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Patients enjoying expanded health center

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An eastern Iowa hospital is celebrating 100 years of business with a nearly $25 million expansion.

Construction on phase two wrapped up this month, and patients seem to be impressed with the new one-stop shop.

From pediatrics to geriatrics, the Buchanan County Health Center is turning heads.

Judy Miller worked for the health center three years ago, and she is now a patient.

She said that even though primary care, a pharmacist, and more specialists were added to their nearly 74,000 sq-ft expansion, the people working there are still making it feel like the smaller hospital it once was.

"They make you feels special. You're not a number, you're not a room number or anything like that, and it's just a great feeling," Miller said.

Medical experts say the new $25 million project is more than just an expansion.

They say it can now accommodate more patients without having to leave the building or town.

"If you needed a specialist, it used to be that we had to drive out of of town to Cedar Rapids or Waterloo. So many of them come here now. It's just a few blocks away, and you've got all the services you have for those larger areas," Miller said.

Physician Assistant Meg Heatley travels from Waterloo every week to accommodate patients, and she said the new expansion was needed and seems to benefit everyone.

"The administrators and all the way down to the housekeeping people have just made every effort to make me feel welcome and to do whatever is needed to accommodate my patients, and that's just fabulous," Heatley said.

Health center leaders say they plan to wrap up phase three this coming spring by expanding their surgery resources.

Hospital leaders say even though the health center is owned by the county, the new expansion isn't affecting taxpayers.

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