New Neillsville hospital getting close to completion date
Ever since ground was first broken more than a year ago at N3700 River Ave. just outside of Neillsville, the new Marshfield Medical Center — Neillsville hospital facility has slowly and quietly been constructed. Now just a few months away from being complete, the hospital is on schedule to be admitting its first patients on May 8, 2021.
The process to build the $45 million facility at its site beyond the Black River has been largely uninterrupted throughout its long months of construction. According to chief administrative officer Ryan Neville and project manager Kenny Marg, work has been able to continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, without any delays in getting materials or struggles in maintaining safety at the worksite.
“We have taken precautions, moving the workforce onsite, being cautious, masking, limiting visitations as far as vendors,” said Neville. “We also haven’t had any shortage of equipment, and supplies have been coming through.”
“Everyone here has to go through a check sheet, answer questions and sign in every day,” added Marg. “We are limiting how many people are working in an area. We have a lot of floor space, so we are able to space out projects throughout the building.”
At this point, most of the hospital has been completed, and is on track to be finished by Feb. 5 of next year. Marg said different portions of the building are currently in different stages of completion, with some areas needing only a few coats of paint to be considered complete.
“The entire building is now up,” he said. “The roof is up, piping is done. The conduit and electrical is done. By wing, the medical wing, we have the plumbing, flooring and ceilings done … The ER is 90 percent completed, most of the ceilings and walls are painted. The clinic wing is painted, the flooring, we are installing cabinets.”
In the entire hospital, Marg said the only area that is substantially behind the rest for completion is the kitchen area. Work is expected to begin on that area of the building soon, after the state approves the plans that were made for the space.
“We will be working on state approval for kitchen area,” he said. “That still needs to be done.”
Beyond the indoor facilities, the exterior work at the site has also made considerable progress. Concrete and blacktop have been poured for the hospital’s entryway, parking lots and helicopter landing pad, and stripes are beginning to be painted. Once that work is complete, landscaping work is expected to begin.
“Outside we have all the curb and gutter put in,” said Marg. “The blacktop, we put the first coat on this past week. All the concrete is poured and the helipad is finished. We will be working on landscaping soon.”
While work has been going on at the physical hospital site, Neville said there has been work behind the scenes at their current facility to prepare for the transition next spring. As they are now a part of the Marshfield Medical system, he said they have been updating their records and communication systems to be in sync with the rest of the Marshfield system.
“We have been working on our electric records,” he said. “So now if we have a lab done, anyone in our healthcare system can pull up that information for the patient. A lab can be seen by any practitioner in Marshfield.”
The hospital has also begun to offer some of the services it plans to have in its own space at the new facility. Telehealth options, specialty providers and cataract surgery are all new health programs that are starting to be offered at their current facility this fall, and will continue to be offered after they transition to the new building.
“We now have specialty providers in Neillsville,” he said. “Eight percent of all our visits are now done by telehealth now, which has been very useful with this coronavirus. There will be an infusion center, chemotherapy, and surgical services (at the new hospital) We’re already starting cataract surgery at Neillsville in November. We are starting the services now in the current building and growing them when we move into the new facility later.”
Once everything is completed on the Feb. 5 date, Marg and Neville said the hospital will be going through the process to have the facility officially approved for use. Once that is done, the hospital will begin to move into the new facility.
“There will be new equipment and equipment being transitioned over,” he said. “Most of it is being replaced and will be consistent with the technology they have in Marshfield. Neillsville is going to become more robust in specialty care.”
CHEYENNE THOMAS/STAFF PHOTO