Hospital rendering

A rendering showing a northwest perspective of Columbus Community Hospital once its approximately two-year expansion/renovation project is complete.

Platte County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jerry Engdahl said he believes that residents’ accessibility to quality health care is of vital importance all throughout the state.

And in Platte County, he noted that those living within its borders – and in surrounding communities – have their bases covered in regard to having medical services accessible at their fingertips. He added that Columbus Community Hospital’s $35-million renovation/expansion project, which is getting underway with a 10 a.m. Friday groundbreaking kickoff ceremony at the facility, will inevitably be a positive for the greater Platte County area.

“Well, there is no question that it’s just an awesome thing,” Engdahl said of the project. “It’s great not just what it does for our community, but for the communities that surround us. From what I understand this will add more room and provide certain upgrades and improvements which I think is just fantastic.

“We have just tremendous health care services here in Platte County, and they (CCH) are the leader.”

The project is slated to expand the hospital’s surgical devices department and lead to additional improvements with expansions in other areas of the hospital, as reported by The Telegram. The new surgical devices department is expected to include five operating rooms with space dedicated for operations, endoscopic procedures and same-day surgeries.

Additional renovations include new conference rooms, a new cardiopulmonary rehabilitation department and a maternal child health department which will be renovated to include eight rooms for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum, along with four additional rooms for postpartum care.

The project, hospital officials said, is expected to be completed by 2021. The effort is being funded through CCH’s operational budget in addition to donor-designated gifts provided through the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation.

“In terms of just getting to this event, everyone, including myself, is very excited," said Scott Messersmith, CCH vice president of operations and human resources. “This is the beginning of a two-year process, and I think once we have crews here mobilized and construction happening, employees will be able to see it (progress) and the community will see it.”

Those expected to be in attendance Friday include various dignitaries and key hospital stakeholders, who will participate in the traditional groundbreaking ceremony of turning dirt with shovels. Getting to this point has taken a lot of effort and collaboration, Messersmith said, noting that about three years of planning ultimately led to construction getting underway.

“It seems like it (has) taken forever,” he said. “So it’s the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The expansion and renovation enable the facility to stay at the forefront of the medical industry in terms of providing optimal medical care, he added.

“It would be very easy to fall off, and CCH has taken the approach that we are going to try to stay ahead,” Messersmith said. “Because with any changes in technology, a lot of those changes are directly improving the health of individuals and if we don’t (make those changes), patients can, obviously, go elsewhere to look for those services.

“And this construction project allows us to bring in some new technology, especially in our OR (operating rooms).”

The Columbus Telegram published a story about CCH's expansion in its 2019 Power & Progress. Read it here: https://bit.ly/2EwQwYy.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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