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Hocking Valley Community Hospital unveils plans for expansion

Hocking Valley Community Hospital hosted a State of the Hospital Address where plans were unveiled for an expansion to the facility.

For the past two years, the HVCH administrative team has been working to bring fruition to plans for a two-story addition to the front of the building that will house all the hospital’s outpatient services and a learning center.

“Our leadership team reviewed the last master facility plan created for HVCH that was completed in 2008. It was time for it to be updated, and we wanted a plan that could address the needs of our community for years to come,” HVCH President & CEO Stacey Gabriel said. “Since 2008, there have been significant changes in how patients utilize healthcare services. The previous plan focused on creating inpatient spaces, while healthcare has since transitioned to more of an outpatient focus.”

The first step in updating the master facility plan was to create a steering committee to reflect on what services and spaces patients need as identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment and market share data.

“Our goal is to be in a position where we can grow our services. To do that, we must create space,” Gabriel shared.

The existing hospital building was constructed in 1966.

“Very little has been done to the exterior to keep an updated appearance. Adding on to the front of the hospital gives us an opportunity to change that. When you come through our doors in need of care, you receive an experience where staff treat you like a person – not a number,” Gabriel said. “When you see our building, you may think the care will be antiquated, but it’s just the opposite. We have made significant investments in equipment and technology over the last several years. Now the time has come for us to update the space.”

The hospital worked with Trinity NAC to complete the master facilities plan and architectural renderings and model were shared during the event.

“For us, this building addition means more than just the creation of new space. This is our commitment that we are going to be present for the community and hold true to our mission which is ‘to provide extraordinary patient-centered care, close to home, now and into the future,’ so we wanted to ensure we got it right,” Gabriel said.

Andrew von Lohr, Principal with Trinity NAC, shared early in the process of updating the plan, guiding principles were established to connect the steering committee with the goals of the project.

These goals were: To move forward with the community; to embrace the healing, natural beauty of Hocking Hills; to have one place, all together; to create meaningful spaces; to empower the community to thrive; and to support the hospital’s fun and caring staff.

“We wanted to incorporate all of these guiding principles to enhance the patient experience, allow to future growth, provide a space for community education and workforce development, and provide healthcare in even bigger and better ways,” von Lohr said.

The expansion includes 49,000 square feet of space that includes remodel and new build. The first floor will house all outpatient clinics as well as cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary services, wound care, ophthalmology, orthopedics, general surgery, pain management, and more. The space will include exam and procedure rooms designed with the patient in mind.

The second floor will be home to 11,000 square feet of space dedicated to training and workforce development – classrooms, computer lab, simulation lab, and a conference room large enough to hold 100 people.

The expected groundbreaking for the project is spring of 2025 with an estimated cost of $34 million.

“In June of 2023 we engaged with Stroudwater, an organization who is assisting us with the process of securing low interest rate funding through the USDA,” Gabriel shared. “Additionally, we have applied for a grant through the Ohio Facilities Commission to help offset the cost of our project. We are anticipating announcements soon should we be a recipient of any grant funding.

This is an exciting investment in our future. We all desire a healthy, active community. We want to ensure HVCH has a part in that. This means not only offering healthcare services, but proactive health and wellness programs to teach how to live longer and healthier lives. We want you to think of HVCH first when you need healthcare services, and we also want to do our best to keep you active and well.”