Highland Medical Center gets grant for expansion
Monterey, VA – Early in May the Highland Medical Center received the news that it had been awarded a $4.1 million federal grant to fund the expansion and renovation of the medical center. The grant is from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award was the result of a great deal of work by medical center staff that began in September of 2011 when they first learned of the grant opportunity.
Medical Center Executive Director Tom Kurtz talks about the grant preparation process.
“The board approved the project at their September board meeting,” he said. “Then, we embarked upon six or eight weeks of intensive grant writing. We became aware of the award dates, maybe a month or two later and they were projected to be awarded in early April. That was moved to late April. We were actually awarded the grant with a notification from the White House on May 1, about 5:30 in the morning.”
Now that the award has been made there is much paperwork to be done before construction can begin. Final architectural drawings must be submitted soon. In addition, environmental studies of the site and several permits have to be obtained.
“Once we get all that done, we are anticipating we would award a construction contract in February 2013,” Kurtz said. “Depending on the type of winter Highland County has at that time, we would break ground whenever weather permits us. Then, looking at about a 15 to 18-month construction and renovation completion time. I feel confident that we can get it completed by the spring or summer of 2014.”
Mr. Kurtz continues with a description of the additions to the current medical center building.
“We will more than double the size of our current building,” he said. “We will grow with a new structure to the north, toward Main Street. We will also grow to the west. We will enlarge both the medical and dental programs that we currently have. Actually, the medical service will take completely over the current building, upper floor, as well as the new addition. We’re going to end up with about 12 exam rooms, versus the four that we have now.
This increase in space will permit the medical and dental staff to both increase in number.
The dentals service is planned to expand from two opitories to four, with space to grow to six – as well as dedicated radiology rooms for panoramic and digital x-rays. Long term, we hope as our dental services grow, to add a second dentist. On the medical side, we will now have room to add a second physician – family practitioner is what we will be seeking.”
This grant funding will also permit construction of a heated helipad adjacent to the medical center. The additional space in the renovated building includes provisions to eventually add a pharmacy.