The local community celebrated an economic development milestone on Monday as Phelps County Regional Medical Center “topped out” an $18 medical facility in Waynesville that leaders say will improve quality of life here.
The local community celebrated an economic development milestone on Monday as Phelps County Regional Medical Center “topped out” an $18 million medical facility in Waynesville that leaders say will improve quality of life here.
Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) hosted a “topping out” ceremony Monday morning where guests signed a steel beam that was placed at the top of the four-story medical clinic that is set to open in spring 2015.
Mike Dunbar, Sustainable Ozarks Partnership representative, said that the development of this medical facility not only represents increasing the quality of life for those who live in the Fort Leonard Wood area, but will help convince others to make this area their permanent home.
“What Phelps County Regional Medical Center is doing for us today is an important checkmark for us,” Dunbar said. “It is giving us the ability to tell Congress to expand Fort Leonard Wood, that we have more and more ability to take care of soldiers, their families, and our local area. It is giving us the ability to promote this community."
Dunbar said health care is a key competent to building a sustainable community.
“With the completion of this facility, we are going to make this road the true heartbeat of this area,” Dunbar said.
Don James, DO, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer, said he remembers visiting the area in 1963, when Waynesville and St. Robert were merely stop outside of Fort Leonard Wood with tattoo parlors. Particularly, he was impressed with the recent development on GW Lane, speaking about the Waynesville Career Center,Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic, Ozark Technical College, B&B Theatres (set to open in August), and now the PCRMC Medical Clinic that will open next year.
“It has been a real thrill to watch the leadership and development of this community,” James said. “And to think all the years later — to see this road to education, healthcare, and entertainment. The Waynesville-St. Robert community is no longer just a bump in the road outside of Fort 'Lost in the Woods.'”
Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman thanked PCRMC officials on behalf of the City for their partnership and dedication to the community throughout the years. Hardman that the City of Waynesville's 2008 comprehensive plan included improving health and medical services for its citizens and the construction of this facility is a major milestone in improving healthcare.
“Right from the beginning when Phelps County approached us with this idea, we were thrilled,” Hardman said. “We are thrilled to have you here for the health services and the job opportunities that will come with this facility.”
Hardman said that the city also is expecting an increase of traffic on GW Lane and expects to improve the road.
“When construction is completed on GW Lane, the City of Waynesville will be redoing the road to help with the increase of traffic,” Hardman said. “ One of our plans is to create an alternate road to the high school to improve the traffic out here. We know that it is going to be a problem and we will help fix it.”
John Denbo, PCRMC Chief Executive Officer, said that the medical facility will offer a wide variety of healthcare services.
“We believe that the type of facility we are building here we are meeting the future healthcare needs,” Denbo said. “In the healthcare of the future, it is important to reach out and bring more sophisticated and complex services, as well as really good basic care services.
The medical facility will include a sleep center, an outpatient pharmacy, laboratories, a walk-in clinic as well as basic radiology and cardiology services, including a state-of-the art MRI scanner and CT scanner.
The clinic will also host physician offices, primary care services, internal medicine and family practice care.
“This is the beginning of our new additional commitment to this community,” Denbo said. “And we will continue to develop from this facility to constantly meet your needs.”