“It is the number one priority of Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital to meet the healthcare needs of the patients and communities we are privileged to serve,” said Bill Sexton, chief executive officer of Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital. “We have been monitoring the apparent physician shortage in our communities for the past three or more years and, through a Community Health Needs Assessment conducted earlier this year, we heard straight from the community the affect of the physician shortage and limited access to healthcare.”
Sexton added, “We are pleased to announce that we are opening a hospital-owned clinic with hospital-employed physicians to serve the needs of our patients and the communities.”
Paul Ginkel, Hospital Board President stated, “Opening a clinic will increase access and continuity of care for the communities we serve. After some time and careful consideration, the board of directors determined this was necessary to fulfill our mission of meeting the health needs of the region.”
The new clinic, which will be owned and operated by Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, is being built on the new hospital site, just off Hwy 18 across from the Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport. The new clinic is expected to open in early July of 2014.
“What it really comes down to is making sure area residents have access to healthcare close to home,” said Sexton. “We’ve listened to our community members and have worked to recruit more physicians to improve access to care.”
Sexton explained that a hospital-owned clinic will further the hospital’s collaborative relationship with both Mayo and Gundersen. He said, “Sharing knowledge and working together on difficult cases is beneficial to both patients and physicians. We expect to refer patients to both Gundersen and Mayo specialists.”
As part of the clinic development, PdC Memorial Hospital will acquire the practice of Drs. Ann and Mark Grunwald, Great River Medical Clinic in January. Sexton added, “The Grunwalds, as well as their current staff, will become employees of the new health clinic and will continue to practice in their current location on Marquette Road until the new clinic is built and ready for patients.”
A letter the Grunwalds recently mailed to their patients stated, “We have made this decision with the benefit of our patients and the community in mind. Although we have enjoyed practicing as independent providers, we realize that in preparation for the upcoming changes in healthcare delivery, it is best to partner with our local hospital. This decision to partner with PdC Memorial gives us a renewed confidence that we can continue to meet your healthcare needs. It will be our goal to make this transition as smooth as possible for you and your family.”
Dr. Steven Bush, OB/GYN, will serve as Medical Director for the new clinic. Dr. Bush has more than 18 years of experience and will provide general gynecology services to women including minimally invasive surgery, hysterectomy options and family planning. “This clinic will feature a unique group of multi-specialty primary care providers. I’m delighted to offer gynecology services locally; services that women currently travel more than an hour to receive,” said Dr. Steven Bush.
It is anticipated that three additional providers will join Dr. Mark Grunwald, Dr. Ann Grunwald and Dr. Steven Bush when the new clinic opens in July. Derek Kruempel will serve as Administrator of the Prairie du Chien Memorial Health Clinic. Derek has more than nine years of experience working in a clinic setting, with four of those years as a clinic director.
Simultaneous to the acquisition of the Great River Medical Clinic, PdC Memorial Hospital has been awarded the contract to provide a medical clinic on the campus of Southwest Technical College in Fennimore. Sexton added, “We look forward to establishing this clinic and furthering our partnership with SWTC to ensure that the healthcare needs of the students, faculty and Fennimore area communities are being met. This will provide even more hands-on learning opportunities for the students.” The Fennimore clinic is slated to open in March of 2014.
To monitor the progress of the construction on the new hospital site access the webcam at www.pdcmh.org.