In early 2010, this hospital was just a bean field.
"We harvested beans, and it was one week later that we did the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility," said Melissa Kelly, chief financial officer of Pender.
But before they built new, they had to decide what to do with this, their old hospital. Update or just start over?
"We were working in cramped quarters. It was very familiar to us to have rooms change their purpose several times during the year to accommodate whatever service needed to take place," said Kelly.
"The flow was not good over there for the things that we needed to do, so here we've been able to design the flow, the quarters are larger, and things are placed where they need to be," said Richard Thomason, Pender's CEO.
So they started from scratch. This new $20.5 million facility created more room for staff and patients, and expanded square footage by 20,000 feet. Families from all over town came to see the ribbon cut, and see the changes. Even the governor of Nebraska came out.
"This is now state of the art," said Heineman. "So, they're going to draw them in for hundreds of miles. They'll want to come to Pender for their hospital needs."
When Richard Thomason came on board as CEO two years ago, the hospital was still merely an idea. He and Kelly had to plan the site down to the smallest details. A frequent complaint of health care personnel was that there just wasn't enough room inside the building.
One of the new perks of the hospital is that all in-patients will have their own, private room.
"We're very happy to be here, and it's really nice and heartwarming to bring a structure like this to a village like Pender," said Thomason.
Constructing the new facility went fairly quickly. Crews only missed one day because of bad weather during its year of construction.
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