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$15.4M renovation underway at Culbertson Memorial Hospital

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RUSHVILLE, Ill. (WGEM) -- A tri-state hospital is preparing to renovate after getting approval from its board of directors.

Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville, Illinois, is now set to move into phase one of its $15.4 million renovation plan.

The west wing of the hospital is the first step of a plan that officials said will take six years to complete.

Culbertson Memorial Hospital CEO, John Kessler, said there are three key elements coming to the hospital in phase one: A reserved space for oncology patients, an expansion of their cardiac rehab program, and five new suites for specialty care.

"'Cause we have a lot of stuff that doesn't get used on a regular basis simply because it's just the way that it's set up. But, when working with architects and engineers, they can take that space and really the utility of it, and that's really what we're going to get with this project," Kessler said.

Kessler said this renovation plan is crucial for patients as they're an important resource for a community that's an hour away from other healthcare options.

"It's what the community needs from us. If we want to be a vibrant provider of healthcare services to the community, we have to do what they need from us today not what they needed from us twenty years ago," Kessler added.

He said the pandemic has sped up the process.

"Our facility today is not equipped to manage a pandemic of this kind. We're not a ventilator hospital, and probably never will be, but there are things we could do if we had negative pressure, and currently, we have none of that anywhere in the hospital," Kessler said.

He said when they get through all six phases, they'll have more private and negative pressure rooms.

"That'll be huge [a] improvement in our ability to manage future pandemics and that is really what's part of this drive to do this," Kessler said.

Kessler said while the work won't make the hospital any bigger, it'll be a better use of the space they have.

He said they'll begin phase one construction in July, and expect to be done with that by December 2022.

He provided a break down on what's to come in the next phases:

  • Phase two: Laboratory expansion and main entrance remodeling
  • Phase three: Emergency department expansion
  • Phase four: Creation of centralized imaging
  • Phase five: Patient wing expansion and remodeling
  • Phase six: Surgical services expansion

The entire project, Kessler said, will take until February 2027.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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