Breckenridge gets renewed hospital
BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. - The leading reason for admission to St. Francis Medical Center is women giving birth. Now, the hospital itself is about to be reborn. And a new name is already picked out. St.
BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. - The leading reason for admission to St. Francis Medical Center is women giving birth.
Now, the hospital itself is about to be reborn.
And a new name is already picked out.
St. Francis Healthcare Campus will open later this month after an open house set for June 19, Father's Day.
All of the medical center's approximately 400 employees will move to the new facility near the intersection of Highways 210 and 75 on the north side of Breckenridge, according to David Nelson, president and CEO of the medical center.
Planning for the $28 million complex started in 1998 and accelerated in 2001, when floors in the current nursing home began sinking due to damage from the 1997 flood, Nelson said.
The layout of the new 160,000-square-foot facility focuses on flexibility and efficiency, he said. Staff members were instrumental in giving architects guidance.
Staff members doing training at the site last week gave their new home an enthusiastic thumbs up.
"We have a lot more room for patient care," said Nancy Nordick, director of nursing.
Little things - like electrical outlets placed higher off the floor - will make a big difference, said Denise Jelinek, a physical therapist.
As with the present campus, the new complex will be licensed for 47 acute-care beds but staffed for 25.
Creating roominess was a priority, particularly in the operating room, where future surgeries may be done with the aid of robots, Nelson said.
The new campus will have 120 long-term care beds in the nursing home, where residents will be given great freedom in deciding their daily schedules, said Sue Heitkamp, director of long-term nursing care.
"It's very much a social model, where the residents decide when they want to get up and when they want to go to bed," Heitkamp said.
Part of the nursing home is a re-creation of a small town Main Street, complete with a barber shop and tailor.
"I think we've really looked at all the details," Heitkamp said.
While the old hospital was located on some of the highest ground in Breckenridge, the old nursing home was not.
When the flood hit in 1997, nursing home residents were evacuated to the hospital.
The new facility sits on the highest ground in the Wahpeton-Breckenridge area, Nelson said. The campus will carry on a legacy of medical care that began with the first St. Francis hospital in 1899.
The present complex was built in 1950.
Nelson said it's unclear what will happen to the old hospital and nursing home.
If no buyer can be found, the structures will be torn down to make room for new housing, he said.
Also unclear is precisely when the transition from one campus to another will be made.
Nelson said the move should happen before the end of the month, and when it does, the hospital will place signs at the old hospital to steer patients to the new campus.
Anyone with questions about the status of the move can call the medical center at (218) 643-3000.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555