SIDNEY --  Sidney Regional Medical Center officially broke ground on its expansion project. The hospital will be moving the Extended Care facility to the west side of Sidney Regional Medical Center. 

"This is a day that's been in the making for 10-plus years. When we designed the new hospital facility, it wasn't just for the hospital or for the clinic. It was for the entire campus, and for the entire community. Long-term care is essential for any rural community. We want to make sure and keep our loved-ones as close to home as possible, and provide access to any and all of those services that we can," said SRMC CEO Jason Petik Thursday. 

The new facility will include a memory care wing, and quicker access to hospital services. Petik said the new facility will include meeting rooms for public events. 

Judy Frerichs, vice-president of Extended Care Services, moving Extended Care to the hospital campus has always been part of the plan.

"I've been fortunate to be part of this community for a long time. Our residents have dreamed about having a new building in our community. We have watched this hospital grow this past seven years, and they have been waiting and watching for their turn to come," Frerichs said.

Frerichs said  some of the residents who have been in Extended Care for a long time offered input in the the design of the new facility.  Suggestions included what residents liked about having the Extended Care facility and hospital on the same campus.

The project is being funded by USDA funding and funding from the hospital. Katie Bolz, State Director of the USDA, commended the hospital and board of directors for undertaking the expansion project.

The new facility will feature private rooms, an innovative communications system, and stronger safety features. The facility will unite the long-term care facility and the hospital, strengthening the continuum of care provided to the community. The new facility will replace an outdated facility and will benefit the health and safety of the approximately 11,800 residents in the service area, according to a press release from the USDA.

“The improvements underway at Sidney Regional Medical Center’s Long Term Care facility will benefit individuals in need of long-term care, memory care, and short-term rehabilitation by providing specially design space and high-quality services to serve their specific needs. The facility will benefit the entire community of Sidney by ensuring care of loved ones close to home,” said Bolz.

Sidney Regional Medical Center has employed the services of Farris Engineering, RDG Planning and Design, and Sampson Construction. The new facility is fully funded by hospital cash contributions, low interest loans from the USDA and construction financing from local lenders. Community Facility Direct Loans from USDA RD provide affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area. Public bodies, community-based non-profits, and federally recognized tribes with no more than 20,000 residents are eligible to apply, the USDA press release says.