From left to right, Butler/Grundy Development Alliance Director Jeff Kolb, Grundy County supervisors Mark Schildroth, Barb Smith, Vic Vandehaar, Lucas Halverson and Heidi Nederhoff, and Grundy County Memorial Hospital Administrator Adam Scherling break ground on the expansion project at the facility in Grundy Center.

GRUNDY CENTER — Grundy County Memorial Hospital is marking its 70th anniversary by kicking off a project to improve its surgery, laboratory, and imaging departments. Groundbreaking for the new 24,000 square foot hospital addition was held June 29 and follows a three-year planning process. GCMH opened its doors on July 1, 1952, as a Veterans Memorial Hospital, affiliated with Grundy County.

The hospital’s Board of Commissioners gave its final approval to the project in February, a package that includes USDA Rural Development long term financing and local bank loans was finalized in April, and bids for the project were awarded in early May.

“When we think about ways to make rural Iowa a better place to live and work, modernized and improved local hospitals rise to the top of the list,” said Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “This USDA-funded project will make life better and safer in Grundy County and in surrounding hometown communities.”

Representatives of seven local financial institutions were also on hand for the Groundbreaking, to help celebrate a major construction project that promises increased health care accessibility for people in Grundy and surrounding rural counties. A consortium of local banks, including Farmers Savings Bank, Beaman; Fidelity Bank & Trust, Dike; Hardin County Savings Bank, Eldora; GNB Bank, Grundy Center; Green Belt Bank & Trust, Grundy Center; Peoples Savings Bank, Wellsburg, and Readlyn Savings Bank, Readlyn, are providing construction financing for the $31 million project.

In addition, the hospital will supply more than $11 million toward the project cost. The two-phase project begins with new construction of an addition which includes a Surgery Department, featuring expanded pre-op and post-op rooms, two larger operating rooms, and a dedicated entrance and parking area. An expanded Radiology & Imaging department will occupy a portion of the building addition, providing MRI and CT services side-by-side in a location that supports improved safety and efficiency.

Once the surgery moves to its new space in fall 2023, the existing lab can be expanded to double its current size. The entire project is slated for completion in Spring 2024.

“The Groundbreaking celebration launches a project that will result in improved services in three key hospital departments. This project is for our patients. We recognize that people have a choice in health care, and we are honored and humbled when they choose Grundy County Memorial Hospital,” said Adam Scherling, MHA, hospital administrator. “When people make us their first choice for care, it allows the hospital to deliver on our promise of first class care for the communities we serve.”

Scherling presided over a groundbreaking program that featured six speakers and close to one-hundred guests, who gathered on the site of the new hospital addition. Grundy County Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital affiliated with the Waterloo region of UnityPoint Health. It opened its doors on July 1,1952 as one of Iowa’s veteran’s memorial hospitals, and continues its affiliation with Grundy County, recording more than 50,000 patient visits annually for a variety of outpatient, emergency, and medical and surgical health care needs. The hospital is among the county’s largest employers, with 155 full and part time associates.

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