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USDA-Funded North Valley Health Center in Minnesota Expected to Improve Rural Quality of Life

Minnesota Rural Development State Director Landkamer, fourth from the right, breaking ground on the new North Valley Health Center in Warren, Minn.

Ground was broken on the new 43,000 square-foot North Valley Health Center on July 26. It will be located next to the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and will feature a larger physical therapy department, full handicap accessibility and covered entrances, among other enhancements.Community members came together to build the first hospital in Warren, Minn., all the way back in 1905. Today, the community is coming together once again to build a new innovative healthcare facility that will continue the tradition of strong rural healthcare in the community of 1,500.

“This is more than a new building. It’s an opportunity to provide new services,” said Ashley King, North Valley’s CEO. “It’s also going to improve the vitality of our community and create economic development opportunities.” USDA Rural Development is financing the project with a $13.5 million loan from its Community Facilities Program. The community has raised $1.37 million and has a goal of raising $1.5 million.

“Projects like this only happen when you step up as a community and decide what you want your community to look like in the future,” said Colleen Landkamer, Rural Development state director in Minnesota. About 80 people are employed at North Valley, including two doctors, a nurse practioner and a physician’s assistant. Services provided include diagnostic imaging, CT scans, cardiac rehabilitation and a full physical therapy department.

Since 2009, Rural Development has invested about $55 million to build or improve five rural hospitals and clinics in Minnesota. The growth in patients and changes in how healthcare services are used made the present facility in drastic need of an update. The North Valley board decided to build a new facility and connect it to the Good Samaritan Center, making patient transfers easier and improving overall care.

The new facility will be designated a Critical Access Hospital and a Rural Health Clinic. The service area includes the municipalities of Argyle, Alarado, Oslo, Stephen, Warren and 19 townships.

North Valley board president Arthur Drenckhahn summed up the general feeling of the Warren community at the groundbreaking ceremony: “Let’s get started and build this puppy!” he said.

To find out how USDA Rural Development can help your community meet its goals click here.

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