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USDA Rural Development announces funding for new Hospital

Hospital news | Sunday, March 10, 2013

Contact: Sasha Dull

Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager was in Southwestern Wis. today to announce that Rural Development is in the process of giving final approval to Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital for a $32.4 million Community Facility Direct Loan. Upon approval, the funding will be used for the construction of a new acute care medical facility, improving the region’s access to critical medical care and related support services.

“This investment illustrates the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to helping rural communities compete in today’s global economy,” said Tonsager.  “A project of this magnitude will improve the quality of life for area residents, not only with improved access to medical care, but by strengthening the local economy.  From construction to attracting new businesses to creating jobs, this facility will have a lasting and positive impact on the region. In fact, this is the largest Rural Development Community Facilities loan that has ever been awarded in the State of Wisconsin by USDA.”

   The Hospital’s existing facility, constructed in 1957, is outdated and is unable to accommodate growth and future expansion. Landlocked, the hospital rents parking from the school district and uses a nearby church parking lot for a helipad.

   The new 105 acre location, on the southern edge of the city limits near the Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport, will improve access to the facility for rescue vehicles, visitors and patients while allowing for expanded services and flexibility for future growth.

 “We are both excited and grateful to receive the support for our project from the US Department of Agriculture. This investment demonstrates a strong commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Bill Sexton, Chief Executive Officer, Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital.

   The state-of-the-art health care facility will feature private (single patient) rooms, superior infection control, increased accessibility, and much more. The new 25 bed acute care hospital will also provide an enhanced emergency and urgent care department, an exceptional birthing center, an added women’s center, and an expanded Surgery Department. All current services will continue, including obstetrics, intensive care, medical imaging, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation, hospice, and home care.

    In addition, the new Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital Campus will have separate visitor and staff parking areas, as well as efficient access to the ambulance bay and a ground level helipad. The landscaping will provide patients, visitors and staff an outdoor dining area and wellness trails.

     The new facility primarily serves four counties including two in southwest Wisconsin and two in northeast Iowa.  Construction of the $50 million state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin in April 2013. 

   The remaining funding needed for the project will be provided by the recipient, including local bank placement bonds and cash reserves. Crawford County will assist with the project, by allowing the hospital to utilize the county’s bonding capacity, without assuming any liability for the debt. 

   The USDA funding for this project is contingent upon the completion of the environmental review process. Funding is also contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

   Since fiscal year 2009, USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program has helped an estimated 30 million rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety by financing projects through loans, grants, or loan guarantees.