Emergency Rural Health Care Grant & Poweshiek County American Rescue Plan Act Fund Improvements at GRMC
(GRINNELL, Iowa – November 30, 2022) UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) was awarded a combined $1.4 million to support multiple projects for the hospital and clinics. The funds originated from the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs, part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and will finance four projects: relocation and improvement of the GRMC patient registration area, relocation and improvement of the UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Clinic, remodel of the shared emergency department and radiology waiting room, and expansion and renovation of the laboratory.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emergency Rural Health Care Grant awarded $1 million to GRMC, and GRMC received $400,000 from the Poweshiek County ARPA funds.
“The incredible impact of the funding is already being felt by our patients, communities and team members,” says Kyle Wilcox, MHA, FACHE, FHFMA, vice president of finance and operations at GRMC. “The improvements to our patient registration space and OBGYN Clinic finished earlier this year, and the estimated timeline for the renovation of the emergency department and radiology waiting area is slated for mid-2023. The laboratory update completion is projected for early 2024. These projects wouldn’t be where they are today without the funding from USDA Rural Development and Poweshiek County ARPA.”
The relocation and improvements made for the patient registration and OBGYN Clinic spaces and planned for the emergency department/radiology waiting room and laboratory expansion focus on patient experience and privacy while optimizing the spaces to support healthcare services and department workflows. All four projects are also optimizing space to improve infection control efforts and reduce patient and team member density.
The OBGYN Clinic moved to the Ahrens Medical Arts Building at 202 4th Ave. in Grinnell, adjacent to Grinnell Family Practice Clinic and connected via second floor bridge to GRMC.
“The new OBGYN Clinic location allowed us to expand to five exam rooms, one procedure room and one consult room, aiding our team to add two new women’s health providers and reach more members of the communities we serve,” says Wilcox. “January through October of 2022, our OBGYN Clinic has already surpassed the prior year’s clinic appointments by 765 visits. The new location makes it easier and more seamless for patients to complete clinic, pre-admittance and lab appointments in the same day.”
GRMC’s updated registration area provides a higher degree of comfort, accessibility and privacy for patients and their support person during the check in process. The front desk features a team member who coordinates workflow in the unit, directing patients to one of three private registration stations to complete their check in with GRMC’s patient access specialists.
The current layout of the emergency and radiology departments result in a shared waiting room, which impacts patient experience, privacy and care flow. The plan is to divide the space into two separate waiting rooms. GRMC’s laboratory supports UnityPoint Health – Grinnell clinics, hospital inpatients and regional healthcare patients with a wide range of diagnostic tests to monitor patient health. GRMC’s laboratory was built more than 40 years ago, and improvement plans for the space include an estimated 37% increase in square footage.
GRMC hosted regional community leaders, representatives, advocates and USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa Theresa Greenfield on November 17, 2022, for National Rural Health Day. Attendees shared in a roundtable discussion of the struggles facing rural healthcare and toured GRMC’s updated patient registration space and relocated OBGYN Clinic.
“It’s an honor to showcase the amazing things our teams do every day for our patients and communities,” says Wilcox. “Our rural hospital and clinics are made stronger by the individuals and groups in our region, and the significance of the grant dollars from USDA and Poweshiek County ARPA to improve our care infrastructure is more than the dollars awarded – every time a patient has a great care experience close to home, the value of the work we do increases.”
Learn more about UnityPoint Health – Grinnell healthcare services and providers by visiting unitypoint.org/grinnell/services.
Roundtable Photo: GRMC hosted a roundtable discussion and tour on November 17 in celebration of National Rural Health Day. Grinnell-area community leaders and advocates joined GRMC’s Kyle Wilcox, VP of Finance and Operations (center) and USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa Theresa Greenfield (left-center) and associates at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell.
Renovated Spaces: UnityPoint Health – Grinnell OBGYN Clinic Exam Room; GRMC Registration