Rock Rapids, Iowa — A new hospital is being planned in Rock Rapids. The owner of the current hospital, which is leased to Sanford Health, is the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association.
In January of this year, the association and Avera Health jointly announced that Avera will lease the operations of the Rock Rapids community hospital and clinics beginning in May, 2019.
The Hospital Association Board and Avera have sought financing for a new hospital and clinic to be built in southwest Rock Rapids, hopefully by the time Avera takes over. They established a design team including members from both organizations. The team is seeking community input on the design through focus groups and community meetings, some of which were held recently.
Community and design team members are currently deciding on the look of both the outside and the inside of the building. Community members are suggesting slight changes in the design and floor plan, and the architectural firm chosen for the project, BWBR of St. Paul, Minnesota is taking those ideas to Avera officials.
At this point the color palette is being chosen, and the floor plan is being finalized. Currently the plan is to have two driveways into the hospital campus — one for visitors and one for emergencies and deliveries, both off of an extension of South Tenth Avenue. The plan right now is for the clinic to be on the east side of the building and the hospital on the west, with the two public entrances to the south, and the emergency department on the north.
Board members say that while more senior members of the community have come to the meetings, they are looking to get more input from the younger members of the community, and are actively asking for their opinions.
If you would like more information, MPCH board president Jim Vander Woude encourages you to contact him or another board member. Vander Woude can be reached at 712-348-2442.