USDA invests nearly $58 million to expand, modernize Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Mo.

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (Edited News Release/KY3) - USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens announced an investment of $57,750,000 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for the expansion and upgrading of Citizens Memorial Hospital District of Polk County.

Several local area banks partnered with USDA to help fund $19,250,000 of this project which totals $77,000,000.

The hospital originally opened for operation in September 1982 with funding from the USDA Farmers Home Administration, a predecessor to USDA Rural Development. This acute care hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care services as well as ambulance and physician clinic services for Bolivar and the surrounding area.

“The hospital is in dire need of an update to its facilities so that current medical demands of the community can be met,” said State Director Wilkens. “The planned expansion of the hospital facility has been developing over the past several years with hospital leadership, board of directors, and the community. All are supportive of this project and USDA Rural Development is proud to provide funding.”

The Rural Development investment will be used to renovate and expand the main Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) building in Bolivar. The facility was originally constructed in the 1980s, and expanded in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Emergency Department (ED), Surgical Unit, and Intensive and Progressive Care Units (ICU and PCU) occasionally have issues properly accommodating the needs of the public due to age, condition, size, number of rooms, lack of updated ventilation, and the need to provide various new levels of patient containment. As such, these departments are being pushed beyond their expected capabilities/capacities in trying to meet the current patient demands. The project includes several upgrades and additions to hospital facilities, expected to be 124,750 square feet (including 102,500 square feet of expansion and 22,250 square feet of renovation) when finished.

Planned improvements include:

  • Medical/Surgical: Transitioning all rooms from semi-private to private, increasing pediatric rooms from one to six, and increasing ICU beds from eight to twelve.
  • Surgery: Adding a third operating room and shell of a room that could house a fourth operating room in the future.
  • Emergency Room: Increasing beds from twelve to twenty-one and adding of a six-bed unit designed specifically for behavioral health patients.
  • Cardiac Cath: Constructing two cardiac catheter units and replacing the current modular unit to support planned growth in the cardiology department.
  • Laboratory: Consolidating off-site location due to growth in tests performed in recent years.
  • Cafeteria and Dietary: Expanding for an improved experience for patients and visitors.
  • Facilities: Upgrades to ventilation, filtration, air handling, boilers, chillers, water heaters, medical vacuum pumps, and fire alarms.

CMH serves more than 136,000 residents in its eight-county service area.

“It will be almost like a new hospital here in Bolivar,” said Michael Calhoun, the CEO/Executive Director of CMH in an interview with KY3 after the announcement was made. “Over the years we’ve grown so much in the outpatient realm and the long-term care but what we really haven’t done is invest enough back into our main facility which is the hospital. It’s a really big day for the community because this is a state-of-the-art hospital that we’re planning.”

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas.

“It is a loan we have to pay back but it is at a lower interest rate,” Calhoun explained. “Since the beginning of CMH we’ve partnered with the USDA for funding to get the hospital started and so we’ve had several projects we’ve worked with them on through the years. This will be the largest one.”

Calhoun said it will probably be 12 months before the first dirt is moved and the renovations and additions will be done in phases taking about three years.

“It really comes down to the demands of the community,” he pointed out. “We’ve been working on this for several years and we’ve been looking at what they need and what they’ve been leaving the community to go get for health care. We want to make sure to provide that here not just for now but for the future. It will allow us to continue to provide high-quality healthcare close to home like we’ve been able to do for 40 years and do it for the next 40 years.”

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