June 23, 2015

County pledges $2 million for new healthcare facility

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

The McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners has pledged $2 million toward the construction of the new replacement facility for the McKenzie County Healthcare System, Inc. in Watford City.
The commissioners gave their unanimous approval to the contribution during their June 6 meeting. As approved by the commissioners, $1 million will be paid toward the new facility after August with the remaining $1 million to be paid over the next five years.
“I, and our Board of Trustees, believed it was important to have the financial support of the county commissioners,” stated Dan Kelly, CEO of the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc. “We have the only emergency room services in the county.  The county commission has been a strong supporter of the healthcare system and once again they have demonstrated that support.”
According to Kelly, the county’s donation comes on the heels of a $9.5 million pledge from the City of Watford City to use the city’s Roughrider Fund for the construction of the replacement healthcare facility.
“After the significant donation from the Roughrider Fund we had approximately $2,396,709 that we needed to raise,” stated Kelly. “The pledge from the county commission leaves a very small amount remaining to be raised. Which means we are  proceeding with the project.”
Construction on the new $79,147,609 facility, according to Kelly, will begin this week.
The new replacement hospital and clinic will be constructed on property next to the existing Good Shepherd Home long-term care facility.  
According to Kelly, the new replacement facility will include nine emergency room treatment bays, a 24-bed hospital, 30 clinic exam rooms, a full scale laboratory, X-Ray, a 32-slice CT scan, a MRI, as well as private resident rooms in the Good Shepherd Home.
“Our community and our needs for healthcare are growing,” Kelly told the commissioners. “We need a new facility that will allow for surgery, obstetrics and other specialty services.”
As part of the new facility, Sanford Health will be renting 6,000 square feet from McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc. for clinic space for their doctors.
The construction of the new healthcare facility, according to Kelly, will be a 20-month process.
For Kelly, the financial assistance that the City of Watford City and the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners have provided speaks volumes toward the overall support that the new replacement healthcare facility has received.
“I sincerely believe if we were in many other communities in North Dakota we would not have received the overwhelming support we did for this project,” states Kelly.  “My Board of Trustees, our employees, and I am very grateful for and humbled by the pledges and donations we have received for this facility. I truly believe the citizens of McKenzie County will be pleased with this building.”