Sumner celebrates new Community Memorial Hospital - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sumner celebrates new Community Memorial Hospital


Hundreds gathered to get their first peek at a brand new hospital in one Bremer County community Sunday.  Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner has been under construction for 14-months.  It replaces the current 60-year-old hospital at the same location.  Area residents have come to know the value of modern, hometown healthcare.

Louis Bishop knows he's lucky to be alive.  He's survived cancer, strokes, and open heart surgery.  He credits his life to Sumner's Community Memorial Hospital.

"Having been in and out of the hospital for almost 12 years prior to here, my wife and I actually bought a home across the street because we're only a few minutes away in case of need," said Bishop.

Bishop is thrilled he'll soon have access to an even higher quality of care with the brand new CMH.

"With all the new services they're able to offer, without a doubt, are going to be very influential with the health of all the people, not only of this town, but also even just a passer-by that finds need of their service." Bishop said.

The nearly $20-million project is certainly a major, modern upgrade for the small community.

"Sumner being a very small town stands very tall to be in competition.  I've been in some of the bigger facilities throughout the US, but Sumner, without a doubt, holds their own," said Bishop.

The new hospital offers 16 rooms in this large patient wing.

Rooms are spacious, and include private baths--a big improvement over the cramped quarters of the old hospital, where three or four patients shared hall restrooms.  Physicians like Dr. Troy Buchholz say easier access is a big plus of the new facility.

"Just a lot easier to get around.  You're not going to have to go up and down stairs, which for our patient population is really great because a lot of them are 65 and older," said Dr. Troy Buchholz, CMH Family Physician.

Serving that aging population is exaclty why the new CMH is working to expand patient offerings, like more specialty clinics.  There's also a new CT machine, and the hospital hopes to add its own MRI machine soon.

"That will enhance things we can do immediately for our patients when they present, and not have to wait for scheduled exams," said Mary Wells, Community Memorial Hospital CEO.

While the hospital knows it can't offer everything, the new space opens the door to better care.

"It just makes the whole process of healing in a hometown environment that much better," said Wells.

With everything the new hospital has to offer, it's now well poised to address the community's healthcare needs well into the future. 

The new hospital will officially begin seeing patients Sunday, January 13.

The hospital was made possible through a capital campaign, raising more than $2 million in private funds, coupled with an $18-million loan from USDA Rural Development.

The old hospital will be torn down starting next month, adding space for additional parking and landscaping around the new building.

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