Hospital district to pursue clinic in Richmond

This article submitted by Peter Jacobson on 3/31/98.

The Paynesville Area Health Care System [PAHCS] Board of Directors voted at their regular meeting last Wednesday to pursue building a new clinic in Richmond.

The hospital board remains interested in the city of Richmond joining the hospital district, but the construction of the new clinic is to be pursued independent of that commitment.

The hospital board expressed an interest in securing the involvement of the city of Richmond in the building project. Possible involvement could include help in selecting a site, help in securing the selected site, and cost assistance for site acquisition and infrastructure.

The existing clinic in Richmond is too small for the current patient load and is also outdated, according to Willie LaCroix, PAHCS administrator. Meanwhile, clinic patient visits are on the increase, and the clinic situation is becoming more critical as time goes on, according to LaCroix.

PAHCS, over the past two years, has studied the options of remodeling the present clinic or building a new facility in Richmond. Remodeling and expansion costs at the present site are estimated at $120,000.

Construction costs of an all new, modern clinic are estimated at $300,000. PAHCS has received offers for the present clinic building, should a new clinic be built on a new site.

A group from Cold Spring, including Mayor Eric Vogt, Glen Heitzman and Dan Stiles, made a presentation to the board concerning a clinic location there. Currently, Cold Spring has a clinic that is staffed by a doctor who comes from the St Cloud Medical Group.

The Cold Spring delegation stated their community is looking for a clinic that will provide more services than they are currently receiving.
The PAHCS board felt that Cold Spring is on the fringe of our potential service area, and that pursuit of the Richmond option is in the best interest of PAHCS at this time.

Willie LaCroix, administrator and Don Thomes, PAHCS board chairperson, were invited to a Munson Township meeting to provide information and discuss the potential of Munson Township joining the hospital district. A public hearing for residents of Munson Township will be held on April 15 at 8 p.m. at the Sno-Cruisers building in Richmond to discuss this issue.

The board accepted a low bid of $161,000 for the purchase, installation, and replumbing of the chiller that failed in the fall of 1997. This includes the $27,000 cost of the chiller that was approved at the last meeting. The low bidder was Gorham Oien Mechanical, Inc, from Mora, Minnesota. This purchase will be financed through NSP at a four percent rate over a five-year period.

The board accepted the appointment with full privileges of Tracy Knapp, M.D. in radiology.

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