Community welcomes brand new hospital in Sumner - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community welcomes brand new hospital in Sumner

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SUMNER (KWWL) -

Dozens of people gathered in Sumner Sunday for the official grand opening of the new Community Memorial Hospital. Crews broke ground 2 years ago on the porject.

"I did mention it's a bit like staying at the spa," said Melissa Bruch, patient.

Bruch is staying at the new Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner. It may not sound like it, but Bruch is recovering from pneumonia. As of Sunday she says she is feeling pretty good, but Friday night was a different story.

"When I couldn't breathe Friday night I woke my husband up and said I think we need to go to the hospital right away," said Bruch.

Bruch lives in Sumner. She says with the way she was feeling that night, she was glad the drive to the hospital was a short one.

"It seems like a long drive coming in four miles. I can't imagine what a longer drive would have felt like," said Bruch.

The next closest hospital is about 30 miles away. It's a distance CEO Mary Wells says could be a matter of life or death in some cases.

That's one reason she says it's important to have a hospital in the small town.

Another reason, she says, is to take care of the rural major medicare population.

"This is preventive health. We are trying to maintain people in their home, in their hometown and in the emergent situation we want to be there for them even if it's something that we need to transfer," said Bruch.

The new full service hospital is about 20% larger than the old one. Officials say it is more patient friendly, with all levels of care on one floor.

"I'm just very thankful for it," said Bruch.

The whole cost nearly $20 million. An $18 million federal loan and more than $2 million in donations helped pay for it.

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