Construction Begins on Mitchell’s New Grassland Health Campus
Work is underway on a new three-story medical office building for Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
Avera Health and Avera Queen of Peace broke ground on the project in August. The new building is located just west of the Cabela’s store on land that is visible from Interstate 90. Avera leaders say the location, which is being called Grassland Health Campus, will eventually be the new home of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and related facilities.
The 70,000-square-foot medical office building will house family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, occupational medicine, urgent care, laboratory and imaging services, and a home medical equipment outlet on the first two floors. The building plan features the latest technology, including the capability for eConsult telehealth visits with physicians in a wide range of medical specialties, minimizing the need for patients to travel for specialty care. The third floor will be left open for future growth.
The building’s architectural design will reflect the prairie of the Northern Plains, similar to the Prairie Center on the campus of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls.
Estimated cost of the medical office building project is $16.5 million, in addition to the $1.6 million cost of the 30-acre tract of land, purchased from the Mitchell Area Development Corporation approximately two years ago.
“Our existing facilities are hindering us from being able to recruit physicians; our current campus is landlocked and allows no room for long-term expansion,” says Tom Clark, Regional President and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace. “We have signed agreements with physicians joining us over the next two years, and we currently have no place to put them.”
Clark, who was named CEO in 2011, led the hospital board through an extensive strategic planning process that concluded with a long-term vision for Avera Queen of Peace. This vision became one of a new campus, starting with a medical office building and eventually accommodating Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and all its related facilities.
“Our current campus is tucked in the northeast corner of Mitchell in a residential area. It’s hard for people from out of town to find us,” Clark says, adding that the new campus will be the most visible facility in the Avera System.
In 2014, Avera Queen of Peace inpatient, outpatient and clinic visits are projected to total more than 196,000. Outpatient and clinic visits are projected to increase between 3 and 5 percent per year, while hospital inpatient volumes are projected to remain flat.
The campus concept, developed by BWBR Architects of St. Paul, Minn., is one of multiple buildings located together as opposed to one large building. For the nearer future, construction of the new medical office building will open up additional space at the current Avera Queen of Peace Hospital campus which Clark says will be used to move surgical specialists closer to the hospital.