Riverwood Healthcare Center operates a 24-bed critical access hospital serving Aitkin County as the Aitkin Community Hospital and surrounding communities in north central Minnesota, with full service primary care clinics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor. They employ close to 400 people which makes them the largest employer in Aitkin, just over the school district. The Aitkin facility was built in 2004 and has experienced rapid growth in services requiring further expansion. This project started in June 2010 with a groundbreaking ceremony in May 2011 and completion in May 2013. The project cost a total of $21 million with AgStar being a guaranteed lender for $4 million, USDA for $12 million and the hospital put in $4 million. AgStar was not involved in construction financing. Future renovation includes a third floor to the support service unit by 2015.
Full Scale Renovations and Additions For Convenience and Safety
In a project that has lasted just over two years, there have been 50,000 square feet in additions and 20,000 square feet in renovations. The three-phase project added 14 hospital patient rooms with a conversion to 25 single patient rooms, new labor and delivery rooms, new intensive care units and new waiting rooms. Other highlights include the addition of five infusion bays for the administration of chemotherapy and other medication therapies; and a new support services addition that will house medical records, human resources and others, bringing all Riverwood employees in Aitkin to one location. Renovations included all operating rooms, head nursing station, private bathrooms, rehab center, and front lobby and more.
All new and existing rooms now have nurse view mirrors to make it more convenient for patients and to keep less traffic with less staff and more for patient safety being more eyes on. Many rooms are now also accommodated with patient lift systems which cut down on injury and prevent falls. One key addition is the building authorization and security system. Now, authorization or a badge is required to get in or out, making it a much safer environment.
AgStar’s Successful Collaboration with Riverwood
It was a community-wide effort throughout the building process of the new Aitkin Community Hospital, which made it a great success. Kent Dumonseau, Chief Financial Officer of Riverwood Healthcare Center, spoke well of the collaboration with AgStar. “AgStar was certainly easy to work with. They knew how to get funding put together to get our project underway!” he exclaimed. “I can honestly say we had no snags. This has been a project spanning a little more than two years—a smooth and supportive partnership with AgStar.”
Dumonseau continued, “In fact, several other hospitals that Riverwood Healthcare Center collaborates with have contacted us about our progress and support from AgStar. Many of them have ended up working with AgStar and USDA. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge here in Aitkin, and even more proud to have influenced others.”
Riverwood’s June 6, 2013 grand opening marked the birth of a new era for the Aitkin Community Hospital. The new additions and renovations have created a greater image, work more efficient for employees and most importantly, ensuring and achieving complete happiness and satisfaction in the patients and families.