Morrison Community Hospital plans another expansion

Morrison Community Hospital is planning to construct a two-story addition onto its facility at 303 N. Jackson St. in Morrison.

MORRISON – Morrison city officials last week got a preview of another expansion planned at Morrison Community Hospital.

Morrison Community Hospital CEO Pam Pfister provided details about the expansion to the Morrison City Council at its June 10 meeting. The Morrison Community Hospital board voted in January to move forward with the $14 million expansion, which will be paid for with cash reserves and is the third expansion in the past five years.

This time, a two-story addition will be built onto the southern portion of the building and will provide just under 12,000 square feet of space on each floor. The first floor will be used for primary and urgent care services, while the second floor will remain an open space that can be adapted to fit the hospital’s needs as they develop in future years, Pfister said.

Construction will begin in October.

The hospital at 303 N. Jackson St. began a $23 million capital project in 2019 to provide more privacy for emergency room patients and their families and create additional work space for staff members who are providing those critical health care services.

Five new emergency bays – one of them a trauma bay – were part of that project and a new southeast addition provides private medical surgical rooms. Also included was a new operating room and the construction of a canopy to allow ambulance personnel to transition patients safely into the hospital.

To finance that project, the Morrison Community Hospital board approved submission of a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan application in September 2016 and then granted approval to conduct a feasibility study and the selection of O’Shea Builders for the design build, both in May 2017.

The $23 million construction plan got underway with groundbreaking in 2019 and was completed in 2021. The hospital committed to a $20 million, 35-year USDA loan with a 2.125% interest rate to pay for that project.

The next project, a third operating room, was completed in October 2023. That $3.3 million project was paid for with cash reserves, Pfister said.

Pfister said the upcoming expansion is needed because of climbing patient numbers. From 2019 to 2021, the hospital tripled its surgical volume, doubled its clinic volume and increased emergency room volume by 25%.

“Since that time as well, the surgical volumes have gone up another 18% and the ER volumes have gone up another 25%,” she said.

“We see a footprint of about 8,000 people a month at our facility,” she said.

Pfister said 35% of patients come from the Morrison community, 16% from Sterling-Rock Falls, 12% from Fulton, 9% from Clinton and 7% from Prophetstown.

The hospital also recently bought the former Climco Coils site, located northwest of the hospital, which will be used for staff member parking, Pfister said.

The hospital’s revenue comes from services it provides, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, third-party payers, the self-insured and through the hospital taxing district that includes townships in and around Morrison and the nearby communities of Lyndon and Fenton.

The hospital provides emergency services; medical and surgical inpatient services; radiology, pharmacy and lab services; rural health clinics for primary and urgent care; specialty physician services in rheumatology, psychiatry, podiatry, endocrinology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, cardiology, gynecology, pulmonology, urology, dermatology and neurology; inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation; a diabetics program; a skin care clinic; and a wound care program.

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Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.