An estimated 500 people witnessed the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Chillicothe’s new Hedrick Medical Center Thursday afternoon, signaling completion of north Missouri’s newest hospital.
An estimated 500 people witnessed the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Chillicothe’s new Hedrick Medical Center Thursday afternoon, signaling completion of north Missouri’s newest hospital. Around 2,000 people toured the $41 million facility during an open house that followed the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Against a wall of windows overlooking a field that once raised Charolais cattle as part of the late Congressman Jerry Litton’s ranch, hospital Chief Executive Officer Matt Wenzel welcomed the guests and stated that it was a significant day for Hedrick Medical Center and the city of Chillicothe.
Wenzel thanked all who had a part in construction of the facility and the community members for their ongoing support of Hedrick Medical Center.
“This project was about building the best hospital that would serve this community for decades to come,” he said.
People filled the chairs set up for the event and a couple hundred more people stood throughout the lobby and in an area on the second floor where the ceremony was simulcast on a TV.
The day, with a temperature of 8 degrees, was a stark contrast to the 108-degree day when the project began 18 months ago with the first shovels of dirt turned at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney reflected on that groundbreaking event and the process it took to build the hospital.
“This was a true partnership between Hedrick Medical Center, Saint Luke’s and the city of Chillicothe,” he said. “We worked as a team. Yes, there were a few bumps and disagreements, but look what happened and look where we are today... This facility on this ground, purchased and built without a tax increase to the people of the city of Chillicothe. That’s outstanding.”
The new hospital will be paid for through lease payments made by Saint Luke’s Health System, existing hospital trust funds and through foundations. Saint Luke’s will be making annual lease payments to the city.
The new facility is not only a place of healing but of community, Wenzel told the guests Thursday.
“As you can see from this beautiful lobby, we emphasized light, open spaces, and patient comfort and convenience,” he said. “You’ll see those details in every aspect of the new facility. From the Garden Café, that will be open to the public, to one of the most extensive art collections in the region, many of which were created by the hands of local artists and photographers, this facility was created to be enjoyed by all in our community.”
The hospital spans 81,000 square-feet of space. There are two surgery suites with two procedure rooms and two operating rooms. The emergency department has two trauma rooms and five exam rooms. There are 25 patient rooms with private restrooms and showers, including ICU rooms, as well as labor, delivery and postpartum rooms. The specialty clinic has 10 exam rooms and five procedure rooms. The new facility will also house the rehabilitation services, currently located at 1422 N. Washington.
Multiple doctor offices will be moving to the Medical Plaza, including Hedrick Family Care, North Missouri Medical Clinic, Hedrick Surgical Associates and Hedrick OB/GYN. The medical plaza, with 20,000 square-feet, will be home to primary care physicians Krista M. Clark, D.O., Christopher E. Hulett, D.O., Gregory A. Miller, M.D., James P. Suchsland, D.O., Dean R. Adkins, F.N.P.-C., and Darla Kay Cope, R.N., F.N.P.; Surgical care physician Jason E. Gault, D.O.; and Women’s Center OB/GYN care physicians D.J. Clow, D.O., F.A.C.O.O.G., and Yulia Peniston, D.O., F.A.C.O.G. Dr. James Peppers is the hospitalist.
The hospital will open Feb. 13, and the Medical Plaza will be open starting Feb. 14.
Dr. Melinda Estes, president and CEO of Saint Luke’s Health System, also addressed the guests.
“It is a very special day for Hedrick Medical Center, for the city of Chillicothe, and the Saint Luke’s Health System,” she said.
HMC has been part of Saint Luke’s Health System since 2003.
“All of our hospitals in the health system are dedicated to being the best place to get care and the best place to give care,” Estes said. “The team at Hedrick demonstrates this commitment everyday and this beautiful facility is going to help this team take that care to an even higher level.”
Estes noted the Saint Luke’s is using technology to drive innovation and to bring that innovation to the community.
“Hedrick Medical serves as an excellent example of how we have used state-of-the-art telemedicine to enable caregivers at this hospital and our metro hospitals to work together to provide your community with the most advanced care possible,” she said. “... For you and your family, this means you can stay right here in Chillicothe for as long as possible — saving you the stress and expense of the trip to Kansas City. But for those times when care at a larger facility is necessary, you can count on a seamless transition designed to get you back home as soon as possible.”
HMC is a leader in telemedicine, Estes said.
“Our success is getting attention from other providers who are eager to serve their communities in the same way,” she said. “Not every hospital is willing to explore new health care delivery systems. Not every community is willing to take a bold step forward. But, Hedrick Medical Center, and you, the Chillicothe community, are, and your commitment to innovation helps make Saint Luke’s Health System even stronger.”
Mayor Haney noted the location of the hospital.
“How pleased the Litton family would be,” he said, “to think that where once, Charolais cattle roamed, is now home to one of the elite places in health care — the new Hedrick Medical Center.”
The mayor noted how challenges faced by smaller communities are overcome by the people who live in those communities.
“We don’t say no,” he said about the people of Chillicothe. “We don’t quit. The first time around it didn’t work. But, as I said when we broke ground, great things come to those who wait. What a beautiful place to showcase a facility like this.”
Haney recognized members of the current council as well as those those who preceded them and had a part in making the hospital a reality: former Councilman-at-Large and Finance Chairman Daryl Rinehart, Former council representatives Sid Cornell (1st Ward), Maurice Zion (2nd Ward), Pam Jarding (4th Ward), and 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas. The current council consists of Councilman-at-Large David Moore, 1st Ward Councilman Reed Dupy, 2nd Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham, 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas and 4th Ward Councilman Paul Howard.
“Those on this council, from the day that the ground was broken to the very first month of construction and dirt moving, they wanted to see the steps that were being taken and they were here every month for 18 months, touring, checking, putting their stamp of approval, asking questions and making comments and suggestions,” Haney said.
He also noted the city’s legal guidance as well as other elected officials and City Administrator Ike Holland for their efforts.
Wenzel applauded the HMC staff for their efforts throughout the planning process.
“Employees have spent a tremendous amount of time from design, to thinking through all of the processes that will change once we are in this facility to ensure that when you come to the new Hedrick Medical Center, your experience is second to none,” he said. “This hospital’s state-of-the-art design was made possible by the many Hedrick employees who provided their input in each stage of the process.”
“The world of medicine has changed incredibly since we opened our doors as St. Mary’s Hospital in 1888,” Wenzel said. “And it’s no secret the old Hedrick Medical Center was no longer able to keep pace with the way health care is delivered today. When our facility on Central Street opened, most patients spent days or weeks in the hospital. Now most patients arrive and leave the same day.”
Wenzel said the new Hedrick isn’t just state-of-the-art because it’s new.
“We want you and your family to stay in Chillicothe for your care – whether you’re seeing a specialist in the clinic or you’re a patient in the hospital,” he told the group. “With a click of a mouse, we’re bringing some of the nation’s top specialists from Saint Luke’s in Kansas City to Chillicothe. Our incredible telemedicine technology offers a picture so advanced and detailed that the specialist can zoom in on the patient’s pupils to do an assessment, easily read monitors anywhere in the room, and listen to the patient’s heartbeat with a stethoscope.”
“Just as important, it means patients can stay right here at home — rather than experience the expense, stress, and inconvenience of traveling to Kansas City. In fact, patients from around the area are increasingly traveling right here to Chillicothe to access this state-of-the-art care. With this new facility, Hedrick will become even more of a regional health care destination.”
Wenzel noted new 3-D mammography which has been made possible by the support of the Livingston County Community Foundation.
“This is the most advanced mammography technology that’s designed to find breast cancer earlier, when it’s most treatable,” Wenzel said.
Within the region, 3-D mammography is only available in Columbia, Des Moines, Omaha, a handful of hospitals in Kansas City – and now it’s available in Chillicothe.
The CEO extended appreciation to the hospital employees, physicians, auxiliary members and board members. He also thanked the teams at J.E. Dunn, HWA architects and Adams Management for their work on the project.
Also participating in Thursday’s ceremony were members of Battery B 1-129th Field Artillery Battalion in Chillicothe, who posted the Colors prior to the Pledge of Allegiance, the Rev. Marshall Scott, director of Spiritual Wellness for Saint Luke’s Health System, who provided a blessing for the new facility, and community member Scott Rule sang “You Raise Me Up.”
Following the ribbon-cutting, members of the public began self-guided tours and were greeted throughout the facility by department managers stationed in their respective departments to answer questions.