Marengo Memorial Hospital is expanding its community outreach with the construction of a clinic in Williamsburg. It's also considering an addition that would offer more services on its main campus.
The Iowa County hospital broke ground Aug. 29 on Williamsburg's north side for a 4,981-square-foot building that will house six examination rooms, a laboratory and space for two health care providers. The clinic is expected to open in February next year.
Barry Goettsch, Marengo Memorial chief executive officer, said the facility has been designed to accommodate future growth.
"We will have additional space shelled in," Goettsch said. "When we're ready to add another physician, we will finish the examination rooms in that space and off we go.
"Once we get up and running over there, we intend to rotate some of our specialists — such as a podiatrist or maybe a general surgeon — on a regular schedule. That way, our folks won't have to come all the way to Marengo to see those providers."
Goettsch said the clinic was expanded from the original 3,600 square feet to save money over the long run.
"It was cheaper to build the square footage and shell it now than it would be to break into the building later," Goettsch said. "We were trying to manage our money, and our board recognized that, but they supported getting a good start on the structure."
Goettsch said the Williamsburg clinic initially will be staffed with a mid-level provider, a family physician, two nurses and a medical assistant-receptionist. He said additional nurses could be brought on if needed for the efficient care of patients.
The Williamsburg clinic marks the latest chapter of community outreach for Marengo Memorial. In 2006, the hospital expanded its family practice clinical services with a medical clinic across the street that provides services in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics and women's health.
Goettsch said the next step after the Williamsburg clinic is up and running will be addressing the future of Marengo Memorial.
"We've really run out of space here at the hospital and we need to look at our facility plan," he said. "We have two new providers who will be joining us starting with the summer of 2014. We have one in the pipeline and we're recruiting another.
"These folks are from the local area and they're interested in doing obstetrics. The doctors that use our surgical suites need a lot more space.
"Our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Douglas Cooper, has been doing knee replacements and wants to do hips. We have a lot of things going that will require expanding here at the hospital."
Marengo Memorial was expanded in 2004 through 2005 when 27,200 square feet were added, more than doubling the size of the 25-bed hospital.
Goettsch said Marengo Memorial will continue to look for ways to offer services in under-served areas Iowa County."Our communities have supported us and we're going to continue to support them," he said.