December 23, 2014

McKenzie County Bank donates $250,000 toward new healthcare facility

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

The Benefit Fund of the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc., received a substantial donation from McKenzie County Bank and Jane and Scott Swenson on Monday evening, Dec. 15, at the monthly reception held in honor of the new healthcare facility in Watford City.
The Swensons presented a check for $250,000. With Monday night’s donations, the community has currently raised approximately $9.4 million of the $20 million goal, almost meeting the halfway mark for funds raised thus far.
“McKenzie County Bank is very grateful to McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, for what the healthcare system has done for our community and what we know they will continue to do in the future,” said Swenson, chairman of the Board and CEO of McKenzie County Bank. “We have heard stories about our doctors and healthcare team saving lives and making a difference every day they go to work.”
According to Myra Anderson, chairman of the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems’ Benefit Fund, McKenzie County Bank has been a loyal supporter of not only McKenzie County, but of the new healthcare facility project as well.
“We are grateful for the staff and management of MCHS,” said Swenson. “We know that the medical staff, office staff,  and everyone works extremely hard, day in and day out, and we have heard many stories of the wonderful care given in our healthcare system. We cannot say enough about how much we appreciate the people who work in our healthcare system.”
The Swensons have not only supported the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems in Watford City, they both have been on the hospital board at different times over the last 15 years, and have been a part of several changes within the healthcare system during that time frame.
“To be a part of the Board of Trustees when a new healthcare facility is built is very exciting,” said Swenson. “Jane was a part of the Board during the merger of the hospital and nursing home. That change worked well in our community. This new facility will also work well to meet the needs of our expanding community, in the hospital, the clinic, and the nursing home.”
McKenzie County Bank was established in Watford City in 1982. McKenzie County Bank, along with its sister bank, Lakeside State Bank in New Town, will merge at the end of 2014 with Cornerstone Bank. The merger will give bank customers access to more locations and expanded product and service offerings across the state of North Dakota.
“To be able to donate to our healthcare system is an honor for us,” said Swenson. “We are a smaller financial institution in our community, but have always been ‘big’ in giving. This historic amount for our bank is given with appreciation to the healthcare system that is such a vital part of our community, and also given with appreciation for this community that we have called home for over 30 years. We have been welcomed and supported here, have been successful here, and it’s a privilege that we have an opportunity to give this amount to the replacement facility.”
 This donation accompanied the first ‘virtual’ tour of the new healthcare facility, allowing the public to ‘walk the halls’ of this innovative, state-of-the-art structure.
The ‘virtual’ tour was guided by Karl Kilgore, principal and director of Design Services with The CPI Group, a Denver-based company that provides comprehensive program and project management services for healthcare and high-tech facilities facing complex expansion or relocation projects.
Kilgore unveiled updated plans on the facility, as well as interior images. He discussed the ease of blending the hospital, clinic, and nursing home into one extensive facility, when typically it tends to be a more complex and difficult process.
“It is so hard to achieve from a healthcare aspect,” said Kilgore. “But this particular facility has come together very nicely and blends really well.”
The public was shown various highlights throughout the ‘virtual’ tour. Several of these highlights include four LDRP (Labor Delivery Recovery Post-partum) Suites, 47 all-private rooms for the nursing home, including four of which are larger and could accommodate double-occupancy for couples wanting to reside together, 24 inpatient hospital rooms, 18 clinic primary care rooms, a Radiology Department offering a large variety of new services including CT mobility, a nine-bed Emergency Room with a drive-up garage with room for two ambulances, and a helistop, on site, for medical flights.
Additional highlights consist of 12 clinic specialty rooms for visiting specialists and surgeons, six Sanford-leased rooms with the capacity to add an additional six rooms for a total of 12, two scope/procedure rooms and two operating rooms with a pre-op area, an outpatient pharmacy, several different waiting rooms, including a separate pediatric waiting room geared toward children, and a congregate dining area for the nursing home, as well as a public and staff dining area.
“We’re trying to make the layout of the building as clean and efficient as possible for people to not struggle getting into and around the building,” said Kilgore. “There’s a very easy orientation to the building. It’s an inter-link of circles, an extremely efficient layout, and it’s working out well.”  
The ‘virtual’ tour concluded, leaving a feeling of excitement and anticipation for the new healthcare facility, it’s advanced services, and for what it means to the community. It’s Kilgore’s hope that construction will begin early in 2015.
“I’m very appreciative that Karl listens to the team,” said Dan Kelly, CEO of McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc. “I don’t think he’s ever told us ‘no’ to anything we’ve brought him. He listens, thinks about it, and comes back with an answer. It’s a building I think we’ll all be happy with for the next 60 years. I’ll be extremely pleased with this building and very proud.”
The McKenzie County Healthcare Systems’ Benefit Fund will continue to have monthly receptions to honor the individuals, businesses and community partners that support the foundation and will update the community with the progress of the new facility.
“This is a history-in-the-making event,” said Kristin Bolken, executive director of the Benefit Fund for McKenzie County Healthcare Systems. “We are so grateful for the gifts we are receiving during this time because the community is once again coming together to make history in the building of a new medical complex for the residents of McKenzie County.”