedrick Medical Center facility and options for building a replacement facility, Saint Luke's Health System provided a status update today regarding plans to build a new facility in Chillicothe. "After completing a comprehensive review of all options, including renovating the existing facility and building a new facility," said Don Sipes, vice president for Regional Services at Saint Luke's Health System, "we found building a replacement hospital provides greater functionality and offers the most effective option for meeting patient demand."

The proposed site of the new Hedrick Medical Center is at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Mohawk Road, adjacent to the west side of the Green Hills municipal golf course. "We considered a number of different sites, and considered important criteria such as traffic, vehicle access, location, site appropriateness for construction, neighborhood landscape, and more," Sipes said. "We found this location to be the best option." "Saint Luke's Health System is very pleased with the progress in developing these plans and we look forward to continuing our commitment to the community of Chillicothe," Sipes added.

The new facility will allow Saint Luke's Health System to better leverage its clinical and technological resources to bring the community the most progressive diagnosis and treatment options. It will allow Hedrick Medical Center to continue to offer the latest in medical technology and will allow for new services to be offered in the future. "This development proposal provides Chillicothe with a new, state-of-the-art hospital using no tax dollars," said Matt Wenzel, CEO, Hedrick Medical Center. "The existing Hedrick Medical Center is not well configured to meet the growing demands for the way health care is delivered today and into the future. The new facility will provide an improved patient experience and will be better equipped to meet the community's health care needs in the future." Unlike the plan proposed last year, the new proposal would not use tax dollars to assist in financing the new hospital facility.

Updates on the proposed project will be made available to the public as details are finalized. Hedrick Medical Center will hold a series of public town hall meetings in the coming months. Dates will be announced soon.

HOSPITAL BALLOT ISSUE FAILS, 873-919
GateHouse News Service
Tue Feb 02, 2010

The hospital ballot issue which asked voters whether funds from an existing capital improvements sales tax should be used to help build a hospital failed by less than 3 percent. The total vote was 873 YES to 919 NO. There was an overall 33 percent voter turnout, with 1,792 votes being cast. The measure passed in the first and fourth wards and failed in the second and third wards.

Hospital Ballot Issue
GateHouse News Service
Tue Feb 02, 2010

By C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

CAPTION: Election judges at 4th Ward voting headquarters assist a voter while another voter fills out his ballot this (Tuesday) morning at Calvary Baptist Church. By 11 a.m., 137 voters had cast ballots in the election, which will determine if city funds should be used to help finance a new hospital in Chillicothe. The local election authority had predicted a 28 percent voter turnout in the municipal election. There are a total of 5,341 registered voters in Chillicothe.

Hospital Issue Goes to Chillicothe Voters
Constitution-Tribune
Tue Feb 02, 2010

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

CAPTION: A few voters were in attendance at 3rd Ward voting headquarters at the Coburn Building this (Tuesday) morning, casting ballots in the municipal election that will determine whether city funds should be used to help finance the construction of a new hospital. Polls are open today until 7 p.m. A total of 37 votes had been cast at 3rd Ward by 9:25 a.m.

Conceptual Drawings of Proposed Hospital
GateHouse News Service
Thursday, Jan 28, 2010

Conceptional drawings of a new hospital being proposed in Chillicothe have been released. The renderings were created by the architect firm of WJE, of Kansas City, in partnership with BWBR, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The two firms will be chosen as the architect on the project if the ballot measure passes next Tuesday, Feb. 2. That ballot issue specifically asks voters whether the city should use revenues from the existing capital improvement sales tax to help construct a new hospital. The city council passed a resolution Monday night limiting the cost of the project to $30 million. The resolution also called for setting a maximum of $3 million (plus interest) in capital improvement sales tax dollars be used for the project and that the funds would be repaid within 10 years. The balance of the project costs would be paid for by local foundations, which have pledged $2 million, and St. Luke's, the current operator of the hospital, which will put in $25 million.

The proposed hospital is to be built on city-owned property in the southeast corner of U.S. Highways 65 and 36. The total amount of land is 267 acres. Of the total amount, between 200 and 250 acres are located in a 100-year flood-plain area, according to a study released by the hospital consultants. The footprint of the proposed new hospital, which would be in the northwest corner of the property, would not in the floodplain, however, the surrounding ground would be.

If the ballot measure passes, work would begin immediately to firm up details of the building. "Once we clear the election, the next step is to get a contract signed with the architect to convert the conceptual drawing and plans into a hard set of drawings that can be used while staying within the confines of the budget," Palmer said. Specifics of the facility may change from the conceptual drawings but Palmer said, in general, the finished product would be close to what the conceptual drawings depict.

City OKs Spending Cap
Constitution-Tribune
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

Chillicothe City Council members approved a resolution that caps the amount of capital improvement sales tax dollars to help build a new hospital if next Tuesday's ballot question succeeds. The resolution defines the council's intent: 1) to spend a maximum of $3 million (plus interest) on the project; 2) that the city's portion which would be financed by the capital improvements sales tax be repaid in full within 10 years (based on current terms and interest rates); and 3) that total construction costs of the hospital project do not exceed $30 million.

The measure passed 3-1 with 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas voting against the measure. Councilman-at-Large Darryl Rinehart Jr., did not vote since he was serving as mayor pro-tem in the absence of Mayor Chuck Haney.

No one spoke in favor of the proposal but there were several members of the public who voiced opposition to the resolution. Patricia Anderson, who serves as treasurer of Citizens Against Unnecessary Local Government Spending, read a prepared statement to the council and asked several questions. "This resolution is legally non-binding," she said. "It changes nothing with respect to the language of the Feb. 2 ballot proposal."

The hospital proposal, as it appears on the ballot, does not identify a dollar amount but simply asks voters whether to allow the city to use its existing half-cent capital improvements sales tax for the purpose of paying some of the costs of constructing a new city hospital. Anderson told council members that when the city began looking into the feasibility of building a new hospital, the public was told that the cost would be $46 million to $52 million and that it was most recently announced that it was a $30 million project. "Passage of this resolution so close to an election will only confuse the electorate further," she said.

C-T Solicits Questions from Public for Feb. 2 Hospital Election
Constitution-Tribune
Friday, January 08, 2010

The Constitution-Tribune will begin publishing a series of questions and answers over the next few weeks regarding the Feb. 2 ballot issue which seeks voter approval for using city funds to help build a new hospital. All questions submitted will be directed to a representative of the city and may be forwarded on to the person most appropriate to provide the answers to each question.

A number of questions have already been formulated, and the C-T invites members of the public who are interested in submitting questions to do so in writing. Questions may either be dropped off at the C-T business office or e-mailed to ctnews@chillicothenews.com. Those submitting questions via e-mail should telephone the newsroom if they do not receive a reply after having submitted their questions. Questions should be submitted to the C-T office no later than Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Questions will be addressed daily up through the final week of the election. It is the C-T's intent to publish all questions regarding the proposal.

The question, as it will appear on the Feb. 2 ballot is: "Shall the City of Chillicothe, Missouri, permit use of the City's existing one-half cent capital improvements sales tax for the purpose of paying some of the costs of constructing a new city-owned hospital, in addition to other currently permitted purposes? Approval of this proposition will neither increase, nor extend the duration of the City's existing capital improvement sales tax."

The ballot measure needs a simple majority for passage.

Click here to see questions and answers...

City Land Picked for Proposed Hospital
Constitution-Tribune, Tuesday, December 01, 2009

CAPTION: This 267-acre site southeast of the U.S. Highways 36 and 65 junction could be the site for a new city hospital. This property, owned by the city of Chillicothe, was ranked top on a list of 12 potential sites because of its location, size, accessibility, visibility and availability of utilities. Chillicothe voters will decide Feb. 2 whether to allow the city to use a portion of an existing capital improvements sales tax to help build the hospital.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

A tract of city-owned land southeast of the intersection of U.S. Highways 65 and 36 is being presented as the preferred site for a new city-owned hospital.

Identification of this recommended 267-acre site is the latest development in a plan to ask Chillicothe voters to allow the city to use a portion of revenues collected from its existing capital improvements sales tax to help fund construction of a new hospital. The election is Feb. 2, 2010.
The site was ranked top on a list of 12 because of its location, size, accessibility, visibility, availability of utilities and the potential for future development nearby. Because the property is owned by the city, there would be no cost for land acquisition.

This tract was identified as the best location through a feasibility study by WIPFLI CPAs and Consultants, a firm hired by the city. Three other city-owned sites and eight privately-owned locations were considered. The sites considered ranged in size from 9.4 acres (the existing hospital site) to 267 acres. Most of the privately-owned sites considered were located along or near U.S. Highway 36. One tract was located north of Chillicothe along U.S. Highway 65.

The other three city-owned sites: the existing hospital site, the former prison site and a tract of land near Donaldson Company were ranked toward the bottom of the list because they were not visible from U.S. Highway 36 and did not have adjacent property available for future development. The site of the existing hospital was also ranked low because of its small size.

Ranked second best of proposed sites was the Beetsma 50-acre tract immediately east of the top recommended site. The purchase price of the Beetsma property would be $40,000 per acre. WIPFLI provided updates of the study to Chillicothe City Council members during their regular Monday night meeting at City Hall and addressed the site analysis, space programming, architecture selection and current budget and financing. Also attending the meeting were representatives form Chillicothe's city-appointed hospital committee, Hedrick Medical Center and Saint Luke's Health System.

WIPFLI had mapped out all sites that were identified through a formal request for proposals process. The group toured all sites, researched and documented their findings, evaluated utility issues, prepared a comparative site matrix and reviewed the preliminary findings with the city, hospital and Saint Luke's Health System.

Robert P. Walker, an architect and project manager with Walker & Associates who was retained by WIPFLI, revealed the recommended site and highlighted some of its key characteristics. The preferred site, he said, is within the city limits and currently is used for agriculture. Most of the land is located in a 100-year floodplain area. Although the recommended portion of the site is reasonably flat, it may require additional fill.

Walker said the site has excellent visibility from Highways 36 and 65 and noted that there are existing utility easements and that lines for gas and sewer would need to be relocated. The site would also need to be evaluated for the feasibility of relocating dirt from the Beetsma site to the city-owned site. Walker stated that existing soil conditions would need to be evaluated and that the next step would be to proceed with a soil evaluation and site (boundary and topographic) survey.

Read complete press release here. (50KB PDF)

Hospital Study Progresses
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, Constitution-Tribune
Tuesday, Sept 15, 2009

The consulting group hired to develop a feasibility study for construction of a new hospital in Chillicothe is now evaluating potential sites for construction. Representatives from WIPFLI CPA and Consultants as well as from of Walker and Associates, addressed city council members Monday night during their regular council meeting at City Hall.

Through a request for proposals, the city received submissions of eight potential hospital sites. These sites, along with four which are currently owned by the city, are now being reviewed. It is anticipated that by mid-November, WIPFLI will make a site recommendation to the council.

Bob Walker, of Walker & Associates, said the city could expect to spend up to $20,000 or $30,000 more on the hospital study before the issue goes to the vote of the people. This cost would pay an architect to develop a site plan, floor plan and, possible, a rendering of the proposed building.

The council was in agreement that the citizens of Chillicothe should vote on whether a new hospital is built, acknowledging that some residents in the community feel a new hospital is not needed. That vote could come in February 2010 or April 2010.

John Dao, of WIPFLI, made the hospital presentation with Walker to the council and fielded questions from the council as well as from members of the public. He said that objectives and goals are to maintain a transparent process, develop a hospital with no tax increase to community members, pay for the hospital using revenue bonds issued by the city in conjunction with a significant increase in reimbursement from the federal government's critical access hospital program.

The feasibility study considers replacing the existing Hedrick Medical Center, which currently is a 25-bed critical access hospital. The proposed new hospital would still be a 25-bed critical access hospital but would be more energy efficient and built to more efficiently for staffing. Proponents also state that a new facility would be a recruitment tool to attract and retain doctors as well as patients. Those opposed to the idea of a new hospital state that the existing hospital is in good shape and does not negatively affect the hiring and retaining of doctors, nor does it impact attracting or retaining patients.

The council chambers were full Monday night with various city department managers and concerned members of the public.

Wanted: 15-20 Acres of Usable Land
Published: Friday, Aug 21, 2009, C-T

The city of Chillicothe is soliciting proposals for potential hospital sites to be evaluated as part of its feasibility study to determine whether a new city hospital should be built. As a part of the feasibility process, the city is now searching for suitable properties to consider for future hospital use. Site proposals must be submitted to City Hall by 3 p.m. next Thursday, August 27.

A legal notice published in the Constitution-Tribune last week stated that qualified sites must consist of at least 15 usable acres (20 usable acres preferred) in a land configuration and topographic condition that is conducive for the development of a new hospital campus. The site must be located within the city limits or adjoining the city limits, must have access to a public road (preferably a highway), and must have reasonable access to public utilities.

The owners must be willing to sign an authorization to permit the city and its agents during the option period to enter upon and inspect the site, including the right to conduct testing of the site such as soil borings, environmental inspections and testing, and similar site testing. If the site is selected as a potential site, the owners must be willing to grant the city a nine-month exclusive option to buy the site for an option cost of $1 million. Owners or real estate professionals wishing to submit sites for review must, in part, provide a permission form to be signed by proposed seller as prepared by the city, permitting right of entry and inspection of the property.

The city is contracted with WIPFLI CPA and Consultants to conduct the hospital feasibility study. In July, after hearing a report from the initial phase of the study, Chillicothe City Council members approved to pay the firm up to $200,000 to proceed into the next phase of the study. In this next phase, WIPFLI will conduct a site analysis and selection process with up to three potential locations identified, including the site where the existing hospital is located.

City Advances Hospital Plan
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T

CAPTION: The Chillicothe City Council voted 4-1 to proceed with a study regarding the replacement of the existing Hedrick Medical Center with a newer facility. The vote occurred Monday night during the regular council meeting at City Hall. The plan to replace the entire hospital was questioned, but no opposition was voiced at the meeting about replacing the doctor's building.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

The City of Chillicothe is taking the next step in a plan to determine whether to build a new hospital. With a 4-1 vote, council members on Monday night approved an ordinance to spend up to $188,300 to enter the next phase for professional services with WIPFLI CPA and Consultants. The funds for this next step will come from the regular hospital lease payments which are made to the city by Saint Luke's Health System for the operation of the city-owned hospital.

The firm has studied the feasibility of building a new hospital as well as substantially renovating the existing facility and presented the findings to the City Council during the regular meeting Monday night at City Hall. Following the presentation, members of the Hospital Facility Planning Committee -  which had heard a more a detailed presentation a few weeks ago - made their formal recommendation to the council that they would like to see the city proceed with plans to build a new hospital. Third Ward Councilman Tom Douglas voted against plans to proceed with the study, stating that the city was moving too fast on the concept and that he wanted the citizens - not just the city council - to decide whether to build a new hospital.

In the presentation, WIPFLI directors John Dao and Kelly Arduino provided market and demand assessments, financial affordability analysis and square footage requirements. In this next phase, WIPFLI will conduct a site analysis and selection process with up to three potential locations identified, including the site where the existing hospital is located. Dao said that the existing hospital faces issues that other hospitals of this vintage face, including significant privacy issues between patients and the public, inadequate space issues, and inefficient energy infrastructure. Aside from physical concerns, an older facility would be less likely to effectively retain specialists.

Dao said that a new hospital would provide more efficiency, more privacy, better clinical care, better infection control and more space. He said that in HMC's specialty clinic, on certain days, the waiting room is so crowded that people must sit on the floor. He encouraged the city to "strike while the iron is hot" in order to take advantage of lower construction costs as well as government programs that create low interest rates.

The overall plan calls for project costs of $52.5 million, plus the cost of site acquisition if the facility would be built somewhere other than the existing hospital site. Of this amount, $5 million would be paid by the city and $3.5 million through a capital campaign. The city's portion of the project could be paid for through the existing capital improvements sales tax which is due to expire in 2027. That tax generates around $750,000 annually. The balance would be paid for through Medicare reimbursements and revenues generated by hospital services, Arduino said.

Rollie Stadlman, a community member, encouraged the city council to take action. "Chillicothe has visionary leadership and entrepreneurial spirit," he said. "Hedrick Medical Center is one of the best critical access hospitals in the country." But, he continued, the facility lacks in energy and staffing efficiency and the ability to recruit and retain physicians. He also stated that the window of opportunity to take advantage of government programs for low interest loans is open for only a short time.

Douglas said that he'd still like to give the residents of the community an opportunity to decide whether a new hospital should be built. Robert Cowherd, a city attorney, stated that eventually, the residents would have an opportunity to vote on the project in order to approve the issuance of revenue bonds. "This is the most important project we have ever done," Cowherd said. He noted that the hospital is the third largest employer in Chillicothe and having a quality hospital is necessary for jobs, economic development and industry recruitment.

A community member in attendance asked what the lease agreement would be between the city and Saint Luke's, questioning the level of commitment from Saint Luke's. Don Sipes, representing Saint Luke's, said that the hospital has made dramatic strides in the scope of services and quality of care. "Saint Luke's wants to continue that partnership," he said. "We are a concerned and conservative partner."

The WIPFLI representatives stated that the new facility would actually be smaller than the existing hospital, but would reconfigure the space to maximize service. The proposal would call for construction starting in July 2010 and being completed in December 2011.

Study: New Hospital Feasible
Thursday, July 09, 2009 by Laura Schuler, C-T

CAPTION: The Hospital Facility Planning Committee, following the recommendation of a contracted consulting firm, unanimously voted to remove the option of renovating the current hospital from the table following a presentation Wednesday in HMC's conference room. Officials from the Wipfli firm stated that their research suggested the hospital could "well afford" paying for a new facility.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

The consulting firm studying options for Hedrick Medical Center's future is recommending the replacement of the existing facility. After a unanimous vote, the Hospital Facility Planning Committee decided to take the firm's advice, effectively removing the renovation option from the table. Wipfli CPAs' counsel and the committee's subsequent vote came Wednesday during a meeting in the lower level conference room of the hospital in a report to the committee. The city retained Wipfli CPAs and Consultants services several months ago.

Dean Brookshier, committee chairman, said the cost of replacing the hospital facility compared to an extensive renovation project is virtually similar. "Basically, the price is almost identical. Ultimately, however, the final decision rests with the city council," he said. Specifically, according to Wipfli's report, construction of a new hospital would cost around $43.5 million; renovation would come with a price tag of $43.9 million. Wipfli's report stated that renovation costs have grown significantly over the past two years (roughly $30 million) for a few reasons:

  • The complex phasing of construction while maintaining an operational facility (including extended construction time, mobilizations and infection control).

  • New construction costs have risen over the past two years;

  • The scope of renovation has significantly grown over the past two years. (A 2006 master plan recommended 6,975 square-feet of renovation as compared to a 2008 plan suggesting 42,200 square-feet of renovation);

  • While the committee does not recommend renovating the existing hospital building, the decision of just where a new hospital would be constructed (if the project receives council approval sometime down the road) is still up in the air.

Kelly Arduino, Wipfli CPAs and Consultants director, spoke to the committee on the financial aspect of a proposed construction during the meeting. Wipfli's findings, she said, show the hospital would be able to afford $52.5 million in total project costs with a maximum of $44 million in debt. "The hospital is doing very well financially," she said. "You can well afford a new facility," Arduino told the committee. The hospital's "upswing" has been primarily driven by two factors, the report shows: The large variety of visiting specialists at the hospital and the facility's cutting-edge imaging and telemedicine technology.

Construction of a new hospital, the study showed, would likely yield a 16 percent increase in inpatient and outpatient volume as well as a significant reduction of elimination of nursing vacancies. A new hospital would also pave the way for higher physician satisfaction - resulting in an increased visitation by specialists. It would also combat the non-contemporary image the hospital currently holds, according to study findings, and fight the migration of the population seeking healthcare in the city or at area hospitals.

Arduino said that while the economy is currently experiencing a downturn, Critical Access Hospitals (such as Hedrick Medical Center) now have access to federal stimulus money. While Arduino said there are several financing options available, she recommended taking a closer look at "Build America Bonds," which are funds from the federal stimulus package. She explained that because the hospital is city-owned, the city could qualify for the funds and issue taxable paying 35 percent of the interest for the life of the bond.

The funds are time-limited, which makes action within the next few years critical. Wipfli's project affordability plan includes (for a construction period starting July 2010 and ending December 2012), an $8.5 million equity contribution, which includes a $3.5 million capital campaign and a $5.0 million contribution from the city. Attorney Robert Cowherd, a member of the Hospital Facility Planning Committee said the city could afford a $5 million contribution since some of the major items currently being funded through the city's half-cent capital improvement sales tax (the city-owned golf course and costs associated with the old women's prison property) will likely roll off the budget within the next year or two.

The half-cent capital improvement sales tax nets about $775,000 a year and the city currently has $1.5 million reserved for hospital use. "Building a hospital is the largest project we'll ever do, and possibly the most important job we'll ever do," he said. Wipfli's proposal calls for a facility ranging from 85,785 to 99,955 square feet with space for the hospital and office building. The next step will be a similar meeting between Wipfli and the city council, the latter of which must confirm the board's recommendation.

CAPTION: The Hospital Facility Planning Committee and a few city officials listen to members of Wipfli CPAs and Consultants' market demand and financial affordability analysis during an afternoon meeting Wednesday at Hedrick Medical Center. The study found that it would cost just as much to build a new hospital as it would to renovate the current facility.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

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