While stories abound about rural hospitals closing across the country, Curry General Hospital on the southern Oregon coast demonstrates how a rural hospital can expand and thrive.
In Gold Beach, residents were served by a small, outdated facility that was built in the 1950s and designed to provide acute care services only, meaning patients had to travel long distances to receive specialized medical care. The facility could no longer meet local needs or comply with building codes, and the hospital was struggling to retain and recruit doctors.
The local community demonstrated its overwhelming support for a new facility when residents of the Curry Health District approved a $10 million general obligation bond to fund construction. The remaining $20.9 million needed for the new hospital was provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program, with interim financing by Key Bank. The favorable rate and 40-year term made the loans affordable for this small, rural service district.
“While the funding was really important, and without USDA I’m not sure we could have afforded to build what we built here,” said Virginia A. Williams, Chief Executive Officer for Curry Health Network, “equally important was the partnership they provided. Their experience and expertise was just phenomenal to have.”
The 62,000-square-foot, four-story critical care hospital now provides space for increased services, including general surgery, orthopedic surgery, family medicine, gynecology, cardiology, and physical therapy. The facility provides additional emergency and operating rooms. The 18 patient rooms are now private. The hospital also features state-of-the-art medical equipment, such as a powerful new CT scanner.
With its expanded capacity and modern facilities, Curry General Hospital is successfully attracting doctors, serving as an economic driver for the area, and meeting the medical needs of the 22,350 residents within this rural district.