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New Hospital Taking Shape In Minocqua

Dean S. Acheson photo

MINOCQUA – Marshfield Clinic Health System’s (MCHS) new hospital in Minocqua is finally taking shape, and Friday(7/12/19) a catered picnic lunch was served to MCHS Minocqua Center employees and construction workers as part of a “topping off” ceremony held outside.

“I need everyone here to know that all of you who supported this project share in this moment of realization of the project,” said Dr. William Melms, chief medical officer for MCHS. “ You are looking at the future of healthcare here in Minocqua and you should be proud. Proud to be part of providing the gift to all the people of the Northwoods.”

Employees were encouraged to sign a 5-foot steel I-beam that rested on sawhorses. A small evergreen tree was affixed to one end; the U.S. Flag on the other end. The practice of topping off a building with an evergreen tree is commonly used to celebrate when the last beam is placed for the major structural components of a building.

Melms told the assembled crowd that the project is on schedule since breaking ground this last spring. They hope to admit their first patient in April of 2020. The project was delayed after facing substantial opposition from Ascension-Howard Young Medical Center. MCHS eventually prevailed with a favorable board of adjustment ruling. He thanked a number of people, including the clinic staff, as well as The Boldt Company, the Stevens Point company constructing the 72,000-square foot hospital.

Melms also took special note of the late Tom (Tommy) Handrick, a supporter of the clinic’s plans to build the hospital, including lending his voice at public hearings on the conditional use permit needed to build the hospital. “Big hearings or small, Tom Handrick was at almost every one of them,” the MCHS official said. “He always had something positive to say in support of the clinic and this project. We miss him, and I know the community misses him.”

Craig Telega, Vice President of Operations for MCHS, spoke briefly, thanking people and introducing a couple of officials. In addition to a few management positions they need to recruit, the new hospital will require an additional 50 to 100 employees, according to the Clinic.

The hospital will be named Marshfield Medical Center – Minocqua. It’s estimated cost is in the range of $35 million. The hospital will have 12 private in-patient bedrooms; a birthing center with four private patient rooms for labor and delivery, a C-Section room along with two flexible/postpartum private patient rooms; a full surgical suite, including four operating rooms and three procedure rooms. It will have an emergency department, imaging and lab space, radiology, pharmacy and other services.

On hand for the ceremony Minocqua Area Chamber Executive Director Krystal Westfahl said the new hospital would add to the quality of healthcare in the area. “Just having theses services provided to our local population is going to be amazing,” she said. “We are just so excited to have this expansion happen, mainly because it’s going to be needed now and well into the future. “We watched all of the local models of the aging populations in our Northwoods communities,” she continued. “We know that it is going to be a possibility that we are going to need these services certainly more in the future than right now. But the fact that they had the foresight to do this and put this project together now, to build this facility, is going to be great for all of us.”

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