Hillsboro, a rural Kansas community of just over 2,400 residents is nestled between the North Cottonwood and South Cottonwood Rivers in Marion County. Community leaders recently celebrated a groundbreaking in the frozen soils of central Kansas as the first step in the construction of their new community hospital.
The new 27,750 square foot facility will replace a 50-year old structure to provide health care to Hillsboro residents and serve nearby smaller communities as well. The new hospital is a partnership between the City of Hillsboro and HMC/CAH and was made possible by a USDA Rural Development Recovery Act Business and Industry Loan Guarantee in the amount of $9,250,000 to the Bank of Hays.
Larry Arthur, President and CEO of HMC/CAH stressed the importance of the partnerships that made the project a reality. “Partnerships with Federal Government through USDA Rural Development, the City of Hillsboro, community members the hospital administration and the hospital’s Advisory Board were essential for this construction project to move forward.” Arthur also noted that the hospital project “is the one of the best testimonial’ USDA Rural Development can have out in rural communities.” According to Mike Ryan, CEO of Hillsboro Community Hospital, “this day marks a major milestone in the 130 year history of health care in Hillsboro.”
The groundbreaking was preceded by a community luncheon at the Hillsboro Community Center. During the lunch guests and project representatives were impressed by the strong community support for the replacement facility. Local lenders, county and state government officials, school board members, businessmen, doctors, medical staff and economic development professionals all spoke regarding on how important “their” hospital was to “their” community.
In addition to business loan guarantees, USDA also funds hospitals through the Community Facilities Program. To find out how your community could benefit from this or other USDA Rural Development programs click here. To learn more about Recovery Act funding provided by USDA Rural Development, read the report.